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Te Poihipi Tūkairangi : te poutokomanawa o Ngāti Ruingārangi : Te Poihipi Tūkairangi : the central support post of his hapū Ngāti Ruingārangi : submitted in fulfilment of the requirement of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Te Uru Maraurau, School of Māori, Bicultural & Multicultural Education, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This thesis explores the leadership of Te Poihipi Tūkairangi of Ngāti Ruingārangi from the northern shores of Lake Taupō in the mid to late nineteenth century. Drawing on Native Land Court minutes and other historical sources, the study broadens the focus of Ngāti Tūwharetoa history to include Te Poihipi‘s contribution to leadership during a period of considerable change in the rohe.
The study shows Te Poihipi on his own terms and illustrates how he dealt with various challenges by taking the initiative, in seeking to acquire a mission in the district, in charting a path between Te Kīngitanga, conflict, and cooperation with the government, in choosing carefully who to support during armed conflicts, in encouraging Pākehā involvement in the district, and in selling land and supporting tourism. Te Poihipi provides an excellent example of a chief, in consultation with his people, adjusting leadership roles to benefit the hapū.
The study seeks to show how at least one Ngāti Tūwharetoa tūpuna and one Ngāti Tūwharetoa hapū have been misrepresented in an historical context by exploring the ways they used a variety of strategies, including so called ―loyalism‖, to maintain their mana and their autonomy, and to utilise Pākehā to retain their rangatiratanga.
The study has wider ramifications beyond Ngāti Ruingārangi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa, because the approach adopted in this thesis may be taken up by Māori scholars whose tūpuna have been labelled as ―kūpapa‖ or ―loyalists‖ or pro-Pākehā, and can, using this study as a starting point, to look at the complexities of how their tūpuna made decisions and alliances to maintain their own mana and rangatiratanga.