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Tokena Te Kerehi was a rangatira of Ngāti Turamakina. His
mother was Tokotoko and his father was Herea. Herea lived in the
fortified pā Waitahanui, at the mouth of the
Tongariro River. He ruled wisely over Ngāti Tuwharetoa for many
Tokena Te Kerehi was the younger brother of Te Heuheu Tukino II
(Mananui), who was killed in the great landslide at Te Rapa,
Tokaanu in 1846. The natural disaster struck on 7 May and Mananui
was killed by a landslide which swept down Kakaramea mountain after
heavy rain that overwhelmed Te Rapa. Tokena Te Kerehi survived the
The name Te Heuheu was given to Mananui, Herea's eldest son and
his first wife, Rangiaho. Herea himself, after becoming paramount
leader, was widely known as Rangimaheuheu, which became Te Heuheu.
From that time on the name has been given to the oldest in the
family's male line in each generation. Herea died at Waitahanui
probably in the early 1820s.2
Te Kerehi died in 1904 at Waihi near Tokaanu reputedly aged over
90 years old.3 This portrait
was painted in 1903.
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Contributed story - Tokena Te Kerehi
Ariana Ngaruhe on
26 July 2012
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He was sitting in a box outside the Salvation Army store when my
mother-in-law noticed him and asked to take the portrait home. It
was then given to me eight years ago. I am glad that because of
this website, I now know Tokena is his ingoa. Thank you.