History

Rangataua te Tangata

Rangataua was born and raised at the Pa Te Ahi Aruhe at Otarahioi, sometimes referred to as Te Kuri a Taneatua. (Otarahioi was the name of one of Taneatuas dogs, a treasured animal in those times.) Otarahioi is a small hill situated in the ranges just behind the present township at Taneatua. This place was close to a well travelled Maori trail, providing access to areas such as Matahi in the Urewera National Park region, the Ruatoki Valley to the South, and Pekapekatahi the Owhakatoro and Kiwinui blocks in the west. There is a major river junction south west of Otarahioi near the Te Hurepo lagoon; here the Whakatane River splits up heading towards the Waimana and Ruatoki Valleys respectively. The Ohinemataroa rivers unique waterways once supported thriving communities along its route. Rangataua was a very handsome man and at one time he was the Rangatira of Ngati Pukeko who had settled at Te Hurepo, about two miles seaward of the Taneatua township. Te Hurepo was once a lagoon and extensive swamp area that extended from the north of Pekapekatahi to the Opouriao Dairy factory at Reid Road Taneatua. Under Rangataua and others, Ngati Pukeko lived at Te Ahi Aruhe and Te Rewarewa forts. These lands were purported to belong to Ngai Turanga and Ngai Te Kapo hence a party of Tuhoe and Ngai Turanga from Ruatoki attacked Ngati Pukeko, defeating them. The Chief Rangataua was captured and bound with the leaves of the toetoe to prevent his escape hence Hui-Toetoe was used as a place name to the Ngai Te Kapo pa on a low ridge.

Rangataua was a son of Matatu and a mokopuna of the great fighting Chiefs Marupuku and his son Takapari. Matatu was the Chief of Ngati Ue who lived at Otarahioi. He was an expert warrior in battle and was able to lead warriors in battle formations when they attacked their enemies. One day while in Ruatoki he was defending his pa at Taneatua, Te Ahi Aruhe and because of his leadership in bringing his people together and defeating their enemy he named his son Rangataua. Ranga means to weave; taua means the war parties together in battle formations that provided strength to defeat their enemies. His wife Hineheke was hapu at the time of the battle. During this battle, she gave birth to their son and in memory of this event he was given the name Rangataua. He grew to be an expert in planting kai and providing quality hospitality when he received guests at his home in Taneatua. One of the proverbs to remember this quality of providing food to others was; “Rangataua ponaturi” Rangataua whose knees would always be dirty from working in the gardens. His descendants today identify Rangataua progeny from their whakapapa records as Whakarangi, Whaowhi, Rangikotua, Tupari, Te Wakaarangi, Hirini, and Pouhikori.
 Historical information provided by;
Te Kei Merito, Rorokawa Umuhuri, Te Kani Kingi, Terehia Biddle and Pouroto Ngaropo
 
Ngati Rangataua Whakatauaki
Ka marere ki te mania, ka ngau i te kapakapa,ka kowhitiwhiti Rangataua,
ka huanu ko ngau-kapakapa-a-kahu.
The grasshopper falls and feeling a jarring sensation,
raises a cry and then quivers and leaps in flight emulating the flight of the hawk. 
 
He korero enei o Te Kei Merito