Wiremu Te Kakakura Parata aka Wi Parata, was born on Kapiti Island, probably in the mid 1830s. He was the son of Metapere Waipunahau, a Maori woman of high status, and George Stubbs, a whaler and trader from Australia.

His grandfather Te Rangi Hīroa and his great-uncle Te Pēhi Kupe were leading rangatira among the Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Toa iwi who had settled along the Kapiti Coast.

During the 1870s he was a member of the House of Representatives and a Minister of the Crown.

His mother, Metapere Wai-punahau, was the daughter of Te Rangihiroa, younger brother of Te Pehi Kupe, the hereditary leader of Ngati Toa who had occupied the Kapiti coast from the 1820s. Metapere Wai-punahau was given in marriage to George Stubbs, an American whaler and trader. The name they gave to their son, Te Kakakura, said to have been taken from the dying speech of Te Pehi Kupe, refers to the red feathers under the wing of the kaka, symbolic of high chiefs. In later years Te Kakakura Parata was to come into possession of a cloak made of these feathers.

The name Wiremu (Wi) appears to have been given later.

Wi Parata’s father was drowned in a boating accident off Pukerua Bay about 1838, and Parata had only one brother, Hemi Matenga. His mother moved her family from Kapiti to the palisaded pa at Kenakena at the mouth of the Waikanae River, where Parata spent his childhood

Wi is said to have married twice. Nothing is known of his first wife. His second wife was Unaiki, of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toa. They are said to have married in 1852, and to have had at least 11 children, including four sons.

Wi Parata died at Waikanae, as the result of injuries sustained falling from a horse, on 29 Sep 1906. His tangihanga was reported to have been ‘one of the most important functions of this kind that has been held in this island for many years’. His wife, Unaiki, had died on 25 April 1891. Both their portraits were painted by Gottfried Lindauer in 1877, and Parata is commemorated in stained glass in St Luke’s Church.

The Parata family burial ground, Ruakohatu, stands adjacent to St Luke’s Church. This is where Wiremu Te Kakakura Parata is buried, his grave being marked by an imposing marble bust which looks down on his many descendants who followed him there.

More here: http://www.teara.govt.nz/…/2p5/parata-wiremu-te-kakakura