Eru Tamaikoha Te Ariari


Ngāti Tama, Ngāi Tuhoe ( ? - 1915)

Iwi map - Eru Tamaikoha AriariIWI / HAPU AFFILIATIONS

Eru Tamaikoha belonged to the Ngāti Tama hapu of Waimana. His father was Te Ariari o Tu and his mother was Tiramate. Tamaikoha could trace his whakapapa back to the original people of Te Urewera, Te Hapuoneone.  Tamaikoha was a significant Tuhoe leader whose generation fought tirelessly to prevent the loss of land to Government forces. He experienced the intense loss of political and social autonomy and later suffered the same indignity experienced by other leaders of having to prove who he was, where his lands were and why he should be able to retain them. Eru was also known as Erueti Tamaikoha.

Tamaikoha visited Auckland as a defence witness in the case of Regina versus Himiona, a sensational trial involving witchcraft and murder. The Bay of Plenty Times reported the visit:

The renowned fighting chief of Te Urewera arrived yesterday per Rowena from Opotiki en route for Auckland, as a witness for, the defence in the case, of Regina vs Himiona, the Te Teko murderer. We advise; our Auckland: friends who have not yet seen a real specimen of the cannibal to interview Mr Tamaikoha during his stay in their city; This native has never, been to sea before either in a canoe or a boat, and expresses the greatest wonder at the steamer Rowena.1

Perhaps Lindauer took the opportunity to attend the proceeding and create this portrait of Tamaikoha. This portrait was painted in 1903 and Tamaikoha died on 5 September 1915. 2



  1. Bay of Plenty Times article quoted in: ‘Page 3 Advertisements Column 4’, Timaru Herald, vol XXIV, issue 1394, 17 April 1876, p 3, Papers Past, accessed 3 March 2010.
  2. Judith Binney, Encircled Lands: Te Urewera, 1820-1921, Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2009.
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