Author(s): Heni Collins
The story of Te Rauparaha and his times continues to intrigue, provoke and inspire Maori and Pakeha alike. Heni Collins describes Te Rauparaha's life from the time his birth was foretold, through inter-tribal conflict, migration, settlement in the south (Kapiti Island), and into the period of colonization. Te Rauparaha and his nephew Te Rangihaeata welcomed Europeans living among them in the 1820s and 1830s, for the trade and technology they brought. But they never gave up their rangatiratanga or mana whenua. They tried European systems of justice such as the courts and the Land Commission, but were soon frustrated by the ponderous processes and toothlessness of these bodies. To retain their independence and authority, Ngati Toa eventually turned to military resistance. Reappraising original material, including sources in te reo, Heni Collins enlivens events and adds cultural understanding and authenticity to a dramatic story of Aotearoa New Zealand. Ka Mate, Ka Ora! The Spirit of Te Rauparaha includes comments by kaumatua Te Puoho Katene and other tribal members, and an epilogue by former Maori All Black Norm Hewitt. New maps show the location of significant sites, and an appendix details their history and what can be seen there today. The spirit of Te Rauparaha lives on every time his Ka Mate haka is performed, and his story and example are as vital today as they were in his lifetime.
Heni Collins is a journalist, researcher and community worker. She has a MPhil (Maori Studies) degree on the social psychology and history of Maori/Pakeha identity, and works with a trust helping troubled youth. When she began working on this project in 1999, Heni knew only of her connection to Te Rauparaha through his mother's side, Ngati Huia. She is a descendant of Te Rauparaha's uncle Hapekituarangi (Ngati Raukawa), under whom Te Rauparaha trained in battle as a young man. More recently Heni discovered that her whanau also descends from Haumia, brother of Mango, from whom Toarangatira descends. Her great-uncle Piwiki Te Horohau carved the first Takapuwahia wharenui in Porirua in 1901. Heni has had the support of Ngati Toa, her hapuof Ngati Kikopiri, Te Waka Toi and Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts & Cultures for this project. She lives in Wellington and has two tamariki.