Story: Ngāti Whātua

Tāne Mahuta – ‘Lord of the forest’ (1st of 2)

Tāne Mahuta – ‘Lord of the forest’

Ngāti Whātua share a common ancestor, called Tuputupuwhenua by northern tribes and Tumutumuwhenua by southern tribes. Tuputupuwhenua’s descendants are said to have been the earliest occupants of Waipoua Forest, which today holds 75% of New Zealand’s remaining kauri trees. The largest tree – indeed the largest in the country – is Tāne Mahuta.

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Photograph by Peter Hodsell

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Ngāti Whātua - Origins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 December 2023)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017