Tribal Fires

By the mid 1830’s some Kāwhia and Taranaki hapū had begun to put down roots in the Te Tau Ihu districts they had helped conquer. Over the following years there were some adjustments to land sea boundaries. By 1841 mana whenua over the different districts of the Te Tau Ihu was clearly established.

Ngāti Rārua

From landfall at Te Awaiti, the Ngāti Rārua hapū, Ngāti Tūrangapeke, and Ngāti Pare Te Ata advanced to Motueka. From Motueka the war party proceeded by the waka to Te Tai Tapu. Ngāti Rārua continued along the west coast until they reached Karamea. Many Ngāti Rārua were already living at Mouteka. It is said that Te Poa Karoro, Tūrangapeke, and others were welcomed by their Ngāti Rārua relations and left the war party at this point. Te Poa Karoro established a pā, Whakapaetuarā, between the Riwaka and Motueka rivers and then moved further south. By the end of the 1830’s Ngāti Rārua had cultivations at Motueka around Pounamu and Putarepo.

taupo point3

Ngāti Rārua were also residing at Puketāwai, near Kaiteriteri, at this time. Niho and his people had a pā at Taupō Point in Takaka and moved between the Tasman Bay and Tai Tapu areas according to their resource needs.

Ngāti Rārua had a fixed rohe that started at Horoirangi and extended to Ta Tai Tapu and Te Tai Poutini. The two main tribal settlements of Ngāti Rārua are Wairau and Motueka.

The Ngāti Rārua hapū who settled in Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Māui were:

  • Ngāti Paretona
  • Te Arawaera
  • Ngāti Tūrangapeke
  • Ngāti Pare Te Ata
  • Ngāti Kairārunga

Te Āti Awa

Te Heke Tamateuaua saw the Te Āti Awa from Ngāmotu, as well Ngāti Tama, arriving in the South Island by 1833. Most of the Te Āti Awa who crossed Cook Strait disembarked at Te Awaiti. Some remained on Arapaoa or moved to Waitohi and elsewhere in Queen Charlotte Sound, while others dispersed from there to the their eventual settlements in Nelson, Motueka and Golden Bay. Most of these chiefs were returning to districts they had helped conquer five or six years previously and had sometimes occupied temporarily on visits during the intervening years. Others rejoined relations who had been keeping southern hearths warm, along with their Kāwhia allies who had by this time been in Cook Strait districts for some time.

It is important to note that the Te Āti Awa proudly retain their tribal lands in northern Taranaki. Settlements of the Te Āti Awa also continue to flourish in Waikanae, the Hutt Valley, Wellington and Picton areas. The connection between the Te Āti Awa, regardless of location remains strong as they hold firmly to the traditions of their Taranaki forbears.

The Te Āti Awa hapū who settled in the Motueka region were:

  • Puketapu
  • Ngāti Rāhiri 

Our History

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