Hēni Collins describes Te Rauparaha’s life from the time his birth was foretold, through inter-tribal conflict, migration, settlement in the south (Kapiti Island), and into the period of colonization.
Te Rauparaha and his nephew Te Rangihaeata welcomed Europeans living among them in the 1820s and 1830s, for the trade and technology they brought. But they never gave up their rangatiratanga or mana whenua. They tried European systems of justice such as the courts and the Land Commission, but were soon frustrated by the ponderous processes and toothlessness of these bodies. To retain their independence and authority, Ngāti Toa eventually turned to military resistance.
Reappraising original material, including sources in te reo, Hēni Collins enlivens events and adds cultural understanding and authenticity to a dramatic story of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Ka Mate, Ka Ora! The Spirit of Te Rauparaha includes comments by kaumātua Te Puoho Kātene and other tribal members, and an epilogue by former Māori All Black Norm Hewitt. New maps show the location of significant sites, and an appendix details their history and what can be seen there today.
The spirit of Te Rauparaha lives on every time his Ka Mate haka is performed, and his story and example are as vital today as they were in his lifetime.