In the 1820s tribal groups from Waikato and Taranaki migrated south, attracted by the opportunity for trade with Europeans around Cook Strait. The Taranaki tribes made incursions into Wairarapa as well. Many Wairarapa Māori retreated to relatives at Māhia – a journey known as Te heke ki Nukutaurua. After the invaders had been repelled in the early 1840s, locals returned to Wairarapa.
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