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Our Story

Ko Pouerua te maunga
Ko Waitangi te awa
Ko Nga-toki-mata-whao-rua te waka
Ko Nga Puhi te iwi
Ko Ngarehauta te hapu
Ko Remana Kiwikiwi te tupuna

No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Our story does not just begin with Remana and Arihi Kiwikiwi, but stretches back to the arrival of our ancestors on the shores of Aotearoa. Research into our whakapapa continues, but we have documented here what we know about Remana Kiwikiwi. We know a little of his background, his hapu Ngare Hauata, his parents Hemi Kiwikiwi and Marara Waiwhakaruku

We have the full whakapapa for Arihi Lemon (nee Cope) due to the wonderful work done by the Leef family in researching and documenting their stories. Most of that information comes from the work of Joan M Leef and we are grateful for the wonderful resource she has created on the Leef family.  We would like to extend our story and would ask for contributions from the descendants of Remana and Arihi with their own stories of their families, to add to our knowledge store. These contributions would be welcome by email to

Nau te rourou
Naku te rourou
Ka ora te manuwhiri



Remana Hare Kiwikiwi Lemon

Arihi Alice Kiwikiwi Lemon, nee Cope

Isaac Penney


Remana Kiwikiwi
Born 1860
Died 13 December 1924

compiled by Michele Topping, October 2004

Remana was born in 1860 at Waikere, according to his own evidence at a Maori Land Court hearing in 1917. His father Hemi Kiwikiwi was born at Te pauoue, lived at Waikuri and died at Porotu. He states that Timo, his grandfather was born at Tarawaparorea  near to the site of the flour mill at Porotu. Porotu is on the block of land at Oromahoe now farmed by the Oromahoe Trust. Later at the same hearing, another witness states that Timo lived at Waikere (possibly Waikuri or Waikuru) and not on the land at Te Pae.

We know little of Remana's early life although again, in his evidence to the Land Court, Remana says that he lived on the block at Porotu until the age of 7 when he was taken to Ngawhitu by his mother. He says he went with his mother to Werowero and that he worked on the land and was felling bush when he was 13years old. He then went to Pakaraka where he lived with the Williamses "for a long time". We know he must have attended a school at some point as he was literate in Te Reo Maori and English. This may have been one of the Church Missionary Society schools which the Williams family supported.

Remana met Arihi Cope at the Williams' where she had been working afer her childhood years spent in the Anglican Orphanage in Auckland. They married at Waimate North on 19th July 1881 and went on to have a large family. The family lived at Ngawhitu for some time. Their first 4 children, Emily, Ellen, Paul and Rere went to the Ohaewai Native School at Ngawha. There were family connections with the school. The teacher, Mr George Woods was married to Arihi’s auntie, Eliza Leef. Remana and Arihi were  committed to education for their children, seeing it as a way for them to succeed and prosper in the new pakeha world. Remana served on the committee of the Ohaewai Native School in the years 1889, 1890, 1891 and 1897. The children were actively encouraged to further their education and went on to High School. Emily and Ellen (Rena) attended Hukarere Native School for Girls in Napier. Paora went to Te Aute and the other boys to St Stephens.

The family moved to Pakaraka in approximately 1900, living in a house probably built by Remana. Remana became actively involved in the Maori Land Court sessions, giving evidence as to the ownership of various blocks of land in the area and securing title. along with others. It appears that his education and close relationships with pakeha families such as the Williamses meant that he gave evidence at several hearings on behalf of others. He secured title to the block at Ngawhitu in 1917 and later sold 500 acres to Harry Ludbrook. He was also a listed owner in blocks at Oromahoe, Te Pae,  Motatau and Te Tii in Waitangi.

We are lucky to have a diary that Remana kept in 1918. It is the only diary he kept – perhaps he was given the diary as a present that year. He has written in Maori and most of the entries relate to his farming, building and cartage businesses as well as Land Court Hearings he attended. He was obviously a busy man, very involved with his community. He makes several entries about payments to the Land Court on behalf of others for the costs involved with changing ownership titles.

He was also actively involved in work for the returned soldiers, building a hall at Pakaraka and collecting donations for the cost of the hall as well as being involved in organising "basket socials" to fundraise for the returned soldiers. He notes that land was put aside for them. In October he went to the Land Board in Whangarei and got money out of the Board for "myself and Rewari Te Ruru to buy land for the soldiers that are coming home after the war".  They planned to "hand the money out if we find suitable land for soldiers that are coming home. It has to be one that is connected to Kaungarapa through their genealogy".

Remana survived the flu epidemic that hit Pakaraka that year although a poignant entry in his diary notes the death of Rena Peni, his second daughter. Remana, Arihi, Mei, Mereana, and Tare were all sick and the hall at Pakaraka was used as a hospital for the patients from the area. This is because local hospitals would not accept Maori at the time. On the 27th November 1918 16 patients were admitted into the hall and they were there for 16 days until the 14th December.

Remana died in December 1924 at the age of 65 at Pakaraka. He left his wife, Arihi and 8 living children as well as many grandchildren.


Arihi KiwiKiwi - Arihi Lemon - Alice Lemon, nee Cope

Born 15 July 1864, Whirinaki

Died 11 February 1955, Pakaraka

Compiled from notes written by Delcie Dodds and Joan M Leaf for the Leef family Reunion

Arihi was the second child of James Henry Cope and Ellen Leef. Her mother Ellen, was the 7th child and 4th daughter of John Leef and Te Rangahau of Opara, Whirinaki.

Arihi was born on 15 July 1864 in Opara but her mother died of consumption in 1867 at the age of 20, when Arihi was only 3 and her sister , Maria was 4. Their baby brother James was 7 month old. On the death of his wife their father returned to England, placing baby James in the care of his aunt Maraea at Taheke, and the 2 little girls into the Anglican orphanage in Auckland.

The girls lived at the orphanage for 6 years between January 1868 and August 1874. It must have been a difficult environment for them. One oral recollection of the home is that there was sufficient food, but no humour or affection. They were discharged into the care of their father, residing in Kawakawa, according to the Anglican records, although family research has not been able to ascertain whether their father ever actually returned from England to collect them. It may, in fact, have been an Uncle.

Arihi went on to work for Reverend Williams in Pakaraka where she met Remana Kiwikiwi. They were married at Waimate on 19th July 1881 when Arihi was 17 years old. She must have been a valued member of the Williams household as she received a green glass vase from Mrs Williams as a wedding present, still kept in the family today.

As we know, Arihi went on to bear many children, 11 of which survived into adulthood. Family records state that she bore 14 children, although I have heard that she may have had 17 children including those stillborn or surviving a few days. In addition to those children she raised several of her grandchildren, including Ike Penney, Shirley Lyons and Nellie Phillips.

She was a devout Christian and committed member of the Pakaraka Holy Trinity congregation, attending services twice on Sundays as well as Bible reading classes. One of her most treasured possessions was a large illustrated Bible.

She was a renowned gardener, managing to feed her large family during difficult times with the vegetables she grew in her own garden. In her later years she lived with Shirley and Dave Lyons in the South Island and was able to grow a garden in Arthurs Pass, much to the amazement of the locals.

She returned to her beloved Pakaraka to die and is now buried in the graveyard at Holy Trinity, next to Remana and surrounded by whanau.


Edward Isaac Penney
Born 14 November 1915
Died 1975

submitted by Noelene Starr, 11.12.2004

My first vivid memories of my father go back to 1943, when I was 5 years old. We were cycling along Oromahoe Road, between the old farm house entrance and the next bridge. I was sitting on the handlebars, being "doubled" to school. Suddenly, the front wheel hit a big stone on the metalled road, the bicycle jumped sideways, and I went flying over the bars, and on to the road. There were lots of tears, naturally. But my memory is of a kind and caring man, who was very upset that this had happened. Amid the tears, and wiping up of blood and bits of  metal, I remember a warm and fuzzy feeling that my father cared about me a great deal. This feeling stayed with me for the rest of his days.However, this was reciprocal, and I well recall how upset I could be if I did anything to upset my father, and how I would go to many lengths to show how contrite I was! Although Dad never demanded penance, or held a grudge that I could see for any length of time, I always knew when he didn't approve of  something I had done, and was never comfortable with that.

Dad was a very hard working man. I have clear memories of him working from daylight to dark, and sometimes even beyond that, when we were on the farm at Koutu. Those were the days of the depression. Money and food was scarce, and the children kept arriving. We all had our jobs to do, and as we got older, the jobs increased in responsibility, and time. I well remember the job that I hated the most. It was to boil the copper, and make sure there was plenty of hot water for the kids Sunday baths. Somewhere along the way, I learned to cook huge meals for the family. I recall mum being in hospital, having produced John, and I was in charge of the dinner.
The dishes were piled up on the bench, and I was waiting for the water to boil to get the dishes done. Dad came up behind me and told me to go to bed, as I had been such a good girl, he was sure that the fairies would do the dishes for me. Still being young enough to believe in fairies, and glowing from the praise delivered, I went to bed in an euphoric state. It was of no surprise to me that the dishes WERE done in the morning, and when I finally realised that my loving and over worked father had in fact done them; my respect for him grew even further.

Around this stage in my life, I realised that dad was an excellent cook. He made the most delicious scones, and cooked many hearty meals for us all. Later, I wondered how on earth he had learned to do this. I can only put it down to the skills of Granny Lemon, who brought him up.

As we grew older, we were expected to work in the cowshed. One of my particular jobs was to feed the calves, after the milking. On occasions, when a rebel calf would not take his head out of a stall to let another one in, I was required to tap it gently on the head to encourage it to move. Several times, when this did not work, a furious Dad came up behind me and whacked the calf so hard that it dropped dead in its tracks. Nobody said anything, but dad would be later in for dinner on those nights. There was a hole to be dug! Such was the pressure that he was under, in bringing up a large family in trying times. I never knew of my father ever taking a holiday to ease some of the stress.

My father taught me to drive. We had an Essex, which started with a crank. I don't know how we ever afforded to buy it! It was big, square, and black. Plenty of kids could fit in it!. Dad was patience personified over the weeks he taught me how to drive. It was no easy task, with double clutching needed on every gear change. One of the few times I recall Dad telling me off in a big way was to do with a driving lesson. We were driving down the hill on Koutu Road when Nick, his favourite dog, ran out in front of me. I swerved to dodge him, somehow managed to stop going over the cliff face, and ground to an unsteady stop. I then received a huge telling off about how our lives were more important than a dogs life, and I was never ever to swerve to miss an animal, as I had just done. I often think of dad when I dodge opossums these days!!

The time came when he considered that I would be fit to sit for my license. l was 15years old. However, that wasn't the end of it. Before I was allowed to sit for my license, I had to learn how to change a tyre and fix a fuel block. Both were common occurrences in those days. Over the years I have often had to change a tyre but have never had to fix a fuel blockage.

Dad always encouraged us to participate in sport. He was always there, watching us play tennis, take part in inter school sports, encouraging us to take part in the New Year Sports at Waiotemarama, etc. But his huge love was rugby. When we moved back to the Bay of Islands he encouraged all the boys to play rugby. He coached, managed, chaired; in fact did everything within his power to involve himself with his sons in the game. Although he was asked to move to higher appointments within the North Auckland Rugby, he always maintained his strength was with the youth in the game, and stayed with them until all the boys had completed their
Rugby careers. Dad became a life member of the Moerewa Rugby Club.

Dad‘s other passion was education. He was a member of the Pakanae School Committee and worked hard with the teachers to do what he could for the betterment of the children. To this day, I don't know he managed to do it, but his two older sons were sent to Boarding School at Northland College, and when Wyn was old enough to work in the cowshed, I was sent off to private boarding, to be given the chance to improve my education as well. Then when we moved back to the Bay of Islands, the rest of the family were able to bus to bigger Secondary schools.

Dad was not a violent man. However, there were occasions when he would finally burst. When he did, everyone got out of his way!!! Mum knew just how far she could go without him reaching the boiling point. He never hit me, but I well remember the boys getting not just a slap, but quite substantial hidings. These usually occurred when dad was very tired, and the "boys will be boys" happenings got out of hand.

In his later days, dad was a member of the Moerewa Community Board, and spent many hours working for the good of the community. Apart from giving the dogs a healthy piece of tongue at times, I never heard my father use bad language around our home, or in public. He was always very circumspect in mixed company. I can't ever recall bad language being used in our home at all, and to this day I have an aversion towards the common use of it being acceptable.

My father was a wonderful man, ahead of his time in many things. He supported not only his family, but also many others in times of stress or need. As he grew older, and relaxed more, we saw a mainly good humoured man, who lived life to the full. It was a sad day for many people when he died suddenly, at aged 60, with a brain haemorrhage.

I know that he would be very proud to have known how well his children and grandchildren have done. Much of it is because of his teaching and role modelling.

Noelene Starr, 11.12.2004


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