Kaikohe and Waitangi - a close connection
Kaikohe East School has a very close connection to Waitangi. The district of Kaikohe was hometown to Hōne Heke Pōkai, the first rangatira to sign Te Tiriti/The Treaty here at Waitangi on the 6th February 1840. Year 6 students enjoyed our He Tohu activity, designing a unique tohu (mark or sign) to represent themselves and signing a class sheet using a feather quill pen just like the Māori rangatira (chiefs) did when they signed Te Tiriti.
This lovely group was immersed in exploring Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi and discovered the Treaty signature of the legendary Hōne Heke (signed as Hone Heke). They also found his signature on another important document, He Whakaputanga (The Declaration of Independence), signed here at Waitangi in 1835. Students were fascinated by his very special personal taonga (treasured objects) on display.
Hōne Heke, of the Ngāpuhi iwi (tribe) had ties to the hāpu (tribal groups) of Te Matarahurahu, Ngāti Rāhiri, Ngāi Tawake and Ngāti Tautahi. At the time of the Treaty meetings, their sphere of influence spread from Kororāreka (Russell), Paihia and Waitangi in the Bay of Islands inland to Te Waimate and Kaikohe, where Heke was based. This area included three British mission stations at Paihia, Kerikeri and Te Waimate – and the French Catholic mission at Kororāreka. Heke later became a leading opponent of the British rule.
Thanks to Kaikohe East School (Room 14) for taking part in our Education Experience – hoki mai atu!
Read the bibliography of Hōne Heke
26/11/2020 Imogen Rider