Thomas Halbert

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Thomas Halbert
Born (1806-07-08)8 July 1806
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Died (1865-04-12)12 April 1865
Taruheru River, Gisborne, New Zealand
Other names Tame Poto
Occupation Whaler
Spouse(s) Unknown first wife
Pirihira Halbert (née Konekone)
Mereana Halbert (née Wero)
Riria Halbert (née Mauaranui)
Kaikiri "Keita" Halbert
Maora Halbert (née Pani)
Relatives Otene Pitau (son)
Wi Pere (son)
Kate Halbert (daughter)
William "Bill" Cunningham (grandson)
Moana Paratene (grandson)
see below for more descendants

Thomas Halbert (8 July 1806 – 12 April 1865) was a New Zealand whaler, trader and founding father. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England and baptised on 25 December 1814 in Gateshead, Durham, England.

Early life[edit]

Thomas was the son of William Halbert (1766-1815) and Sarah 1771-1814. William and Sarah Halbert had at least 11 children:

  • Sarah Halbert died 1795
  • William Halbert born 1792
  • Alice Halbert born 1794
  • John Halbert 1796-1854
  • Sarah Halbert born 1798
  • Elizabeth Halbert born 1799
  • George Potts Halbert 1802-1851
  • Joseph Halbert 1803-1838
  • Elizabeth Halbert 1804-1807
  • Mary Ann Halbert 1805-1806
  • Thomas Halbert 1806-1865

Little is known about Thomas before his emigration to New Zealand.[1] Upon emigrating to New Zealand he would marry six times. His wives included:

Wives & children[edit]

His children were:

With his first wife[edit]

  • unknown son who died at infancy.

With Pirihira Konekone, his second wife[edit]

With Mereana Wero, his third wife[edit]

  • No Issue

With Riria Mauaranui, his fourth wife[edit]

  • Wi Pere (born William Pere Halbert)

With Kaikiri, his fifth wife[edit]

  • Kate Gannon (nee Halbert, formerly Wyllie. She married twice and died as Kate Gannon, however she is more famously known as Kate Wyllie)
  • Hera (Sarah) Halbert married William Alexander Wyllie. After his death she married James Cunningham. After his death she married Paratene Tatae.
  • Mere (Mary) Halbert married Alexander Heany. She divorced him then married Donald Gordon.
  • Maata (Martha) Rewanga Halbert married Arthur Francis Cuff.

With Maora Pani, his sixth wife[edit]

  • Alice Matewai Halbert married Karepa Mataira.
  • Twins who died at infancy
  • Thomas Halbert Jr married Ripeka Matahaere Brown.

Notable descendants[edit]

Some of descendants include:

Other descendants include:

  • Keita Kohere (nee Paratene), the wife of politician and historian, Reweti Tuhorouta Kohere (his granddaughter through his daughter, Sarah)
  • Terry Kopua, the husband of Silver Fern netball captain, Casey Kopua (his three times great grandson through his daughter Sarah)
  • Awerangi Tamihere (nee Durie), the daughter of Professor Mason Durie and wife of former politician and radio personality, John Tamihere (his three times great granddaughter through his daughter, Sarah)
  • Gary Lewis, husband of Lady Davina Lewis (nee Windsor) who is currently 28th in line to the British throne (his four times great grandson through his son, Wi Pere)
  • Senna Lewis, daughter of Gary and Davina Lewis and currently 29th in line to the British throne (his five times great granddaughter)
  • Tāne Mahuta Lewis, son of Gary and Davina Lewis and currently 30th in line to the British throne (his five times great grandson)


Halbert died 12 April 1865 when he was crossing the Taruheru River and became stuck in the mud. He drowned as the tide came back in and was buried at Makaraka Cemetery. A street in Makaraka is named for him.


  1. ^ Simpson, Elspeth M.; Simpson, K. M. "Thomas Halbert". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)