Patuone A Life
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Later Life

Post-pākehā contact, Patuone’s life began to change enormously and from the signing of the Treaty, he saw endless consolidation of a new system, relentlessly a pākehā system. Regardless of the respect accorded him by this system and its agents, his status and that of all Māori increasingly took on a new reality where all were effectively controlled and answerable to a higher authority, operating under the sanction of the pākehā Queen and God. The chiefly autonomy and power of old no longer existed alone. Given his tohunga and rangatira status, while Patuone could look back on what had been an incredible life by any measure, the entire context of it had changed. It was through friends like Davis and Poynton and many other visitors, official and otherwise who came to consult him that he became part of an official, written history as well as that which was remembered and passed on orally. For all its faults, the 1876 Charles Oliver Davis memoir The Life and Times of Patuone, tracks major events from his life and when his time finally came to hand over and move on, it is likely that he did so with satisfaction knowing that what still remained to complete would be completed at some future time, by his descendants and in accordance with his own predictions. It was and remains a great legacy. As his simple gravestone at the foot of Takahanga (Mt Victoria) in Devonport, Auckland, reads:

Ko te tohu tapu o Eru Patuone, te Tuakana o Tamati Waka Nene; tamariki a Tapua; he Rangatira nui no Ngāpuhi; he hoa aroha no te Pākehā; he kai hapai i te ture Kuini; a he kai hohou rongo ki tona iwi. I mate ki Akarana 19 o Hepetema, 1872. Na te Kawanatanga o Nui Tireni tenei kohatu i whakatakoto, hei tohu tuturu mona.

Sacred to the memory of Eru Patuone, elder brother of Tamati Waka Nene; sons of Tapua; a noted chieftain of the Ngāpuhi nation; a close friend of the Europeans; supporter of the Queen’s laws and Peacemaker amongst his own countrymen. Died at Auckland, 19th September 1872. This memorial stone is erected by the government of New Zealand as a fitting memorial for him.

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