RC2009/2/07/04 - Newspaper article 2



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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