DEATH OF WAHANUI.
A FAMOUS MAORI CHIEF.
One of the old native chiefs whose name will be well remembered
by pioneer colonists who were here during the war died yesterday in
the Waikato, namely Wahanui, the principal chief of the
Ngatimaniapoto. Wahanui was a great orator and a man of
considerable influence amongst the Maoris. For a long time he was
one of King Tawhiao's principal advisors, and during the Waikato
war fought well in defence of his country, being wounded at
Rangiaowhia. Later on Wahanui seceded from the King, but still
possessed considerable influence, and was instrumental in opening
up the King Country. In 1881 the Hon. John Bryce, then Native
Minister, had an interview with Wahanui at Kihikihi, the result
being the opening up of the main trunk line of railway through the
King country. In consideration of these services Wahanui was given
a gold free pass on the railways and allowed a pension of £100 a
year for life. In 1883 Wahanui went to Wellington with a petition
from the Waikato natives on the land question. Wahanui was about 70
years of age and leaves no children. The cause of death was a
tumour on the neck. A little while ago Wahanui came down to
Auckland to see if this could be removed, but the doctors said he
was too old to warrant the operation being attempted. The deceased
was a fine specimen of a Maori chief, brave in the field and wise
in council. When others were objecting to the railway, Wahanui saw
the advantage it would be to his people, and advocated the matter
so strongly that the line became an accomplished fact.
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