Tamati Rihara Poata

Te Whānau a Rua, Ngāti Porou

Tamati Poata came from Te Kaha and was known as Tame and sometimes as Tamati. He has been described as "probably the last of the old ‘tohunga ta moko’ and he carved several meeting houses which still stand today.’ He is buried at Mataora Bay in the Coromandel. His diary and notes were utilised by Sir Peter Buck in his research and are kept as tapu taonga within his whanau. He is the grandfather of Tama Poata and was featured in Michael King’s Moko.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Tama Poata Feb. and 5 Apr. 1998.


  • The Māori as a Fisherman and His Methods. Ōpōtiki, N.Z.: Scott & Sons, 1919. Rpt. Te Aroha News, 1929. No details. Rpt. Papakura, N.Z.: Southern Reprints, [19--?].
  • A detailed account written in an anecdotal style of the traditional fishing methods of the Māori and specific instructions on how to catch the kahawai, maomao, hapuku, moki, kehe, tarakihi, te kumukumu, eels, tohora and koura.


  • 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. 108.