Ema Turumeke

Ema Turumeke was born at Kaitangata near Kaiapoi and later moved as a child with her family to Omihi south of Kaikoura. She lived with the Kurukau-puke-puke people and was captured by Te Rauparaha when he attacked Omihi.


  • "Narrative of the Battle of Omihi." As related by Ema Turumeke to her daughter, Mrs C.J. Harden. English trans. Mrs Harden. Journal of the Polynesian Society 3 (1894): 107-109.
  • C. J. Harden writes of her mother’s childhood reminiscences of living at Omihi at the time of Te Rauparaha’s raids on the South Island. Ema Turumeke and her mother were captured by Te Rauparaha and taken as prisoners to Makura where they managed to escape and miraculously elude their captors. They eventually arrived at Oamaru near Omihi where they were reunited with Ema’s father. An interesting eye-witness account from a young person’s perspective of Te Rauparaha’s raids.


  • 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. 90.