The Rongowhakaata Library is a work in progress. We acknowledge firstly the contribution of Ta Henare Ngata and his presentation for the Rongawhakaata Waitangi Day celebrations in 2004. All the research reports were commissioned by Rongowhakaata for our Waitangi Tribunal Hearings.
Rongowhakaata and the Crown, 1840–1873
Rongowhakaata Socio Economic Review – 1850 to 2000
Rongowhakaata and the Native Land Court 1873-1900
Henare Ngata Waitangi Day Address, 2004
By Bruce Stirling, Historian
Although the Crown proclaimed sovereignty over New Zealand in 1840, its practical authority over Turanga, and over Rongowhakaata, remained nominal for several decades. Representatives of Rongowhakaata and other Turanga iwi did sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 but the full import of the Treaty – at least as the Crown interpreted it – was not apparent on the ground in Turanga for another quarter-century, and until 1865 Rongowhakaata and other Turanga iwi essentially retained their customary authority over their lands and their lives.
This authority – or rangatiratanga – had enabled them to adapt to and benefit from the innovations introduced by their Pakeha guests, who arrived in small numbers from the 1830s onwards, and it also enabled them to control how such innovations were brought into their world. However, this authority, and Rongowhakaata’s renowned independence of mind, was anathema to the Crown, which was prepared to go to great lengths to enforce its writ in Turanga. When the blandishments of Native Land Purchase Commissioner McLean failed, and when the judicial edifice constructed by Resident Magistrate Wardell proved hollow, overwhelming military force and siege warfare proved capable of establishing the Crown’s sovereignty over Turanga. Afterwards, Turanganui, the nascent township of the subjugated district, was symbolically renamed Gisborne, but transforming Rongowhakaata was not so easy.
By Tony Wazl, Historian
This report has been compiled to provide an overview of socio-economic issues as they pertain to Rongowhakaata Iwi over the period 1850 to 2000. The aim of this report is to extract analysis on how the events and themes described in other Rongowhakaata commissioned reports on land issues, socio – economic influences with impacted on the tribe. The information utilised is not intended to provide a full comprehensive record of all socio economic issues and indicators to Rongowhakaata, but instead to present the main attributes of their socio-economic experience to identify and encapsulate the experience which impacted on most Iwi members.
Please contact us to access this document.
by Fiona Small and Phillip Cleaver (Historians)
The primary focus of this report is the individualisation of not just the land but also the Rongowhakaata community, one result of which was a loss of collective knowledge and memory.
Table of Contents – please use the table of content to find specific information that you may be interested in or as a guide to give you an overview of what is contained in the following reports
Turanga Manu Whiri – Customary interests outside the Gisborne Enquiry District, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga Mahaki and Ngariki Kaiputahi
By Richard Towers, Historian
The project brief for this report specifies the following work;
The nature of customary or traditional interests in each block
How Tribal interests in these areas were established and maintained
The nature of historic relationships with neighbouring Hapu and Iwi
The contractor examined the nature and extent of Rongowhakaata’s customary interests including; lands, resources and sites of significance north and west of the Gisborne Inquiry district including Kaiti, Pouawa and Hangaroa Matawai.
Ecological impacts and planning history – An Enviromental History of the Turanganui a Kiwa case book
by Dr Brad Coombes, Geography Dept, Auckland University
This report concentrates on environmental transformation rather than an account of the historical and present resources of the Turanga district, also it endeavours to compliment the Rongowhakaata traditional history report.
- To evaluate the transformation or despoilment of important resource spaces
- Ascertain the extent to which Treaty principles have influenced the management of resource spaces of importance to Maori
Please contact us to access this document.
by Stephen Oliver, Historian
The established lands of the Gisborne Harbour were occupied pre European settlement by Te Aitanga Hauiti, Te Aitanga Mahaki and Rongowhakaata. The development of the Harbour involved much debate, controversy and considerable expense to rate payers. The Harbour development involved the taking of land from Maori using the public works act. The Gisborne Harbour Board may have in it’s historical records breached the conditions or at least spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi in several ways.These are that it may have failed to consult adequately with Maori, that it may have taken Maori land when it could have taken European land, and that it kept taken for harbour works after the land was no longer needed for that purpose.
by Sian Daly, Historian
This report is one of a series of district reports commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal as part of it Rangahaua Whanui project which was designed to provide basic material on the causes and impact of land and resource within an historical context;
- Giving an overview of the wide ranging issues common to claimants in a specific geographical area and
- Provide historical review of Crown policy and actions.