Story: Hauraki tribes

Page 3. Ngāi Tai, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Rāhiri

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Ngāi Tai

When the Tainui canoe arrived at Whangaparāoa in the eastern Bay of Plenty, Tōrere, daughter of the captain Hoturoa, came ashore. She eventually married a local man named Manaaki-ao. This marriage gave rise to the Ngāi Tai people, who are located at Tōrere in the Bay of Plenty.

Some generations later, a local man named Tamatea-tokinui urged his three granddaughters – Te Raukohekohe, Motu-i-tawhiti and Te Kaweinga – to live with their Tainui relations in the Hauraki region. The women left with a large entourage, and their journey is commemorated in history as Te Heke o ngā Tokotoru (the migration of the three). They eventually married men from the Hauraki region. These marriages led to the formation of another tribe, again called Ngāi Tai, who are based in the Maraetai and Clevedon districts of South Auckland.

The iwi of Hauraki have been collectively negotiating settlement of their treaty claims since at least 2010.

Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, the section of this tribe living in the Auckland region, settled their historic treaty claims on 7 November 2015. The settlement included financial and commercial redress of $12.7 million, the vesting in the tribe of 16 sites of cultural significance and $50,000 for cultural revitalisation.

Ngāti Pūkenga

Ngāti Pūkenga trace their descent from the Mataatua canoe. Originally from the Tauranga region, they moved to the Coromandel Peninsula following a number of conflicts in the 19th century. They were gifted lands at Manaia by Ngāti Maru as thanks for their assistance in battle. Their chief, Te Kou-o-Rehua, signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

Ngāti Pūkenga signed a Deed of Settlement for its historical treaty claims on 7 April 2013. This included $500,000 for cultural revitalisation, $180,000 for marae revitalisation at Manaia, south of Coromandel, and financial and commercial redress of $5 million.

Ngāti Rāhiri

Ngāti Rāhiri take their name from the ancestor Rāhiri. The Ngāpuhi people of Northland also have a founding ancestor called Rāhiri, and there is debate about whether they were the same man. Hauraki sources suggest that there were two men, the elder being the ancestor of Ngāti Rāhiri, and the younger that of Ngāpuhi.

Rāhiri the elder was associated with the Mataatua peoples, who made their major landfall at Whakatāne. At first he accompanied the canoe from Whakatāne to the north, but later in life decided to return to the Whakatāne district via Hauraki. Members of his entourage stayed in Hauraki and adopted the name Ngāti Rāhiri.

How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Hauraki tribes - Ngāi Tai, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Rāhiri', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 May 2024)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 3 Mar 2017