Te Haupapa-o-Tane

Ngāti Uenuku


Te Haupapa-o-Tane came from Orongonui, Whanganui, and was the son of Te Haemata-o-Tu and Hine-rauangiangi. "He belonged to the Ngāti-Uenuku tribe of Tuhua, and had been taught in the whare-wānanga in his youth. He was anxious to ensure that his knowledge (which he proposed to communicate) should be presented to the Society during his life, because he had no descendants of his own to whom he could entrust this knowledge."

Biographical sources

  • Te Haupapa-o-Tane. "Io, The Supreme God, And Other Gods Of The Māori." Journal of the Polynesian Society 29 (1920): 140.


  • "Io, The Supreme God, And Other Gods Of The Māori." Journal of the Polynesian Society 29 (1920): 139-143.
  • This is the English translation of a letter which, according to the Polynesian Society editors, was received ‘from an old and learned man of the Tuhua country, situated on the upper branches of the Whanganui river.’ The editors continue ‘[t]he origin of this letter was this: The writer - Te Haupapa-o-Tāne - was, in 1908, a very old man who had heard of the work of the Polynesian Society with approval, and desired to become a member. But alas! before the letter welcoming his joining us reached him, the old man died. His letter whilst containing the full confirmation of much that is to be found in our "Memoirs," Vol. III, is written to show his qualifications as a member of the Society.’ In this letter Te Haupapa-o-Tane discusses five different names of Io-matua, lists the twelve heavens and twelve Apas or messengers of the heavens and writes of the separation of Rangi-takataka and Papa-tiraharaha and the resulting division amongst their family. Te Haupapa-o-Tane also tells of the Tane and Te Ika-a-Whiro seeking to gain the Knowledge from Tikitiki-o-rangi - the highest heaven, and Tane obtaining the baskets of wananga, whatus, [sacred stones] and the sacred fire ahead of his elder brother.


  • Taylor, C. H. R. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon; Oxford UP, 1972. 60.