Location: Taranaki, New Zealand
Surnames/tags: Eruini Hopere Nepe
In 1905, Roka Hopere appeared before a Commission of Enquiry in relation to the Ngati Mutunga Reserve near Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand. She represented a number of family Members who were claimants in the reserve. Details from the hearing provide information that can be used to confirm family relationships over five generations. The text has been sourced from the AJHR 1905 (see references below to link).
The Commissioner: I will take your list, Mrs. Hopere, now. You join in with the Ngatimutunga from Heni Teara—a certain portion from Tiwhakopu and the other from Tuwhareiti?
Mrs. Hopere: Yes. (Mrs. Hopere was then sworn).
The Commissioner: Did all those descended from Heni Teara intermarry with the Waikato people ?
Mrs. Hopere: Heni Eruini was taken ... to the Waikato, where she married a European, and from these come the Hopere family.
The Commissioner: These eight Natives resident in the district have asked you to appear on their behalf?
Mrs. Hopere: Yes.
The Commissioner: I shall now want to find out who you represent as members of your own family, and who are those you represent merely as clients ?
Mrs. Hopere: I wish that No. 19 in my list should be struck out, as she has already had an award under the name of Hapuiti.
The Commissioner: You appear for fifteen outsiders, and fourteen of your own family or immediate relatives in the Waikato?
Mr. Skinner: Has that list been submitted to Mr. Fisher—because some of the names appear familiar ?
The Commissioner: List 7 has been submitted to Mr. Fisher, but List 7a has not been submitted to him.
The Court then adjourned to 2 o'clock. Tepuke gave further information with regard to his whakapapa. The evidence of Mrs. Hopere was then proceeded with.
The Commissioner: With regard to Hine Eruini and Te Mokopurangi Eruini, as their mother, Harata Piahu, was alive at the time the promise was made by Mr. Richmond, if any grants had been given and a title issued by the Native Land Court it would have been to the extent of 16 acres to the mother—that is to say, 8 acres to each of the children—but as you say they were grown up at the time, I will put them down for 16 acres each. Mokopurangi te Tupe (No. 6 on List 7) can get 8 acres, and the other successor of Hine Eruini will get 8 acres. It is evident that Harata Piahu (No. 10) was entitled to 16 acres, and if she left two children they would have been entitled to 8 acres each.
Harata Piahu Wharepouri is dead and left two children, Mokopurangi Eruini and Hine Eruini. Mrs. Hopere signified her concurrence in the remarks of the Commissioner.
The Commissioner: Mokopurangi Eruini (No. 2) is dead, and this would therefore give 4 acres to Kawhena te Tupe (No. 19) and 4 acres to Mokopurangi te Tupe (No. 6). Hine Eruini (No. 3) is succeeded by Awhipera Nepe (No. 8) and Paora Hopere (No. 4), who will get 4 acres each. Who succeeds to Amiria te Tupe (No. 1)? Mrs. Hopere: Mokopurangi te Tupe (No. 6) and Kawhena te Tupe (No. 19). 'The Commissioner: They therefore get 8 acres each. Mr. Skinner pointed out that the Te Tupes are already in the West Coast Reserves. 'The Commissioner: Mokopurangi te Tupe and Kawhena te Tupe may be, but that does not debar them from succeeding to the interests of the persons who received awards: they do not come in as original claimants.
Mrs. Brown objected to Mrs. Hopere's list, and the Commissioner explained that he was not making awards; he was only getting information with a view to making a recommendation.
The Commissioner: Paora Hopere (No. 4) comes in as the successor to Heni Eruini, and she was alive when the 16 acres was promised, and therefore has no original claim to 16 acres.
Mr. Skinner: One of the Eruini's got 19 acres at Waitara.
The Commissioner: The inquiries lam making to-day will not finally settle the matter. Mr. Fisher will have to go through the lists; but as he has so far put down no awards against these names, l am going into their claims. Paora's claim is disallowed except as a successor, when he receives 4 acres. Mrs. Hopere pointed out that in the Native Land Court the children's full claim would be allowed. The Commissioner stated that he was aware that this was sometimes done, but, in his opinion, it was a most improper thing. The Government only granted 16 acres to the ancestor, and if there were four children succeeding they could not claim 64 acres —that is to say, 16 acres each but only a fourth share in the original 16 acres.
The following were disallowed: (7) Hone Hiana Hopere, (9) Mokopurangi Nepe, (11) Ngauku Ngatai, (12) Whiu Nepe, (13) Eruini Hopere, (14) Tamata ko Hopere, (15) Peru Kawhena, (16) Kakopa Kawhena, (17) Kataraina Hine Hopere, (18) Pirihira Hopere, (20) Nehemia Hopere, and (21) Nganiho Waikato. These are disallowed because they are all descended from Awhipera Nepe or from Paora Hopere or from Kawhena te Tupe, who have been succeeded to by Mokopurangi te Tupe and Kawhena te Tupe.
Mrs. Brown : Did not these people own land at Waikato or elsewhere?
Mrs. Hopere: They hold no land at present; but I hold land.
The Commissioner: It seems to me that the following should receive land:
(1) Amiria te Tupe (8 acres,
(2) Te Mokopurangi Eruini (4 acres),
(3) Hine Eruini (dead; successor appointed) (8 acres),
(6) Mokopurangi te Tupe (who has no right for himself, but succeeds to 4 acres),
(19) Kawhena te Tupe (also succeeds to 4 acres).
The consideration of List No. 7a was adjourned until Mr. Fisher's return.