Maketu Wharetotara

On 7 March 1842 Maketu Wharetotara, the 17-year-old son of the Ngāpuhi chief Ruhe of Waimate, became the first official execution in New Zealand. Maketu was hanged at the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets in Auckland for the murder of Mrs Roberton, her two children and two others at the Bay of Islands the previous November.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Painting by Merrett, Joseph Jenner
Reference: E-216-f-141
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page: 'Maketu Wharetotara', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 9-Apr-2014

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