Story: Waikato tribes

River mouth at Port Waikato

River mouth at Port Waikato

The name ‘Waikato’ comes from an incident during the journey of the Tainui canoe. When the canoe arrived just off the mouth of the river, its current could be seen exerting a pull (kato) in the sea – so the river itself was named Waikato (wai meaning water).

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GNS Science
Reference: 22622/23
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Waikato tribes - Waikato landmarks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017