(1) Ka Mate was composed by the Ngati Toa Rangatira chief Te Rauparaha, a descendant of Hoturoa who was captain of the Tainui canoe. Te Rauparaha was born in the 1770s at Kawhia and he died in 1849 at Otaki. Te Rauparaha was a man of great mana; he was the instigator of the emigration of Ngati Toa Rangatira from Kawhia, their consequent conquest and settlement in Kapiti, Port Nicholson, and Te Tau Ihu, and their revitalisation as an iwi.
(2) Te Rauparaha was the product of an arranged marriage. Werawera (father-to-be of Te Rauparaha) heard of the beauty of Parekohatu, a younger daughter of the Ngati Raukawa/Ngati Huia chief Korouaputa. Werawera decided to approach Korouaputa and seek his consent to take Parekohatu as his wife. At Maungatautari, Werawera made the reason for his visit known. Addressing Korouaputa, he said, “I haere mai ahau ki a koe he wahine te take” (I come to you, a woman is the reason). Korouaputa replied, “Heoi ano ko te mea i mahue mai nei ki au, ko taku mokai, he mea hari wai maaku” (The only one I have left is my favourite, she brings me water). Werawera responded, “E pai ana tukuna mai” (It is well give her (to me)). Korouaputa, after giving the matter some thought, replied, “Heoi ano kaore e kore ki te whiwhi tamariki, tera ano he taniwha tetahi” (Nevertheless, yes, without a doubt, when children come there will be a taniwha). When Te Rauparaha was born in the 1770s at Kawhia, Werawera took him back to Maungatautari so that his grandfather could see him. When the old man saw the baby, he stated, “Ae. Koia.”
(3) From that time he was spoken of as a chiefly child, and raised as a rangatira, until he grew old enough to again return to Maungatautari, this time to live with his mother’s people and to learn the art of weaponry, the flow of the taiaha, and the parry of the wahaika.