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