Te Heuheu Tūkino IV

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Portrait of Te Heuheu Tukino IV

Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku, Pataatai) (1821–1888) was paramount chief of the Ngāti Tuwharetoa, a Māori tribe of the central North Island of New Zealand. His birth name was Pataatai but he assumed the name Horonuku - meaning landslide - after the death of his parents in a landslide in 1846, he was placed under house arrest by the Crown and forced to gift the mountains of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe in 1887 for the creation of Tongariro National Park.

Horonuku's father, Mananui (Tukino II), was a famous warrior who led the tribe successfully in many wars. Mananui stood well over two metres tall and was heavily built, and was not only a formidable warrior but also a fine military tactician, he was succeeded after his death in a landslide by his son Horonuku, however, because he was at such a young age of 16 they had his brother mind the iwi, Iwikau (Tukino III), also a famous fighting chief.

When Iwikau died in 1862 Horonuku succeeded his uncle as paramount chief. Although Horonuku was not renowned as a warrior he was an intelligent and far-sighted statesman who did the best for his people. During the 1860s Tuwharetoa lands in the central North Island were leased to European settlers farming sheep, but a decade later the Tuwharetoa were worried that the mountains were to be surveyed and that Europeans would break traditional tapu. Horonuku, having discussed the subject with other chiefs of his tribe, put a proposition to the government – that the land be bequeathed to the nation as a national park, on the condition that the government should remove from the mountains the remains of their famous predecessors, including Mananui, and erect a suitable tomb; the government agreed and the deed was signed by John Ballance as Native Minister and Horonuku, in 1887.

Horonuku's sons included Tureiti Te Heuheu Tukino V.

Bust of Te Heuheu Tūkino IV in Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre, New Zealand

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