Story: Ngā take Māori – government policy and Māori

Sacred mountains of the Kīngitanga

The Kīngitanga movement aimed to unite the Māori tribes into a council that could negotiate with settler-dominated governments. At its founding ceremony at Pūkawa, on the west side of Lake Taupō, in 1857, Kīngitanga leader Te Heuheu Iwikau erected a flagpole with ropes of plaited flax attached to the top. He explained that the pole represented Tongariro, the sacred mountain of his own tribe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Each rope represented the sacred mountain of another tribe. As these mountains were named, the leading chief of each tribe took a rope and staked it into the ground to symbolise their support for the Kīngitanga. This map shows the main sacred maunga (mountains) around New Zealand.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Ngā take Māori – government policy and Māori - Conflict and compromise, 1860s to 1920s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 September 2021)

Story by Mark Derby, published 20 Jun 2012