About Remana & Arihi

REMANA KIWIKIWI (b.1860; d.1924)

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 however, in his evidence statements to the Land Court, Remana states that he lived on the block at Porotu up to the age of 7. He was then taken to Ngawhitu by his mother. He says, he went with his mother to Werowero and worked on the land felling bush when he was 13. He then went to Pakaraka where he lived with the Williams family “for a long time”. We know that he must have attended a school at some point as he was literate in Te Reo Māori 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’ family home where she worked . They married at Waimate North on 19th July 1881 and went on to have a large family.

The family moved to Pakaraka in approximately 1900. It appears that his education and close relationships with pakeha families such as the Williams 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.


ARIHI (ALICE) COPE (b.1864; d.1905)

Arihi is the second child of James Henry Cope and Ellen Leef. Her mother Ellen, is the 7th child and 4th daughter of John Leef and Te Rangahau of Opara, Whirinaki. She was born on 15 July 1864 in Opara. Her mother Ellen, 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 months old. On the death of his wife, James Cope (Arihi’s father) returned to England, placing baby James in the care of his aunt Maraea at Taheke, and the 2 girls into the Anglican orphanage in Auckland.

The girls lived at the orphanage for 6 years and were then discharged back into the care of their father, residing in Kawakawa, according to the Anglican records. However, 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.

Arihi was a devout Christian and renowned gardener. 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 eventually returned to Pakaraka to die and is now buried in the urupa at Holy Trinity church, Pakaraka, next to Remana and surrounded by whanau.

Information Sources:

  • Compiled by Michele Topping, (Oct 2004), from notes written by Delcie Doss and Joan Leaf
  • Ko Wai Ahau – Who Am I? The Story of Remana and Alice Kiwikiwi, (2009), KKWCT
  • Informal interviews with founding trustees

Remana and Arihi Kiwikiwi had 11 children who survived into adulthood. Family records state that Arihi bore 14 children, however, it’s been told that she may have had 17 children including stillborn or surviving a few days.

The eleven tamariki of Remana and Arihi are listed here with links for access to whakapapa information. The Kiwikiwi tamariki were originally given English names and over time the Māori translation for some was adopted:

  1. Emily I (Emere)
  2. Ellen (Erana)
  3. Paul (Paora)
  4. Harold (Hare)
  5. Myra (Marara)
  6. Charlie (Waihare)
  7. Maria (Maraea)
  8. Marianne (Mereana)
  9. Major (Mei)
  10. Dolly (Tare)
  11. Emily II (Emere).

Remana and Arihi Kiwikiwi also raised several of their grandchildren, including Ike Penney, Shirley Lyons and Nellie Phillips.


  1. Remana & Arihi (Alice)
  2. Arihi (Alice) with Ike