Story: Northland region

Shell midden

Shell midden

After migratory canoes arrived in Northland from Polynesia, Māori settled throughout the area, as its warm climate ensured abundant food sources. There are still traces of early occupation, including some major sites. Middens (rubbish dumps containing layers of shell and bone mixed with charcoal, ash and burnt stone) reveal what these first people ate, collected and threw away in the course of their everyday life. This shell midden is at Ninety Mile Beach on the Aupōuri Peninsula.

Using this item

Heritage New Zealand – Pouhere Taonga

Permission of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Claudia Orange, 'Northland region - First inhabitants: Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 September 2023)

Story by Claudia Orange, updated 1 May 2015