TE RŪNANGA O MOERAKI

Incorporated Society

Tiramorehu

Tiramorehu was a revered Kai Tahu leader of great influence. He belonged to the Kai Hateatea, Kai Tuteahuka and Kai Tuahurihuri hapu, and attended the Kai Tahu highest school of learning at Maunganui. Following the offer of peace from Te Rauparaha at Puari, Timamorehu, one of the younger Rakatira and the most learned man of his generation then led a Heke of Kai Tahu to Moeraki. The heke set off in the winter of 1838 and included representatives of some of the major Surviving Rakatira and Tohuka lines of Kai Tahu. Paitu allowed them to settle at Tawhiroko Point and after Paitu moved away, Tiramorehu became Rakatira of Moeraki. Tiramorehu was very much involved in the sale of Māori land to the Crown and was a leading figure at the time of the Kemp purchase. He was on the HMS Fly in1848 when Kemp’s Deed was signed and was undoubtedly the most literate of the Kai Tahu Rakatira. Later he gave testimony that there were more names on the Deed than he had seen written down. Because he signed Kemp’s Deed and was acknowledge an expert in Māori Lore and the written word, Tiramorehu accepted the responsibility for trying to retrieve the situation when the Deed’s promises were unfulfilled. On the 22nd October 1849, he wrote a letter to Governor Eyre (see letter below). This letter represented the initial claim of Kai Tahu against the grievance that they had with the Crown. Tiramorehu also took every opportunity to share his knowledge. With other Tohuka he set up a school of traditional learning in 1868 – 1870 at Tawhiroko Point, called Omana Wharetapu. Tiramorehu was the principal Tohuka, along with Rawiri Te Maire, with many pupils being taught. Tiramorehu was a man of supreme rank of learning.