This meeting house is at Waikirikiri marae, Rūātoki, in the northern Urewera, and is named after the early Polynesian settler Toi. Toi appears in many North Island tribal genealogies, often as the earliest ancestor living in New Zealand when many canoes arrive. One of his extended names is Toikairākau (Toi the eater of trees): there were no kūmara (sweet potatoes) in New Zealand when he lived there, and he had to make do with fern roots . These traditions depict Toi as something of a pioneering figure who had to rough it without the usual Polynesian accompaniments such as kūmara or, in some versions, without fire.
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Photograph by Rangi McGarvey
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