TO THE                

       LEFT OF VENUS       

                   by Jill Kemp


                                                                  Ngahiraka Kennedy 1842 - 1890

                                                                                           Photograph from Tairawhiti Museum Collection Gisborne. Circa 1880s.

To all family members. If your name has not been included and you are connected to these families, you need to be aware that as more information was unearthed, this project took on a life of its own and became far more extensive than was first envisaged. As the descending generations widened, it has been necessary to keep focused on the direct descendants to our son-in-law Chris, as was originally intended. In so doing, you will still be able to trace your family history, but we have not been able to record all the branch line names and we have had to produce four booklets to contain all the material. You will be able to obtain, from us, those ones relevant to your own family. We have tried to avoid embarrassing anyone and have only been able to include material to hand. Should you see any errors please send us the correct information and if you have material to add to the history we expect that this will be the First Edition!


* South To The Left Of Venus. Book 1.
   Scottish & Maori Ancestry of Joseph & Ngahiraka Kennedy.
* HMS Buffalo . - Relates to Book 1. Kennedy, Smith,
Bob & Jill  Kemp
17 Jacob St ,
Urban Ridge
Brookfield 3110
07 5622 507                  

Kia Ora.

Your  name is Chris  Metcalfe and you are of Whakatohea ki

Opotiki descent from the hapu of Whanau-a-Muriwai.

 Meet Your Ancestors

Compiled for Chris Metcalfe

The family somehow lost an irreplaceable photograph of your Great, Great, Grandmother, a beautiful young Maori woman with a moko on her chin.  It seemed sad that we would never know who she was or what she looked like, but miraculously a picture was found in a locket now owned by Betty Schroder and so this project was begun. A huge contribution has been made to this history by Olive and Camarita Hartog, who have generously shared information painstaking researched in Maori Archives. Thank-you to Jan Smith for rescuing documents from June Smith's knitting bag! Other members of the family including your Mum & Dad, Dallas, Paul, Clive and Jim Peapell (with helpful records from Daphne’s Bible) Robert & Lynn Stevenson, Hazel McDonald and Wendy Webster have contributed old photographs or documents and recorded their early  memories.  The series covers a period of 6 centuries and reaches from Northern Ireland,  Scotland and England to Tahiti and New Zealand. Recorded are 29 generations including your children.

             By Bob & Jill.                                                                               17th July, 2002

From Tahiti during the 14th Century.                   

Muriwai (female) is the Eponymous ancestor of the

WHAKATOHEA Tribe of Opotiki       
The ancestral canoes to which the WHAKATOHEA Tribe relate:
                            Mataatua   Canoe                                                                                   
                                    Nukutere Canoe
                       Pakihikura Canoe
                       Te  Arautauta Canoe
                       Rangimatoru Canoe
 Your family descends from Muriwai,  sister of Toroa the Araki  (superior Chief who migrated to Aotearoa.)   

Your Whakapapa begins 8 generations BEFORE the arrival of the Mataatua Canoe!

Pae-rere-i-waho - Awa-morehurehu (Visited Hawaiki)
Irekewa  (Hikoroa) +  Waiakewa (F) (of Havaii)  
*Toroa (captain of Mata-ataua Canoe circa 1350)
       *Muiriwai    F.                       muri -back;  wai - water    ( the sister of Toroa  also on the Mata-atua Canoe)
        Rangikurukuru                      rangi -sky;     kuru -sob
        Whakauerehe (Whakakaueriri)  Waikura                                   wai - water;  kura - rusty
        Tamateahunaro                       hunaroa—hid a long time            Maiwakitenukuroa
        Hinewai                                  hine— maiden;  wai—ater
        Kuraawherangi - Tamahaua   plume of Wherangi                       Pakakura
        Kahopu                                    to catch                       
        Kawaihop                                to leave
        Te Ururehe
        Te Maunga                             the mountain            Kawa
        Hotu                        to beat or sob 
 *Waitangi Rangiwhue  known as Materena Waitangi + Wood;  Tako         *[Ngapuhi—Whakatohea & Ngati Poru]
  F. Kawaiho     F. Maupunarua    F. Ngahiraka        F. Kateruri                      
              Harriet Bond Kennedy    +       Eric Trevor Bond Smith   
  Leone Rosa Smith
          Christopher  Stephen Metcalfe
             Teegan Natalie,  Jayden Christopher

The Great Migration.

Since Kupe returned to his homeland of Tahiti after discovering Aotearoa over 1,000 years ago,  there had been many migrations to the new land, navigating by the stars as he had instructed. Many must have perished undertaking the voyage but by the fourteenth century tribes were well established through out the country. People returned from time to time with stories of this new land and a great migration was planned. The account below gives us a glimpse of history and the amazing journey undertaken by these courageous ancestors of yours.

The  Mataatau  your Ancestral Canoe.

Traditional oral history says that during the Great Migration undertaken during the fourteenth  century,  the Te Arawa,  Tainui and Mataatau  canoes along with  others  of the fleet, sailed for Aotearoa.  They left from Havaii, an island situated on the lee side of Tahiti and known today as Raiatea. At that time the island was the religious and cultural center of Polanesia; and at Opoa, on its southern end, the center of Government was established. There too stood the celebrated temple of Taputaputea. It appears that the reason for the migration was over-population and increasing tribal warfare.

For this particular migration two giant  trees were chosen  for a double canoe that  was to take selected representatives of the tribe to the “ land of Kupe covered in the mist in Tiritiri o te moana, the great open sea that lies to the south." Special rites were performed, tapu  lifted and the work began. The two hulls, roughly shaped, were hauled into the open for finishing off and the addition of fittings.  In the course of time, the craftsmen with their rude and blunt stone axes produced a masterpiece of art, carved and beautifully inlaid. It was a two masted vessel with a thatched deckhouse built amidships. This is  similar to the Te Arawa, a magnificent double canoe.   


                               Bailer                                                                                    Stone Anchor

The vessel was equipped with paddles, bailers (left) and stone anchors,  painstakingly drilled. Triangular lateen sails were made of woven coconut fibre. When the sails were required, each was rigged with the apex towards the bow and the yardarm slung from the mast. At the appropriate time, invocations were offered up to Tane to endow the sails with strength to endure fierce gales.


Prayers of protection and blessings were offered over every part of the preparation, down to the most minute detail. Everyone was involved in contributing their skills to the work.  When the canoe was ready for launching, special  skids were laid down and the warriors of the tribe assembled to haul it to the sea with chanting  and prayers. After more ceremony the vessel slid quietly into the sea and was tested until the crew were satisfied with its seaworthiness. It  was drawn up onto the beach and the ceremonial feasting began. What celebration!  


             Fish Hook                                                                                    Maori Paddle

 But there was more yet to be done to be prepared for any eventuality that may arise during a long, strenuous ocean voyage. Stowed in the vessel were long necked gourds filled with drinking water; fish dried in the sun; poi wrapped tightly in leaves to protect it from heat and salt water. Fishing gear, lines of fibre and woman's hair; shell hooks for bonito;  wooden hooks tipped with shell, for shark; fine nets for flying fish and sea birds; fishing spears and much other necessary equipment were all loaded and safely secured, including caged birds and dogs. Each man was carefully chosen for his strength and power to endure with little to eat and less water to drink under the hot sun of the day and cold of night. Not only had these men to possess such stamina but also had to prove themselves skilled in the handling of a craft, adept at snaring seabirds and fishing; expert at mending sails, joining and splicing ropes, sewing together of planks. Months were spent in practicing and preparing for the numerous tasks each was responsible for. Typically there would be about 52 oarsmen or more, 4 to prepare food, 2 in  charge of the anchor, 4 for the ropes, 2 for steering and 2 appointed to keep the fire smouldering (no small undertaking in a wooden boat without the aid of any  metal container and contending with wind and  water)  until at last the day came when the weather gods smiled, the wind and tide were right and all the stars were aligned correctly. One can only begin to imagine the great ceremonies for protection and guidance (including human sacrifice) performed as time drew near for the perilous voyage to begin. Amongst the leading men who sailed from Hawaiki on the Mataatua where Toroa the Araki (Superior Chief) son  of  Hikaroa  (Irakewa) and his brothers Puhi and Taneatua. Tama-K-Hikurangi was appointed Tohunga and Navigator. The women included Tora’s sister Muriwai  and his daughter Wairaka. The fleet sailed south west  and after many days arrived at Rarotonga in the Cook group, where their food and water supplies were replenished and minor repairs affected. It is said that they left from the mouth of a stream called Waitekura.  The Navigator, to quote tradition, "understood the language of the stars”  and kept the prow pointed in the direction that  was a little to the left of the setting sun.  He was acquainted with the prevailing winds of the seasons and the stars that were visible each month. He knew that when his ancestors had sailed from the north to Hawaiki new constellations appeared over the horizon; and that when they reached the Pito-o-watea (equator) they lost sight of the north star. Then the south star, with the constellation of Humu would appear as their guide. He also knew that the voyages to the south of Hawaiki were carried out between December and March when the north west trade winds were strongest. Kupe's sailing instructions were that from Rarotonga the course to Aotearoa was a little to the left of Venus in the month of February.  Navigators where schooled  with a wealth of knowledge, knowing  the names of more than 200 stars and heavenly bodies and understanding prevailing currents or  wind direction with amazing accuracy. The canoe would leave in the day, setting a course by aligning two prominent land features (hills, tree or headlands) that were appropriate for the particular trip. At sea, the stars were the Tohunga’s principal tool. He would identify one star near the horizon ahead and near the horizon astern, using these positions to  keep the canoe on course. During the day he resorted to less accurate methods such as observation of the sun and the direction of wind and waves. Nearing journey’s end he kept watch for tell tale signs of land, noting differences in wave patterns, phosphorescence and the color of the water; the presence of birds and coastal fish, seaweed, floating leaves and driftwood; land cloud, smoke and even the smell of land. With these signs he could detect land 40 or 50 kilometres away. Without  written language  much  was  memorized in word pictures, chant and song of the stars to navigate by.


You came hither from the realm of Rigel,
From the assembly of Pleiades,
From Jupiter and from Poutu-te-rangi [Antares]
These alone, O child, are the stars
Which provide food at Aotea.

                                Octopus                                                                                               Compass

In the years since  Kupe’s  discovery, many tribes had migrated to Aotearoa and some had even made the return voyage back to Hawaki in search of Kumera and Taro; men like your ancestor Hikoroa  (Irakewa) who’s family then made the journey back  to Aotearoa  in the Mataatau canoe.

 The Te Arawa, Tainui and Mataatau canoe and  others of the Main Fleet, rendezvoused at Great Mercury Island and there decided plans for settlement in the new land. As a result, the island was called Ahuahu, meaning “to shape a course.” It is recorded that the Te Arawa canoe, amongst others, also touched in at Cuvier Island and released two birds.  Tradition says that this was done to forecast the winds for future voyagers.  They also encountered  a severe storm during the voyage and lost cargo and were in peril of their lives. This was of course “the wrath of the gods for someone’s wrong doing!”  It is thought that the Tainui and Te Arawa canoes where in fact one double canoe lashed together with a platform connecting them and people living under shelter. Before arriving in New Zealand the canoes were un-lashed. Much traditional history is common to both canoes. Between November and February, when the red Pohutakawa tree was in bloom, the Mataatau canoe arrived at Whangaporoa, the harbour of the Whale, north east of the present town of Opoitki. There had already been tribes settled there for several generations. When the sea-worn voyagers arrived, prayers and offerings (including human sacrifice)  were made for their safe arrival:  

I arrive where unknown earth is under my feet,
I arrive where new sky is above me;
I arrive at this land, a resting place for me.
O Spirit of the Earth!
The stranger humbly offers
His heart as food for thee!

 Chief Toroa  was a Tohunga with extraordinary powers and he was asked to assist the Te Arawa canoe, with over 100 men and women aboard, which had landed before them and become stuck. Toroa accompanied them to where it was stranded and recited this incantation:     

Whakamoe, whakamoe au maroro whenua,
There is sleeping over the desolate land
Hina, pera, hoki ra
As seen in the glimmering light.
Ko Ruiho,
There is Ruiho,
Ko Ruake,
There is Ruake,
Ko Manu,
There is Manu,
Ko Weka,
There is Weka,
There is TOROA,
Ko Ruaihona,
There is Ruaihona,
Ko Tahingaotera
There is the slanting ray of the sun.
Tenei te maro ka huru,
Here is the loincloth of hair,
Huruhuru nui no te wahine,
Of thick woman’s hair.
Tutapori atu, tutapori mai,
It moves that way and this way.
Wero noa, wero noa,
He prods and again he prods,
Wero noa, Tamatekapua
Tamarekapua prods
I tona rakau.
With his staff.
I te rakau na wai?
Whose staff is it?
I te rakau ne tipua;
It belongs to a genie;
I tiki  ki Hawaiki.
And obtained from Hawaiki.
I homai nei rakau mo taku waka
It is given as a staff
Mo Waimimiha
For my canoe Waimimiha
I mate i Tukaniwha,
It died at tutaniwha,
I mate Tutatua.
It died at Tutaua.
Whano! Whano!
Proceed! Proceed!
Haramai te toki,
Come hither the axe!
The bow of the canoe!
Hui e,
All together!
Taiki e!
      There she floats!    
 Te Kapooterangi. 


The Te Ararwa canoe then moved on to Maketu and the Mataatua to Whakatane. Chief Toroa’s father, Hikoroa [Irakewa] had visited New Zealand on a previous expedition and married a chieftainess from the Bay of Plenty and taken her back to Hawaiki. As the canoe was departing for Aotearoa he called to Toroa,  “When you reach your new home, watch out for a place on the east coast where the waterfall cascades down a high cliff near the sea, where the mouth of the river gives good anchorage and where a cave in the cliff provides good shelter, establish your people there.” He was of course referring to Whakatane, the Wairere falls just above the township and the cave which is known as  Te Ana O  Muriwai..” This ancient landmark has been preserved at Whakatane and has been “Tapu” (sacred) for many generations. Muriwai, the sister of Toroa the Chief of the Mataatua canoe, was  a woman of great mana (prestige.) She occupied this cave after their waka  (canoe)  arrived from Hawaiki in the fourteenth century. It bears her name to this day:

After the voyage from Hawakii, when the Mataatau canoe arrived in Whakatane, in the excitement of landing  only its stern was brought up on the shore. Next morning the waves were washing over the vessel and Wairaka called a warning but the men were intent on exploring their new land and they took no notice. Wairaka had to secure the waka herself, having first remarked, "Oh, I must make myself a man!"  (E, kia whakatane au i hau!)  This, it is said, is how Whakatane gained its name.

A Legend says that still preoccupied with exploration, Toroa forgot to perform the ritual to mark their safe arrival. Muriowai  had to do this herself, though it was the wrong thing for a woman to do. Back in Hawaikii their mother, Waiakewa, sensed  that  something was amiss and set out for Whakatane.  She made the voyage on the trunk of a Manuka tree, and on her safe arrival she planted the tree on a mound on the foreshore. It became a “mauri” of the Mataatua peoples, a potent force referred to in songs and healing rituals. Toroa and many of his family remained at Whakatane but one of his brothers, Puhi, sailed north with others and became an important ancestor in the far north.  Meanwhile, another brother Taneatua, set out to explore the hinterland with his wife Hine-Mataroa.  (Some say it was Muriwai and not Wairaka who saved the canoe and spoke the words that gave Whakatane its name.)

Descendants of the chiefs and chieftainesses of the Mataatua canoe eventually formed themselves into three main tribes and those tracing descent from Muriwai (F.) became known as the Whakatohea.  Some historians say that it should be Waka- to- hea and they attribute the origin of the name to the strife that took place between Toroa, Muriwai and Puhi-Kai-Ariki  when they were arguing whether the canoe should remain at Whakatane or go north. “Te waka tohea” means "the canoe contended for.”  The contention over the canoe was a result of the youngest of the three brothers, PuhiI-KaiI-Ariki, neglecting to recite incantations during the planting season of the Kumera and taking charge of the work himself, ignoring the specific instructions given by Hikoroa (Irakewa) before they left Hawaikii. The three brothers argued and when PuhiI-Kai-Ariki  saw that they  sided against him he stood up in anger and sang the following song, the interpretation of which is:

A bird with a small and large throat (referring to  Toroa)
Sits on yonder hill.
For here is food abandoned
And strewn on TU in anger.
A homeless man travels inland (referring to Taneatua)
And he sees nothing
There is an abundance of food on Toroa:
It is excreta of a war party
To be consumed in the wilderness.
But why should my supplies be exhausted?
I will provide for the seventh and eight months
And for the rest of the year.
We will also have remnants of food for the autumn.
I hear the planting chants resound,
But your food is toroa (Albatross)
And a taiko  (Black Petral.)

The song contained jeering remarks intended for Taneatua and the insults to Toroa  the Ariki (chief) of the tribe.  Toroa retaliated by belittling his youngest  brother:

The Ko (spade) works above, below and aside;
The water rises and all is we
To whom does the water belong?
To Uru-mananawa.
It was struck and parted
With the ake-rautang! (wooden weapon)
And TU descended to tauaraia.
O PUHI! You are fallen!
The twice drinker of the sea!


In anger the jealous Puhi  seized the canoe. With his followers he sailed to the northern parts of the island and settled there. The vessel was finally taken to Matauri Bay and paddled up the Takou stream about three miles from the mouth.

There it was put away. The other two tribes becoming Tuhoe and Ngati Awa. The Whakatoea settled on the coastal lands from Opape (your ancestor’s land)  to the eastern shores of Ohiwa harbor. There is a saying of the Ngati Awa which defines the limits of the Mataatua canoe territory, " It is “Mai Tikirau ki nga kuru a Wharei." (From Tikirau to the dogs of Wharei.)  Tikirau is a point near Cape Runaway and Nga Kuri is a crop of rocks outside the Tauranga  harbor which in some respects resemble dogs, and when the waves break against them the noise is like the barking of dogs.

At Whakatane there is a flat rock opposite the Pohaturoa Rock where the City Council Offices are at present situated. Before the land was reclaimed, this rock was by the water's edge and was a place where councils of war were held. Grave issues of life and death were decided there. When the Treaty of Waitangi was taken around New Zealand in 1840 for the signatures of the chiefs it was signed by the Ngati Awa chiefs on this rock. It is a sanctified spot and any covenant made under the shadows of Pohaturoa was binding and not lightly broken.  Intermarriage between the Mataatua immigrants and the aboriginal people of the land commenced soon after the canoe landed.

The Kumera became a staple part of the diet of the Maori and there was much ceremony around its cultivation. Tradition credits the Te Arawa canoe with bringing the first Kumera to Aotearoa, but it was also brought in the Mataatau canoe. The tribes fought much amongst themselves and practiced their ancient religion, with much of their time spent in harvesting food from land and sea, preparing shelter, clothing themselves and fashioning implements. They made kites, spinning tops and swings, swam, fished, snared birds, played games, danced, sang, carved and did weaving; loved and laughed,  experienced  new life and death, tragedy and tears;  honoured heroes and produced some villains;  but  always there were songs and stories, the love of family and land and the typical Maori humour.

“Maori Paintings.”  ByGottfried Lindauer

Kumera Cultivation. Note digging sticks (Ko) and bag (Kete.)  

Bird life was prolific and birds like Tui had to fight for landing place on a branch, the noise was deafening at times.  It is an amazing mimic and Maori trained some to have a vocabulary of more than forty words Maori loved to scare each other (and themselves) with stories of taniwha and other mythological creatures. Life revolved around the four main aspects of Maori culture: spirituality (everything-from trees to lightening had a spirit) land, hospitality (taro was difficult to grow and was kept for important guests, not their own leaders) and ancestors. Genealogies were recorded in song and children were trained to recount them from a young age.

                  The Tui.                                                                    A Bird Snare.


These designs below are from a Meeting House at Muriwai, Poverty Bay and are  known as “Kowhaiwhai.”  Each area produced patterns distinctive to them. The first  example is  named “Patiki,” the second, unnamed. The colours were red, white & black.


                                                                From a Meeting House at Muriwai

A.W. Reed writes: The game of Knuckle Stones, known to peoples all over the world, was popular with Maori children under the name of “ruru.” A rough square was traced in the ground and stones are placed in the corners. The player tosses the remaining stone in the air, picks up one of the corner stones and catches the first before it touches the ground. As the game proceeds, it becomes more difficult as two, three or four stones must be picked up before the first stone is caught. Ngahiraka and her sisters would have played this many times. Note raupo walls, traditional dress (the young worn nothing if it was warm.) and a feather  cloak  hanging on right. A water  gourd is  on the  ledge.    


                                                                                                                 “Maori Paintings.”
                                                                                           By Gottfried Lindauer. Playing “Ruru,”or Knuckle Stone  


                                                                                                  An intricately carved figure supported Bowl. 
                                   Marae                                                             A.M 117. Carved by Patoromu Tamatea. 
                                                                                       From the Gilbert Mair Collection  housed in the Auckland Museum.      

This very early photo taken of a Marae in the Gisborne area shows women collecting fresh rushes used for bedding. Fleas and Kooti’s (nits) were a problem and bedding was changed regularly when weather permitted. The healing properties of plants had been used for generations and were adapted to their new environment.   

AM. 117. An anonymous note in the collection, probably based on information supplied by Mair: Large Kumete or Upi carved out of Matai. In 1865 Sir George Grey gave the noted carver Patoromu Tamatea of the Arawa tribe, permission to carve him a large bowl. The war prevented him from completing it before the end of Sir George Grey’s term of office. The carver then went to Opape, Opotiki to live (your ancestral land) and in February 1870 he was taken prisoner with all the Whakatohea tribe (over 300) by Te Kooti. His captor had heard of the bowl and insisted on its production. By his order it was taken to a place called Tohora. While there,Te Kooti was attacked by natives loyal to the Crown under Major Ropata, Kemp and Wiremu Kingi and nearly 100 of the enemy were killed. When the Whakatohea returned to their homes, the bowl was recovered from its hiding place in a hollow Totora and some time later came into the possession of Captain Mair, whose collection is now housed in Auckland Museum.

Below left: There is a story traditional to the Whakatohea tribe concerning twins who were playing with their kite when it strayed into a garden becoming snared in a tree. They were subsequently killed. This famous carving depicts the incident and was part of the decoration in one of a Meeting House in the area. “Utu” (revenge) was the outcome.


                        Twin Statues                                              Rakau  Whakapapa.                                                                                                             

 This intricately carved stick (right) was used as aid to learning names of ancestors,  each one was represented by a carved  knob.This was collected by  Gilbert  Mair  circ 1863 from the Bay of Plenty. Auckland Institute and Museum. (114)                   

Although cannibalism was practiced before the Missionaries brought Christian teaching with its concept of forgiveness and reconciliation, it was only done in times of war, when it was customary to eat your enemy! Huge feasts were prepared  after some big battles,  when  sometimes  hundreds  were cooked and eaten. Usually the fighting was to repay another tribe for an insult or injustice incurred. Cannibalism was not practiced to supplement a shortage of meat, as some incorrectly assume.  It is important to realize that in little more than 150 years the Maori have gone from being a “Stone Age” people to the computer age! No other native peoples have ever progressed as fast.

But Changes Came.


1642 Abel Tasman  discovered New Zealand and reported of  the  Maori, “Strong, raw-boned people.” He did not visit the east coast.
1769   Captain Cook  in the “ Endeavor” called the Gisborne area  “Poverty Bay.”


Bought with them metal implements, guns and European items to trade with the Maori and introduced them to tobacco, alcohol, prostitution and infectious diseases. Animals, which were to become noxious pests, where released into the bush as a future source of meat.


                John Kennedy.(Your grt, grt, grt  grandfather.)

Kennedy Bay on the east coast of the Coromandal peninsular of New Zealand,  is named after an early Trader, John Kennedy. It is thought he transferred from HMS Rattlesnake, to be Wheelwright on H.M.S. “Buffalo,”  when she sailed to Trial Bay, on the northern tip of the peninsular, to collect Kauri spars (tall, straight trees for use as masts on sailing ships) for the British Admiralty.  His family owned Culzean Castle in Ayreshire, Scotland, but he chose a life at sea. His brother Alexander,  also connected to early N.Z. 

Crest Badge: A Dolphin naiant, proper.

Motto: Avise la fin. (Consider the end.)          
Gaelic name: MacUalraig, Ceannaideach.
Origin of the name:Gaelic - ceannai deach: “Ugly head. Plant Badge: Oak.


Culzean Castle   

This ancient clan is found associated with the south-west of Scotland from the 12th century, and the history of the Carrick district of Ayrshire is substantially the early history of the Kennedies. They are claimed to have descended from the Earl of Carrick. The Kennedys of Dunmure acquired Cassillis, and later one of the family married Mary, daughter of King Robert 111. Their son was created Lord Kennedy in 1457, and in 1509 the third Lord Kennedy was created Earl of Cassilles. While the family had many illustrious men, Gilbert, 4th Earl, earned an infamous reputation for his dreadful deed of “roasting the abbot of Crossraguel” in the black vault of Dunure, to obtain possession of the lands of the Abbey. Archibald, 12th Earl of Cassilles was created Baron Ailsa in 1806, and in 1831 Marques of Ailsa. Culzean Castle was built between 1775 and 1790 by the 9th and 10th Earls. It was designed by Robert Adam. After World War 11 President Eisenhower was presented with a flat here, as a residence in Scotland. Note the New Zealand Cabbage trees in the garden.  

The Maori Ancestry of  John Kennedy’s  wife Rangirauwaka of  Ngati Parou of Harataunga ( Kennedy Bay)

Mati Hui Rua
Tu Whare Tere
Te Puiti
Tama Tiri Wa,
Te Rupiraui
Taurangi (Ngati Porou of Harataunga)
Katerina Taurangi  & John Kennedy
  John  -   Paku   -  Nathan  -  Joseph Bond   - Katarani   (sic) 
*Nathan Kennedy lived in Opotiki in 1913
*John Kennedy Junior lived in Te Atai in 1913

Consider the problems of living in such a remote corner of the globe, having no communication with home and family,  with his survival depending on his own resourcefulness;  trading  with the local Maori, whose confidence needed to be won and language, culture and customs understood. It is evident that he succeeded in so doing, as he became a successful businessman, starting the first Trading Post in the bay and supplying goods to the local Maori, whalers, timber mill workers, bushmen and those who worked in the brick-works. There was an abundance of fish and shell fish and well stock gardens cultivated by the local Maori. John Kennedy purchased land from local Maori (see "Haretaunga" by Colin Wilson delow) and milled many of the Kauri trees in the area, in preparation for the return of Admiralty ships.It has been rumoured he also traded timber to Australia. It was inconceivable for him to imagine that is less than 100 years, the kauri would be gone, he himself would have been murdered, his wife taken into slavery and probably murdered, his children orphaned and their land ineritance (belonging to John by right of purchse)  and their mother by birthright) lost to them. It was both a great tradgedy and injustice. John Kennedy was hard working and  enterprising with the opportunities which presented him in providing for his family. The orphaned children (four boys and one girl) were looked after by a white man in the area. One of the sons, Puku, died in his teens about 1868. 

The magnificent Marae at Harataunga (Kennedy Bay)  today.


  This diagram about Joseph Kennedy  by his Grandson Edward written in 1942 was attached to the letter below.



KENNEDY  John Kennedy and another man, remained behind in New Zealand, when the ship returned to England. John Kennedy took a native wife and purchased land, on 23rd April 1839, at a bay (Harataunga - Kennedy Bay)  just north west of Mercury Bay  Whitianga.) He was later was obliged to seek government recognition of his title under the Crown Land’s Act.  Joseph Bond Kennedy’s grandson Edward wrote:

Coopers Beach
11th May 1942

My dear George,

                      Please accept my apology for not answering your favour at an earlier date but in view of the most innumerable questions set up by the nature of your enquiry you will naturally realise what an important & vital personal  matter to me your enquiry has occasioned - so I will briefly as possible try to explain.

           1. John Kennedy arrived in N.Z. about 1834 –35 and set up his head quarters  now known as Kennedy Bay Coromandel. Just after arrival he married according to Maori tribal custom, my Grandmother Katerina Taurangi. As a result of this union there were four boys and one girl [ all born prior to 1943]  the youngest son being my father the late Capt. Joseph Kennedy founder of the firm Kennedy & Evans. Shipowners and Lightermen for the port of Gisborne.

Briefly the four boys & 1 girl are now deceased and I am the only surviving grandson of the original Kennedy- Taurangi union. However due `to some of the members of Katerina Taurangi's tribe having fought the Europeans, the bulk of the land at Kennedy’s Bay was confiscated by the Crown but due to some arrangement between my grandfather John Kennedy and his Maori wife’s tribe to purchase approx 1250 acres known as Haetaunga Block situated on the right hand side as you enter Kennedy Bay  this land was allotted to the Kennedy Bros later by the Crown i.e. to John, Puku, Nathan & Joseph—the girl having previously died.

This land was sold later by my Dad and three brothers to a man name Wild who later resold it to a settler named Matthews whose family I believe still farming the original 1200 odd acres for sheep farming purposes. However I am the sole male grandchild of the Kennedy Taurangi  union still surviving.

           My father fought on the side of the Crown in the Maori war I myself have nearly four years active service in the great war while my three eldest children 19 - 18 - 17 years old are serving in His Majesty's forces. Consequently I feel I have a perfectly legal & moral claim to have land previously by the Crown at Kennedy Bay returned to the Kennedy family.

           In respect of the Harataunga Blk. I do not know how this land was obtained by the Kennedy Brothers i.e. by way of Crown Grant O.L.C. or Native Title through the Maori Land Court. Now you have requested particulars of John Kennedy’s connections.

He had a brother Named Alexander who landed at the Bay of Islands in 1839 and founded the N.Z. Banking Coys. first bank at Russell which opened its doors in Feb. 1840. He then established a second branch in Bank St. Auckland just below the Grand Hotel and later helped to establish the present Bank of N.Z. & in 1861 being its first General Manager from 1861 to 1868. From this onwards I have no particulars except this—in 1894 then a very old man he was appointed by the N.Z. Home Govt. to reconstruct the Bank of New Zealands position following the issuance of 2 million National Credit which was placed behind its judicial position at the instigation of the Seddon Govrt. Alexander married a Miss Sairs who landed in Auckland in Oct. 1842 in the first of the immigrant ships “Duchess of Argyle”. There were a number of children resulting from the Kennedy—Sairs union but I have never met even one of their descendants.

Sincerely yours
(sgd) Joe.  
Kennedy Bay:   HARATAUNGA HISTORY - By Colin Wilson

 Joseph Bond Kennedy (father of the above) married Ngahiraka a beautiful half Maori woman of Ngapuhi (Whakatohea & Ngati Porou)  and the daughter of Commander James Wood (HMS Buffallo.)

H.M.S. Buffalo.

Under  Command of James Wood, in May 1840 the H.M. S. Buffalo,  while returning for a further shipment of timber from Mercury Bay, struck disaster in atrocious weather, when the easterly gale parted the anchor cables of the ship, driving it onto the shore where it stuck fast. All but two of the crew were saved. (John Kennedy had  previously  left the ship circa 1834/35) Commander Wood stayed on his ship for 7 days, in the most dangerous conditions imaginable, in an heroic attempt to save both men and property.  Word of the catastrophe spread. Maori arrived from near and far, to assist the  stricken vessels and share in the spoils. The great prizes were the cannon, which had been pitched overboard in order to try and keep the vessel afloat. Four were recovered, loaded aboard canoes and whisked away, one to Pukorokoro Pa near Miranda and the others to Mangatarata, Kauaeranga and Rau-whiti-ora. Members of the local tribes retrieved most of the planking which was used to palisade their burial grounds.

Since this publication, many of the Log Booksof “H.M.S. Buffulo,” have been located in the Mercury Bay Libray Archives. and I have transcribed them into a separate booklet. It includes some personal insights regarding Commander Wood and his son James Wood Jr.  also on HMS Buffalo.  Interestingly, Commander Wood had a close relationship with local Maori, including the chief from Mayor Island, Jackey Worra.  Several Maori were on board at the time of the disaster, one bravely swam to shore with a life line. We are almost certain that Commander Wood  was Ngahiraka’s father. It is difficult without the usual birth certificates. Camarita Hartog sighted a document in the Maori Land Records where by Edward Kennedy refers to his grandfather as being ‘Admiral’ Wood,’  [Commander.] ‘Wood’ is recorded as on Ngahiraka’s death Certificate as being her father. 

Below: This sketch from the title page of the journal, kept on board the Buffalo in 1836 by passenger Young Bingham Hutchinson, is the only known portrait of the ship and gives a valuable guide to aspects which cannot be deduced from written records: Steps down the side gangway, the double leechlines fitted to the courses, the form of dolphin striker, the lead of braces, and details of spanker brails. It can be deduced that since the square sails are shown extending to the top of their yards, they were bent by robands to jackstays, rather than around the yards themselves, as was the earlier practice, even though the topmast rigging was set up in the old style with futtock shrouds secured to the lower rigging rather than to the mast in the manner introduced to East Indiamen in 1811.  

                                                                                                               HMS Buffalo
                                                                                          From “HMS Buffalo,”  by Robert T. Sexton. 

Commander Wood sent to the Bay of Islands requesting a ship willing to be hired, on the Admiralty’s behalf, to take men and goods from the wreck, back to England. The Bolina was hired and fitted out with what could be salvaged. After returning to the  Bay of Islands to give account of an account of Her Majesty’s property salvaged, the ship was provisioned and sailed for England almost 2 ½ months after the ship wreck.  It  was more than a year before a message could be sent back to family, informing them of the disaster and a replacement vessel arrived back.  Captain James Wood was not held accountable for the loss of the vessel and was appointed Master of “ H.M.S. Tortoise,”  in May 1841 and returned to  New Zealand.  

Meanwhile,  John Bond Kennedy, had became a timber merchant employing European and Maori laborers to fell and square the Kauri logse so desirable for the masts of sailing ships. The Kauri trees grew tall and straight with no side branches until the canopy at the top. The whole of the Coromandel was a huge Kauri forest and it was a lucrative business with a ready market. With  the arrival of H.M.S Tortoise under command of James Wood, at Tairua, John Kennedy loaded spar he had prepared onto the ship.  He later built himself a Cutter, which he named “The Three Bees,” after a wayside Inn in his home town in Scotland. He sailed between Russell in the Bay of Islands (then the  Capital  and largest  inhabited  settlement) and Opotiki. and married a local Maori woman from Kennedy Bay, Katerina Taurangi, and they had four sons, John, Paku, Nathan Joseph Bond and a daughter Katarani   (sic) Joseph Bond Kennedy  was born in 1841. (The middle name of Bond was a family name which has continued through some of the contemporary  branches of the family.)

In 1843, the “Pelorous,” arrived for  spar for the Admiralty  and John Kennedy loaded her at Tairua, under the Shoe and Slipper Island. After paying for the Spars delivered, he left for the Bay of Islands in “The Three Bees,” with a large sum of money - over  £400  -  in his possession, which  he  was taking to deposit in the new Bank at Auckland.  The crew mutinied, murdering him, threw his body overboard and scuttled his boat somewhere off the coast. His crew had consisted of three timber workers from New South Wales, Australia. The culprits landed at Tauranga, traveled overland to the Hokianga, then shipped a vessel carrying spars to Sydney and  committed other murder in N.S.W.s. One of them, when arrested, confessed to killing John Kennedy and nine other men and  was hanged  (Maoris were also implicated as being part of the gang.)  All details are fairly sketchy.  It would be interesting to have the full version of the trial, but searches have been made in of records in the Mitchell Library in Sydney have failed to throw any more light on it.

 Joseph Kennedy,  “Captain Joe.” 

The youngest son, Joseph Kennedy was only two years old at the time of his father's disappearance  and he was left at Kennedy Bay with Rangirauwaka, his mother. Shortly thereafter he was taken to Auckland but at the age of nine years ran away to sea. He visited the Poverty Bay area for the first time in 1851, when he was 10 years old, in a vessel called “The Fly.” For some years he was employed  at  Opotiki as a sailing master by George Read, a very prominent local business man  and in his connection with coastal traders was in command of the “Tawera.” Nine years later he became a Captain and  was known in the community as “Captain Joe.” For some time he was trading from Melbourne. Captain Read had a ship built which he named after his first wife, “Little Nuku,” (Noka?) which Captain Kennedy ran as the first steam tender to link Gisborne to the outside world, also an old schooner “Rosina,” to Opotiki, Tauranaga etc. Other vessels Joseph commanded were “Tawera” and “Julius Vogel.” In 1867 he married Naghiraka Woods (a half caste Maori belonging to one of the Opotiki tribes.)  Evidence seems to suggest the fact that Ngahiraka (his future wife) descends from the Captain of the same ship,“H.M.S. Buffalo,” that John Kennedy was Wheelwright on. There were very few Europeans living on the east coast at the time.  

Captain James Wood.

It was reputed that Captain James Wood married  a Maori woman of great beauty.”  Although it is impossible absolutely confirm there are clues:  a death  cert of their daughter Ngahiraka giving fathers’ name as “Wood—Trader”, and a grandson referring to his grandfather as being “Admiral “ Wood - a case of error of rank perhaps. This seems to indicate that Commander James Wood’s wife was Materena Waitangi  (sometimes referred to as Waitangi  Rangiwheu.) Materena is a derivative of an English name Madeline possibly given to her by her husband. Other names connected to her were Takato and Mareta. However, these may also refer  to he land inheritance.  She and her people of the Whakatohea tribe, owned land in Opotiki  which included the wharf area, the block where the Masonic Hotel now stands and the area including and surrounding “Hiona,” St. Stephen's Church. (This is the Church) where the Missionary Rev. Carl  Sylvius Volkner  was tragically murdered many years later in 1865 when he was hanged on the willow tree in the church grounds.) This very early photograph of a Raupo hut used as a church in 1839 is on the same spot and shows the young willow tree.  


Raupo hut - the original "Hiona" St Stephen's Church. Opotiki.  Kinder Library Collection.

 Materena Waitangi and her people gave the land for the church and would have worshiped there, but un-fortunately the  photograph is not clear enough to see individuals. The tribe begged the church leaders at Russell to send them  a missionary. The Rev. William Williams recorded in his Journal 28th August 1839, “I learned today from one who has been trading in the Bay of Islands that at Opoiki where no missionary has yet been, he witnessed the Natives assembling for Christian worship in a regular and orderly manner. Demand for Mission Prayer Books has been so great he could have purchased a cargo in exchange for them only.”  The trader referred to may have been George Read or John Kennedy. No doubt these men and others  brought their Christian faith with them and influenced the local Maori before there was even a missionary.  

Commander James Wood
Courtesy of the Sterndale Bennet family library. 

Matarena  Waitangi.

She was an high ranking and well respected young Maori woman, being a direct descendant of the paramount chief who had come from Havaii with the great migration. She  lived near the wharf and in the days before European settlements, was entrusted with information on the trading ships which visited Opotiki, to transport crops grown by the WHAKATOEA  tribe to the markets and always knew when a trading ship was due or had departed. This information was available to her people.  Matarena Waitangi  had four daughters to different fathers, quite usual for a person of her high rank. Namely, Maupunarua,  Katerina Takato, Ngahiraka Wood  (born  about 1842) and Kawhaio.  The three other girls took after their Maori mother, in skin and eye colouring, but Ngahiraka was blue eyed, fair skinned and very beautiful. Her name means “many  silks.”  Imagine just how luxurious and soft the silk clothiong appeared to the Maori Cheif Takato and his wahine (women.) This Chief, from Mayor Island, gave  Matarena to the Commander James Wood, from H.M.S. Buffalo, as a "comfort wife." From this union Ngahiraka was born in 1842.

Commander James Wood had a wife and family in England. There is extensive information about the man's ancestry in South To The Left Of Venus. Conatct details below. 

.James Wood,  would have given gifts as silk clothing etc. to Matarena. 

The name “Wood” also appears on one of her children’s marriage certificates as their father’s surname and there is a whakapapa (family tree) with his name in the Moari Land Records. 

Ngahiraka was raised by missionaries in Opotiki and then Auckland. 

She had a liason with Dr. Arthur Saunders Thomson in Auckland and two children were born from this union.

Sadly the doctor died and soon after she married and had a daughter - Mary Reid.  

Ngahiraka had a Christian faith, and her 2ndbecause she and her first husband John Reid, a Boatman, were married at St Andrew's Manse in Auckland  on 9th Dec. 1862.  The marriage was witnessed by Henry P. More, a Brick Maker from the North Shore and Sarah Von Sturmer of Coromandel. Ngahiraka could not  write she signed her marriage certificate and Will with a “X” .  


Ngahiraka  was a  widow by 1865 but no record of her husband's death have been able to be found - a boating mishap or illness are the most likely cause of his death. It is also possible that her  first husband was the son of George Read, a prominent trader in Opotiki and his Maori wife Noko. Should this ever be confirmed much has been written about this man in an Early New Zealand Encyclopaedia available in most  libraries. From a newspaper article in the New Zealand Herald it was found that widowed Ngahiraka had re-married to Doctor Thomson of Auckland.  She was well used to socializing in the upper class circles and was a lady of dignity, beauty and grace. Unfortunately,  further tragedy came her way  with the death of her second husband also, when she was still in her twenties. We have been unable to find any death certificate or records about Dr. Thomson

 Ngahiraka (Ema) Kennedy circa 1842 - 1890. 
She is wearing a silk fringed shawl and Green-stone pendant earrings. 
Left : Copied from a locket now in the possession of Betty Schroder.  
                                                                       Right: From a negative in the Tairawhiti Museum Gisborne photograph collection.

Ngahiraka spoke Maori but could not write. She had a “Moko” (tattoo) on her chin. This was usually done when a young woman reached pubert but  was restricted to women of high birth and done only with the consent of the tribal elders. It was a very painful and sacred ceremony, done in a specially erected outdoor shelter where the Tohunga could concentrate on the day long process. Cuts, which bled profusely, were chiselled into the skin with a sharp instrument of bone.  Dyes were made from  a  mixture of water or fat mixed with ground charcoal from either Rimu, Kauri or Kapara trees. (Sometimes burned dog excrement or caterpillars were used instead of charcoal.) When rubbed into the incision, it  left a blue colour under the reddish transparency of the skin tissue.  The recipient was not permitted to wash her face or look at herself for a week. Once healed, the tattoo or “Moko” was worn with pride and showed that she was ready to adopt the responsibilities of womanhood and establish a family of her own.  There was a saying, “You may loose your house and treasures but your Moko cannot be deprived of you except by death, it will be your ornament and companion until your last day.” It was usual to do the upper lip on a separate occasion as it was too painful a process to endure at one time, but Ngahiraka did not have her upper lip done. Tattooing was later done with a needle.  


  Ngahiraka  was a very creative lady, being an accomplished seamstress and did beautiful embroidery. Her daughter Harriet, inherited some of her mother’s hand worked linen after she died and  Olive Hartog remembers Harriet Smith (her own grandmother) showing them to her. Harriet also inherited this creative talent  from her mother, as have several of her descendants.  With her mother, Materena, having been involved with shipping it is very likely that Joseph Kennedy would have been known the family. It was not too long before he was courting the beautiful widow, and they were married  at the Office of Registrar of Marriages, Auckland on 15th April, 1873. Folio No. 211. Ngahiraka signed with an “X.” However, on one of their children's birth certificates on  which Joseph Kennedy  was the Informant, he wrote that they married in Auckland on 15th June 1865? When their son Edward Henry Kennedy was born in 1868, the family address was given as Fort  Street, Auckland. Their was further heartache when their two month old baby daughter Margaret died and was buried at the Hirini Street Cemetery in Gisborne. (Incidentally, all  who are buried there are from the Ngati Oneone tribe- perhaps through Joseph’s mother’s line.)  

Joseph Bond Kennedy 1841 - 1913

 Left : Photo from the Early New Zealand Encyclopaedia.Circa late 1890's. 

Right:  Circa 1880's taken by America Photo Company. Gisborne from Tairawhiti Museum Collection Gisborne. 

Joseph and Ngahiraka Kennedy  had a substantial home in Peel Street, Gisborne complete with tennis court and a Parlour large enough to hold balls, dances and large functions in. Through his business associated in the shipping and importing industry the couple lead a very active social life and mixed in the best of social circles. The Balls must have been  wonderful occasions, with the decorations, musicians, musical items and recitals, beautiful gowns and late Victorian etiquette that accompanied such occasions. Two of their children, Mary and Edward, were privately tutored by William Lysar  who it is recorded received payment of  One Pound six shillings for his services in 1872. 

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