Te Kahui Kararehe

Ngāti Haupoto, Taranaki

1846 - 1907

Ailsa Smith writes that "Te Kahui wrote extensively to Percy Smith, and provided him with information about the Taranaki tribe which Smith later used in his book, History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast."

Biographical sources

  • Songs and Stories of Taranaki:/He Tuhituhinga Tai Hau-a-uru. Ed. and trans. Ailsa Smith from the writings of Te Kahui Kararehe of Rahotu, Taranaki. Christchurch, N.Z.: Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, U of Canterbury, 1993. xii.


  • "The Kurahoupo Canoe." Trans. S. Percy Smith. Journal of the Polynesian Society 2 (1893): 186-191.
  • This article includes Māori text by Kararehe and English translation by S. Percy Smith. Kararehe writes of the destruction of the Kurahaupo canoe at Hawaiki; this necessitated the transfer of its chiefs Te Moungaroa, Turu, Akurama-tapu and Tukapua and others to the Mata-atua canoe in order to travel to New Zealand. Te Moungaroa carried the sacred Kura with him which Kararehe states aroused jealousy in other tribes. After landing on the East Coast of the North Island, Te Moungaora found that that region was already settled by other tribes, so he and Turu settled in Taranaki. S. Percy Smith adds a note on various explanations of the meaning of Kura.
  • "Te Tatau-o-Te-Po/ Te Tatau-o-Te-Po (The Door of Hades or Death)" Trans. S. Percy Smith. Journal of The Polynesian Society 7.26 (1898): 55-63.
  • In this story Kararehe writes of the visit of Ihenga and Rongomai and a party of seventy to Te Tatau-o-Te-Po, house of Miru. They made this visit in order to study witchcraft, incantations and history. He describes their subsequent difficulties in returning home. S. Percy Smith writes that this story ‘is probably a corruption of the original myth brought by the Polynesians from the far West, from India, or some other part of Asia, and has, in the process of time, become intermixed with the actual adventures of the noted ancestor Ihenga and Rongomai’.
  • Other

  • Ko Ngaa Tuhituhi a Te Kaahui Kararehe o Taranaki ki a Te Mete 1893-1906. He mea whakaemi naa Ruka Broughton. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, N.Z., 1984. He Whakairiwhare Na. 4.
  • Transcriptions of letters written in Māori by Te Kaahui Kararehe to Te Mete (S. Percy Smith) compiled by Ruka Broughton.
  • Songs and Stories of Taranaki/ He Tuhituhinga Tai Hau-a-uru. Ed. Ailsa Smith. Christchurch, N.Z.: Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, U of Canterbury, 1993.
  • Smith writes that this publication includes some of the writings from a collection of manuscripts written by her great-grandfather and his brother, Poukohatu Te Kahui Kararehe and Taurua Pororaiti Minarapa. Smith adds that each of the eleven chapters ‘consist of one of more Māori texts and translation, each with [their] own introduction’. Notes are also included at the conclusion of each chapter. Smith states that ‘Taurua appears to have concentrated [in the writings] on waiata and imaginative narrative, while Te Kahui recorded more in the way of whakapapa, tribal histories and political comment.’


  • 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. 60, 120.