The Hauhau movement developed as a
result of missionary influence on Māori culture and their indigenous
Around 1862 a member of the Taranaki tribe, Horopapera, who was
born approximately 1825, saw the angel Gabriel come to him in a
vision. This vision inspired Horopapera to found the Pai Maarire
("Good and Peaceful") religion.
In the beginning the Pai Maarire movement was not totally accepted
by Horopapera's people, but as time went by the movement grew and
attracted more followers. The more fanatic followers became known
as the Hauhau, possibly referring to the winds, and therefore the
spirit of God.
Horopapera changed his name to Te Ua Haumene, and as Gabriel had
instructed him in his vision, Te Ua Haumene constructed a large
niu, or pole, similar to that of a ship's mast. The Pai Maarire
rites were carried out around the niu.
Te Ua Haumene believed that the Māori were God's new chosen
people. This he took from a mixture of Jewish, Christian and Māori
beliefs, based on the Old Testament, which had been translated into
Māori by the missionaries. Te Ua Haumene compared the suffering
of the Israelites under the Egyptians to that of the Māori,
suffering under the yoke of the Europeans. According to Te Ua Haumene's
vision, the mission of the Hauhaus was to drive the "pakeha" (european)
from New Zealand, and to recover the ancestral land of the Māori.
Although Te Ua Haumene's movement only
lasted a few years, he was a preacher of peace, and tried to convince
his fellowmen to cease fighting. However, many Te Ua followers preferred
to turn to the angel of war, the archangel Michael.
These Hauhau warriors were fanatically convinced that the cry of
"Paimarire, hau hau" in battle would ensure them protection from
European bullets. This led to many reckless, daring and fearful
feats during battle. Hauhau fighting was reputed to be the most
fierce, intense, fanatic and feared during the New Zealand wars.
Decapitating and cannibalism revived during this time.
Te Ua Haumene died in 1866, after having made peace with the government.
His peaceful and prophetic teachings continued after his death with
his prophet relatives Te Whiti and Tohu, of Parihaka.
Te Whiti and Tohu were consecrated in 1865.