Himiona Kaamira

Te Tao Mauī, Ngāi Tai


Himiona Kaamira was born at Reena on the north side of the Hokianga harbour. "A chief of influence related to the tribes of Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngaati-Kahu, Ngaapuhi, and Ngaati-whaatua, his particular hapuu were Te Tao-maui (Mitimiti), Te Ihu-tai (Kohukohu), Ngai-tai and Ngaati-whakaeke (Kaikohe). He was the leader of the group of elders known in Hokianga as the waananga which met to discuss and reconcile the sometimes conflicting traditional accounts of the settling of the north by canoes from Hawaiki…. He died at Mitimiti on August 28th, 1953 aged about 83 years."

Biographical sources

  • Journal of the Polynesian Society 66 (1957): 216.


  • "Kupe/The story of Kupe: As Written Down by Himiona Kaamira." Na Himiona Kaamira, o Te Rarawa. Trans. Bruce Biggs. Journal of the Polynesian Society 66.3 (1957): 217-231 (Maori); 232-248 (English). Rpt. in Māori Is My Name: Historical Writings in Translation. Ed. John Caselberg. Dunedin, N.Z.: John McIndoe, 1975. 17-19.
  • This account chronicles various episodes in the life of Kupe including his work carving canoes for Toto’s daughters, Rongorongo and Kura-maro-tini, his love for Kura and his plot to kill Kura’s husband, Hoturapa, during a fishing excursion. Kaamira writes of Kupe’s journey to Aotearoa, his return to Hawaiki, and the fighting between Tama-te-kapua and Uenuku. The last section of this account is a detailed description of Kupe’s work with Toka-akuaku in preparing his canoe, Ngaa-toki, for his grandson Nuku-tawhiti to sail on to Aotearoa. Kaamira provides details of the ritual invoked onto the completed canoe and of Kupe’s teaching of the customs and rituals surrounding the building of canoes to Toka-akuaku. Kaamira concludes with Kupe’s directions to Nuku-tawhiti and Ruaa-nui on how to travel to Aotearoa. He describes the subsequent departure from Hawaiki of Ruaa-nui on the Maamari canoe and Nuku-tawhiti on Ngaa-toki and their arrival in Aotearoa.


  • Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon, Oxford UP, 1972. 79.