Ngawaero was the younger wife of Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Māori King.

Biographical sources

  • "Ngawaero’s Patere/Te Patere a Ngawaero." Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 20-22.


  • "Ngawaero’s Patere/Te Patere a Ngawaero." Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 20-22. In Māori with English translation based on Pei Te Hurinui Jones’ translation.
  • The Te Ao Hou notes state that ‘patere are fast, vigorous chants, accompanied by lively gestures and facial expressions, which were usually composed as a reply to insults. Often, as here, the song takes its audience on an imaginary journey, giving the names of influential people related to the singer.’ Pei Te Hurinui Jones gives a full explanation of this song in his book King Potatau, (pp.134-146), and the musical transcription of the song, recorded by Mervyn McLean, can be found in Te Ao Hou 51 (1965): 25-27. In this patere, Ngawaero responds to an insulting remark made by Kukutai who, when attending Ngawaero’s wedding banquet, observed the lack of huahua or preserved birds, which were a great delicacy. Feeling great shame and conscious of the damage to the mana of her people, Ngawaero arranges for her relatives to snare many birds and present them at a tribal meeting held in Whatiwhatihoe.