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No. 50 (March 1965)
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HISTORIC PAPAWAI PA

papawai pa in the wairarapa is three miles east of the small town of Greytown, and 50 miles by road from Wellington.

The old meeting-house is seldom used these days, and there is little to suggest to a casual visitor that Papawai was once a thriving settlement and an important political and cultural centre.

But there is still one sign of its former splendour. In the fence beside the marae are six tall figures, badly split and battered, which have about them an air of mournful dignity and pathos. They must be the last stockade figures still standing on a marae anywhere in the country. Twelve more figures lie prone in the grass, some of them beside the front fence, some under the trees by a stream behind the meeting-house.

Each figure is at the top of a tall post, and nearly all of them are larger than life-size. They were made 60 or more years ago, the great logs being felled locally and hauled by bullocks to the pa. The carving was also done by local people. The 18 figures represent famous chiefs in surrounding districts, among them being Nukupewapewa, Te Whare Pouri and Kingi Ngatuere.

Famous For its Huge Gatherings

The present meeting-house, Hikurangi, was opened in 1888. Soon after this, three other meeting-houses and their outbuildings were erected; their names were Aotea, Waipounamu and Potaka. From then until a few years after the turn of the century, Papawai was famous throughout the land for the great meetings held there. The leaders of the pa at this time were Hoani Rangitakaiwaho, the hereditary chief, and Tamahau Mahupuku, who married the widow of Hoani's uncle.

It was at Papawai in 1896 that the chiefs of the Wairarapa signed away their rights to Lake Wairarapa, receiving in exchange £3,000 and several thousand acres of bush country near Mangakino.

In the following year the Kotahitanga Movement's ‘Maori Parliament’ or ‘Federal Assembly’ was established at Papawai, with Tamahau Mahupuku as premier. In 1898

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tribal delegations from many parts of the country, including Parihaka, Waikato, Northland and the East Coast, travelled to Papawai to discuss new government proposals to put an end to the land troubles. Richard Seddon, the New Zealand premier, and King Mahuta, leader of the Waikato tribes, were among those present, and the meeting was one of the largest held in the colony for a long time.

Population of Three Thousand

It is said that during these years, Papawai had a population of as much as 3,000. It had its own bakery and stores, and as it was the home of the ‘Maori Parliament’, it was known to its supporters as the ‘Maori capital’. But the land on which the settlement's prosperity depended was gradually sold. After the death of Hoani Rangitakaiwaho in 1909, the greatness of Papawai began to fade.

Tamahau Mahupuku, who for 20 years had been the most influential chief in the Wairarapa, died in 1904. Seven years later a handsome memorial to him was unveiled. Nearly 20 feet high, it has a massive dome and a heavy cornice supported by four corinthian columns. Between the columns were bronze panels depicting symbolic scenes, and a marble slab with a funeral inscription.

The monument is still there today, but it is stripped of its glamorous facade. The main meeting-house blew down in a gale in 1934, and only Hikurangi and the carved figures remain today. If they are to be preserved, both the house and the figures urgently need to be repaired. This question has been much discussed, but opinions were divided as to what should be done. However there are now signs of a new interest in the matter, and Papawai's historic remains may yet be preserved to speak of the past to a new generation.

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N.M. 46 Ka Eke Ki Wairaka

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N.M. 46 Ka Eke Ki Wairaka

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identical. The first beat of the bar is throughout placed on the same words and the ‘drags’ are placed at identical points, so that there is complete agreement on line division. As with most other waiata transcriptions in this series, the notation has been arranged so that each repetition of the melody fills one line of manuscript with the ‘drag’ figure at the end of the line.

The text and translation of the song can be found as Song 46 in Part One of ‘Nga Moteatea’ edited by Apirana Ngata and Pei Te Hurinui; on p. 8 of ‘Puhiwahine’ by Pei Te Hurinui (Pegasus Press) Christchurch 1961; in ‘Te Ao Hou’ 29, p. 18 where the above originally appeared; and in Barry Mitcalfe's ‘Poetry of the Maori’ (Pauls) Hamilton and Auckland 1961, on pp. 39–40. The text also appears in McGregor's ‘Popular Maori Songs’ Supplement No. 2 (1903) p. 43.

a new accommodation house, to sleep 1,000 people, is planned for the Turangawaewae marae.

figures quoted by the n.z. maori council show that the number of Maoris going overseas is 14 times greater than it was 10 years ago. In 1963, almost 580 Maoris travelled overseas.

In 1951, three and a half per cent of all our overseas forces were Maoris; by 1961, this figure had risen to almost 12 per cent.

a rotorua family the Macfarlanes of Rotokawa, can certainly be proud of the academic record they are building up.

Last year Angas, aged 18, and his sister Marjorie, aged 16, both passed their university entrance examination. Angas, who attended St Peter's Maori Boys' College in Northcote, will train as a teacher. Marjorie, who studied at Rotorua Girls' High School, has taken a job in a Rotorua government department.

Another son, Kenneth, also got his U.E. at 16 years of age and is now taking medical laboratory training at Greenlane Hospital in Auckland.

To round off a successful year, another daughter, Anne, a nurse at Oakley Hospital, gained top marks for New Zealand in the Division of Mental Health final examination.