Story: Tribal organisation

How the tribe Te Aupōuri got their name

How the tribe Te Aupōuri got their name

The Te Aupōuri tribe of Northland was originally called Ngāti Ruānui. Over time Ngāti Ruānui came into conflict with their relatives of the Te Rarawa tribe. During one battle two Ngāti Ruānui chiefs, Te Ikanui and Whēru, were besieged in their at Pawarenga on the Whāngāpē Harbour (pictured). One night they escaped across the harbour under cover of darkness and of the smoke created by burning their possessions. From then on Ngāti Ruānui were known as Te Aupōuri, from ‘au’ (current) and ‘pōuri’ (smoke or ash).

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Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Tribal organisation - How iwi and hapū were named', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 8 Feb 2005