Mawhiti Tino Rawe

Mawhiti Tino Rawe

Crustacean celebrities of Aotearoa New Zealand on display at Te Awamutu Museum – Education & Research Centre now!

Crabs, shrimps, lobsters, barnacles, slaters and other crustaceans are the stars of a new mini exhibition presented by, NIWA and Te Papa.

Opening on 5th April 2024, Mawhiti Tino Rawe | Clever Crustaceans is a playful exploration of the bizarre and diverse world of five marine crustaceans. They can change their shape, circle the globe, and maybe even cure cancer – crustaceans are the unsung heroes of the sea.

NIWA scientists Rachael Peart and Kareen Schnabel worked with Te Papa experts to deliver this mini exhibition that showcases the importance and special capabilities of the ‘insects of the sea’.

“Crustaceans are arthropods, which means they have segmented bodies and exoskeletons just like insects, so I love describing them as the ‘insects of the sea’. They are captivating creatures. They have adapted to live in an incredible variety of habitats, from beaches and shallows, all the way down to the deepest ocean trenches,” said Dr Schnabel.

Hands-on interactives and real specimens explore the fascinating world and smart survival tricks of these unusual creatures. Take a digital deep dive into a special web hub to discover their superpowers.

“Following on from the success of the Colossal Squid exhibition, Mawhiti Tino Rawe – Clever Crustaceans is another great mini exhibition that is visually stimulating and cleverly created,” said Henriata Nicholas, exhibitions coordinator for the Te Awamutu Museum. “Visitors of all ages will learn something remarkable from this exhibition!”

“We’re thrilled to be able to highlight these unsung heroes of our ecosystem. We want visitors to touch, explore and discover these weird and wonderful crustaceans of Aotearoa New Zealand. We were inspired by the work of scientists to understand and protect these crustaceans and their homes, and we’re so excited to partner with NIWA on this special project,” said Dan Parke, Exhibition Experience Developer, Te Papa.

“We are telling the stories of some of our favourite critters. Visitors will learn about the ‘shapeshifter’ kōura with its unexpected life stages as a long-distance open-ocean wanderer, the lightning speed with which the native mantis shrimp spears its lunch, the exceptional eyesight of the open ocean Phronima amphipod – which is even being used in techniques to detect cancer in humans – and the radical changes barnacles have undergone to get their kai (food),” adds Dr Schnabel.

Image: Goose Barnacle Lepas anatifera with cirri extended to catch planktonic food by SeacologyNZ

Image: Rock lobster phyllosoma by Alexander Semenov

Image: Cluster of Goose Barnacles Lepas anatifera with cirri extended by SeacologyNZ

Image: Mantis shrimp larva captured in the Philippines by SeacologyNZ

Rahapa Te Hauata

Rahapa Te Hauata

Rahapa Te Hauata, Ngāti Apakura, pictured here holding a patu paroa whalebone club and wearing Victorian style dress. This photograph is from an original Tin-type and would have been taken in Rangiaowhia prior to 1864 when the area was prosperous. We’re not sure of the occasion, however, this photo and its subject holds significance to this district and Ngāti Apakura whānau whanui. Rahapa resided in Rangiaowhia, a thriving peaceful village a few kilometres east of Te Awamutu. The land was rich for agriculture with a very productive Māori mission. In the 1850’s it boasted one of the most industrious Māori -owned flour milling areas in the country.

In 1847, at the age of twenty-two, Rahapa married Irish-born farmer Thomas Power. Thomas was sent to Australia from his native Ireland in 1833 for sheep stealing. It is known he came to New Zealand around 1840, landing in Auckland, and made his way down country into the Waikato region. What is significant about this union is that it formed one of the first Māori-European families in the Waipā district.

Known for his agricultural skills, Governor Grey requested the couple work together to introduce local Māori to European farming practices. During the British invasion of the Waikato in 1864 Rangiaowhia was besieged. Rahapa and Thomas’ house was not attacked but afterwards, while Power was in Auckland with three of their five children, it was looted by soldiers.

He later charged Major Jackson of the Forest Rangers with trespass but lost the case as it was deemed that Rahapa’s land and house was part of Crown confiscations. Rahapa‘s account of events that took place at Rangiaowhia on and after 20th February 1864 deepens our perspective to the atrocities that happened.

Descendants of Rahapa and Thomas are still alive, some of which reside in the Waipā district today.

This is a translation of a letter, written in the Māori language, to His Excellency Sir George Grey by Father L. Vinay, Roman Catholic Priest at Rangiaowhia. As part of the British Crown invasion of the Waikato in 1864, Forest Ranges had sacked Rangiaowhia in February 1864. The letter is a heartfelt plea for help, describing in great depth the actions of soldiers upon Rahapa, her family, their house, stores and belongings during the taking of Rangiaowhia. In one part, Rahapa shares her dismay to a visiting Bishop, asking why soldiers would take her children’s books and clothes. Victims of Rangiaowhia fled to the Powers’ farm, and Rahapa describes the lack of support coming through for any of them. In fact at the end of this letter, it seems a year had now passed with still no help or communication about parcels of land in Rangiaowhia including the Power’s land, store and stock which had been part of the Forest Rangers soldiers compensation for their part in the invasion.


April 20th 1865

To the Governor,

Friend the Governor, salutation to you this is my word to you that you may hear me.

On the 16th July 1863, my husband Thomas Power left here for town with three of our children, leaving me and two, the youngest, behind; we were living comfortably at our home when on the 21st February 1864, a Sunday, the soldiers arrived at Rangiaowhia in the morning. Being in bed with my children, I was awakened by the noise of the guns. I got up, when out and put up a white flag on the top of our wooden house, only a few of the soldiers came to our house this day, but on the following morning, Monday a good many came. They commenced killing our fowls and pigs. I saw a black man amongst them with a stick in his hand killing the fowls, they took away with them a good many of our pigs and fowls on this day. On Tuesday morning a large number of them came, part of them commenced killing our pigs and fowls, the remainder broke open the house and store, and took away a great quantity of goods After breakfast others came and took away more goods, after we had repaired the boards of the house and store, broken by the soldiers, we went into the kitchen, not long after, a large number came they again broke open the house and store, which we had just repaired, went in, broke open the boxes, took our goods and even books including the book of our land and account books. I was then so frightened, almost fainting, my children crying and I not knowing what would happen to us, the soldiers cursing at me and my children and threatening that if I complained against them to the Officers, they, the soldiers, would come at night and kill us. I said if they left in peace and would not return, I would not speak against them to the Officers.

After dinner a European named Robert Moore came and a gentleman with him. Moore said “this is the Colonel of the soldiers, he wishes you, and your children, to go to Te Awamutu, the General will take care of you there”, I asked how will my children do for food? Again, I am not strong to carry them there. Moore answered, “If you consent to go the Colonel will send a dray for them – the old blind man, his lame old wife, some of your things”, I then gave my consent to go. The Colonel wrote a note and gave it to me, saying, “If any more of the soldiers come here to trouble you, show them this note.” After the Colonel and Moore left, some of the soldiers came. I showed them the Colonel’s note, a few of them remained to read it, whilst the largest number of them rushed into the house to see what they could find.

On Wednesday Bishop Selwyn came to see us, after salutations, he said, “My daughter are you the only persons that now remains in all this settlement? I answered, “I am.” He then asked me “where have the people gone to”. I answered that the women went after their husbands and the children followed their mothers, and I do not know how far they are gone. He then asked me, “Do the soldiers come to trouble you at night?” I said, no, but they do in the day time. He asked what do they come here for, I answered, they come for our pigs and fowls, and that they broke open our house and store, and took our goods, but that worse than all they took my children’s clothing. The Bishop then asked me “were there many goods in the house and store when your husband went to town?” I answered, “a great deal of property.” The Bishop then asked me, “Did the Māoris take any of your goods before the soldiers arrived”. I answered, they did not, only what they paid for in the amount of seven pounds.

The Bishop then said, you had better come with me to the Colonel, and we will tell him what you have now told me. I said the Colonel and European named Robert Moore were here yesterday, and the Colonel told me that a dray would be sent up to take my children, the old blind man, his old lame wife and some of our things goods to Te Awamutu. The Bishop said. “Do you wish to go down there?” I asked if Hohaia there? He told me he was, but said he had the same dangers that is here, and another thing, there is no empty house, for they are all full of soldiers, and moreover if you leave here and go to Te Awamutu, the soldiers will then pull down your wooden house and destroy your fences, it is better for you to remain in your own house. The Bishop then asked me if I had any utu. I said, “I have utu”. He then wrote on the doors of the house. After he had done writing, he greeted us with ‘food life” (communion), and told us that God would protect us.

Now Governor that is all I have to say about the coming of soldiers to Rangiaowhia, and the trouble that they have caused to me and my children at our place. It is not all that, but now, me and my children, five in number, are crying to you, for you and the person in New Zealand to do justice to Europeans and Māori alike. And now I have to tell you, that all Rangiaowhia is to be given to strange Europeans in our place. Where is them. O Govenor, that land for us to cultivate, and grow food on for me and my children? I do not believe that you would let me die for want of land to grow food upon, that is the reason I now cry to you.

But before I finish, I would ask you what is to be come of the old blind man Pura and his lame old wife? For I am the only person who has supported them since the soldiers took Rangiaowhia, but now I cannot support them any longer, as the Government has taken my land from me, on which I was born and reared, and which also belonged to my forefathers before me, none of whom have at any time fought against our Queen’s soldiers.

Rahapa Te Hauata

Aroha, Prosperity and Invasion

Aroha, Prosperity and Invasion

Rangiaowhia, a small journey east of Te Awamutu, was a thriving and productive village until 1864.  From the 1830’s Māori and invited European settlers worked collaboratively to develop this into one of the region’s most important agricultural areas.

One of the most significant relationships that nurtured prosperity for both Māori and settlers were between Rahapa Te Hauata and Thomas Power. The following is an extract from Thomas Power, set down by his son-in-law Thomas Moisley in 1938:

“In 1845 Sir George Grey sent Mr T Power to instruct the natives in agriculture and he made Rangiaowhia his headquarters. He brought down from Auckland horses, drays and ploughs, harrows, and cows. The first of these any sorts of implements in the Waikato. They used to bring goods up the Waipa River as far as the Puniu then up the Puniu River as far as what was the Ford Redoubt in the later years. Each settlement around Rangiaowhia and Pukeatua at that time was divided by a row of peach trees to mark their boundaries. That is how Rangiaowhia got such a name for peaches which were very luxurious in those days.”

Mr Power did not confine his efforts to Rangiowhia alone as there were a lot of large native settlements around. He used to visit pa situated on what is called Roto-o-Rangi, Pukekura, Maungatautari, Waimana, Aratetaha and up the Mangatutu stream, Korakonui and Mangarongi, and up the Waipa past Ōtorohanga. The countryside was full of settlements but Rangiaowhia was the most prosperous as they had more horses and implements than the others.”

“Under Thomas Power’s guidance a flour mill was erected on Rua-o-Tawhiwhi stream and a thriving farming industry established. In 1851 one hundred tons of flour from the district was sold in Auckland. With the proceeds horses, cattle, and machinery were purchased and each year a greater area of cultivation was developed.”

“As time went on more Europeans came and things were going on fine and prosperous until the trouble broke out between pāhekā and Māori, and all the white men that were living in the settlements were interred. When the troops came to Rangiaowhia Mrs Power went up a ladder with a child on her back and fixed a white flag on the chimney. It was a house of two storeys and stood on the left hand side of the road just past the first angle after leaving Hairini Cheese factory. When the officer in command found out who they were he put sentries on and they were never out any further than the garden til Mr Power came back.”

“After the war was over, all Rangiaowhia was cut up in soldier sections. Mr Power went to live in Kihikihi until Mrs Power died. She was a member of Ngāti Apakura. Mr Power died in Hamilton hospital in April 1897 and was buried at Rangiaowhia.”

Six months after Rahapa sent her letter to the Governor, Thomas sends this letter supporting Rahapa’s letter where she described the circumstances their family endured when Rangiaowhia was invaded. Thomas shared some of the court proceedings where he petitioned to gain compensation for the sacking of his farm and taking of stock and produce stating they had no way to support themselves and other whānau from Rangiaowhia.

This was a letter to a friend of the Powers who had employed them to develop a skill base to work the land which, through this training and support, created an economic return and distribution networks that reached as far as the Auckland product markets. After Rangiaowhia was sacked, the land lay ravaged, families had been moved off their working lands or their stock and ability to feed their families had been compromised. Along with the loss of skilled labour agricultural activities had slowed.

Sadly, there was a large proportion of Māori productive home lands that had been confiscated during the British Crown invasion of the Waikato, with no compensation.

Below is an excerpt from the Journals of the House of Representatives 1891, showing Thomas Power petitioning for the return of his land after Rahapa’s passing only to be rejected.

To his Excellency Sir George Grey

Governor of New Zealand


The humble petition of Thomas Power of Rangiaowhia upper Waikato – herewith that your petitioner has resided for the last twenty years at Rangiaowhia, where he has reared a family of five children and has lived comfortably and prosperously with until he was forced to go to Auckland on the 16th July 1863, on the breaking out of the war, taking three of his children with him, and leaving the other two with his wife at Rangiaowhia. That which your petitioner kept a store at Rangiaowhia for the last eighteen years, and at the time of his going to Auckland he left therein a large quantity of goods and was the owner of a very valuable property consisting of horses, cattle, fowls and pigs, (the later of which he made bacon for the Auckland markets) as also a great many farming implements, the whole of which he had to leave behind him at Rangiaowhia. That on your petitioners return on the 6th May 1864, he found that all his property, before name, had been either taken away or destroyed by the soldiers, which was explained in a letter in the Māori language addressed to your Excellency, by your petitioner’s wife during his absence from home dated 20th April 1865, a translation of which is here to answered.

That your petitioner referred his claim for compensation for the before named losses amounting in all to £1973 (pounds) – before Captain Beckham at the Compensation Court, but being unable to bring witnesses from Rangiaowhia, to substantiate this claims except three who happened to be in Auckland at the time, because of the want of the means, and his wife not being able to leave her family, your petitioner was unable to satisfy Capt. Beckham that some of his horses and cows were not still running at Rangiaowhia, and he has learned from the newspaper that in consequence of this Cap. Beckham has only awarded him the small sum of £356 (pounds) none of which is forthcoming.

That your petitioner has not since recovered any of the property lost during his absence. That when the troops arrived at Rangiaowhia on the 21st July 1864 during your petitioners forced absence, an old blind man and his wife, who came out of the whare in which the Native’s were burned, were sent by Lieut. General Cameron to your petitioner’s house for safety. General Cameron promising at the time that rations should be supplied for them, there and the, which promise was not fulfilled, nor could the petitioner, on his return, obtain any rations for them, although he made repeated applications, until 1st September 1865. Your petitioner having in the meantime a period of 18 months, had to keep and feed these poor old people solely at his own expense, not having received any assistance whatever, and that the hardship of the loss hereby incurred, is now especially severe.

The man and woman above referred to are mentioned in your petitioner’s wife’s letter before name. That 200 acres of land which has been in the possession of your petitioner’s wife and her forefathers generations, and which at the time of the first survey was allotted to your petitioner, and on which he has spent large sums of money in buildings, fencings, improving (O.C.) (E.C) has been cut up by the recent survey and allotted to men of Major Jackson’s company of Forest Rangers, and that your petitioner does not know they day when he may be ordered to leave the house he lives in and the ground he has cultivated, be taken from him by the person’s who have drawn it in their farm sections and, your petitioners after 20 years residence thrown upon the world without a home for himself and family he having being cautioned by Major Jackson of the Forest Rangers, not to cultivate or fence as the land has been drawn up for numbers of his company.

That your petitioner humbly praise that your Excellency will mercifully consider the peculiar hardships of his case, and that you will in your wisdom order such steps to be taken, as will secure him a recompense for the great losses he has sustained during the war, he being greatly reduced in circumstances and having a large family to maintain and that you will be pleased to prevent himself and family being turned out of their house and home, as afford him some other means of supporting them, and is duty bound your petitioner will forever pray.

Thomas Power


25th October 1865

Echo Expo 2024 Post

Celebrate Children’s Day with Tui & Tama’s Eco Expo

We are celebrating Children’s Day on Sunday 3 March 2024 with the return of our FANTASTIC Tui & Tama’s Eco Expo. It’s shaping up to be even bigger and better than our last one so come on down to this FREE event and find out about all the awesome mahi being done in our community to help our native plants and animals thrive.
Activities for January and February

Activities for January and February

To celebrate the holidays, welcome to our creative activities!

Tui & Tama’s friends have had a great time over the past 6 months with you completing your activity passports.
So, to welcome in the New Year, Tui & Tama are hosting some of your favourite creative activities!
  • When: For the month of January and February 2024!
  • Where: Te Awamutu Museum – Education & Research Centre
  • Location: 55 Rickit Road, Te Awamutu
  • Ages: Children 7 years+
  • Adult supervision required!
  • No skills necessary!
  • Admission: FREE
  • FREE to all visitors!
  • If you’re not a Tui & Tama Club member, you can sign up anytime for FREE!

Something big and wonderful is making it’s way to us in January 2024!

The wide world of Dinosaurs and our Tupuna’s Te Ao Māori world view of the mighty Taniwha and Ngarara legends!

A special event hosted by Te Awamutu Museum – Education & Research Centre! More info to come!