Tuhoto Ariki


Tuhourangi, Ngāti Tarawhai (? – 1886)

Iwi map - Tuhoto ArikiIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

The name of Tuhoto Ariki is synonymous with the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.1 Heavy showers of dust and pumice covered the landscape as far Whakatane and Opotiki and the explosive cannon sounds of the mountain erupting were said to have been heard as far away as Auckland. Tarawera had three craters that sent volleys of rocks, stones, fireballs and larva mud flying into the sky. The famed Pink and White Terraces of Rotomahana were destroyed; the vegetation was stripped and the village of Te Wairoa was completely devastated.

Tuhoto died soon after the 1886 Tarawera eruption which buried his kāinga. He survived for four days with no food and water and was rescued by Alfred Warbrick. The official death toll was put at around 150, but it is more likely between 108 and 120 people were killed. According to a Partridge family history, while he was recovering in Queen Elizabeth hospital in Rotorua, Henry Partridge visited Tuhoto and gave him a cigar.2


  1. Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard, 'Historic volcanic activity - Tarawera', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 2 March 2009, accessed 2 March 2010. For more information on the Tarawera eruption, view clips from the Richard Riddiford television documentary Tarawera, Messenger Films Ltd, 2000, NZ On Screen, accessed 2 March 2010.
  2. Eileen Clayton, Grompy: The Story of a Pioneer, 1959, unpublished, collection of the Partridge family.
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Pito korero about Latest comments about Tuhoto Ariki

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  • David Taylor - new zealander

    At 4pm on 3 October 2014

    If you want to consider my novel for radio NZ get in touch. I am able to read the story as installments. Welcome to view sample, or first three chapters Thanks

  • David Taylor - new zealander

    At 4pm on 3 October 2014

    He could talk to people you and I cannot see. A man with the ability to summon forces that exist within the quantum field and beyond our experience or understanding. He is blamed entirely for the eruption of Tarawera mountain. A Tohunga feared and respected. Put feared first. I have just written the/his entire story as a novel.

  • Shon Yde

    At 3pm on 5 December 2013

    It is an amazing portraitS one feels that the Rangatira is breathing and could step out of the computor into the room,incredible.

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