July 20th, 1898
H.E. Partridge Esq,
My dear Partridge,
In reply to yours of the 15th inst, I send you what I can
relative to Sophia and Heta Te Haana. With reference to Pataea and
Mari Te Wharepapa - I have expected a native from the north (who
was expected here at the Native Lands Court) to give me the desired
information, but he did not turn up, so you have to wait "yet a
Sophia Hinerangi was the famous guide of the White and the Pink
Terraces, and it was in her hut, at Te Wairoa, that nearly all the
people, who were saved, took shelter on that awful night of the
Tarawera eruption in June 10th 1886. Sophia who now lives at
Whakarewarewa, where she maintains her prestige as the guide, was
born at Kororareka, Bay of Islands, in 1830, her father Alexander
Gray, a Scotchman, came to New Zealand as a ships blacksmith, her
mother was named Hinerangi, she belonged to the Natiruanui tribe of
Heta te Haana a much respected Chief of the Ngatirangi branch of
the Ngapuhi tribe - Heta died some 3 years ago, about 56 years of
age, his father's name was Matahaea.
I regret much my inability to send you any further particulars
at present about Heta.
With regards, I remain,
Charles E. Nelson.
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