For a time Rehua and his second wife Waipahihi lived peacefully in a whare on an island just off the east coast of Aotea. Mataa, who was still aggrieved after previous conflicts and frightened that Rehua would strike again decided to act first. While on the island Waipahihi was shown an omen in the form of a lightning strike at the cliff face on the main mountain of Aotea. It was not until she arrived home and found her husband burnt alive inside their whare that the sign became clear. After Rehua’s death two names arose, firstly the mountain where Waipahihi was shown the omen carries the name Hirakimata (lightning striking the cliff face) and secondly the island where they live, called Rakitu (upright lightning). Because Rehua was a leading chief amongst the Kawerau people his death was viewed as a kohuru (murder). The main mountain on Aotea and the island where he lived is now forever connected to his death.
Kelly Klink
Ngati rehua ngātiwai ki aotea