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Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki Historical Account

Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki are the descendants of a number of illustrious Tipuna including Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga; Toi Kai-Rakau, or Toi, a Tipuna from whom many Hauraki iwi descend; Rauru Nui a Toi, who connects us to the descendants of Awanuiarangi and across to the Tai Hauauru; and Paikea Ariki Moana, who travelled here in the wake of Te Tai Whakamate-a-Ruatapu.

Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki, in accordance with their traditions and tikanga, trace their origins to the beginning of time or more aptly in the context of Aotearoa, since Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga fished up Te Ika a Maui (North Island) from the depths of the Sea.  They state that when Maui fished up the Island, his waka Nukutaimemeha was cradled on the top of our Ancestral Mountain called Hikurangi, where it still rests today in Te Roto o Hinetakawhiti.

One of the most persistent traditions among different Tribes refers to a place called Mataora as the mythical land where Maui’s brothers, Maui-Mua and Maui–Katoa and others, landed.  Our connection to Mataora is traced through this history. We Ngāti Porou in the Hauraki whakapapa back to Maui’s sons, whose Tribes inhabited the land from the Wairarapa in the south, to Waitakere, north of Auckland, from Tuparoa and Hicks Bay in the east, and across the island to Mokau and Kawhia in the west. These Tribes have been described collectively as the Maui Nation. 

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Toi Kai-Rakau, also known as Toi-Te-Huatahi, is widely acknowledged as being an ancestor of great significance for many tribes across the country, including Hauraki. These tribes are known collectively as Te-Tini-o-Toi.  


On our journey to become known as Ngāti Porou, our bloodlines derived from Ngāti Uepohatu, who are descendants of Toi-Kai-Rakau. Ngāti Uepohatu came to populate the area at the base of Mt Hikurangi reaching Eastward to the Coast at Tuparoa. At one time Ngāti Uepohatu territory stretched from Tuparoa in the South to the mouth of the Waiapu River, pressure from kinfolk Hapū reduced Ngati Uepohatu land holdings from Hikurangi to Tuparoa. 

We of Ngāti Porou in the Hauraki also claim direct descent from Toi by way of our Ancestor Paikea-Ariki-Moana.  After making landfall at Te Ahuahu (Mercury Island), Paikea married Te-A-Huru-Mowairaka, the grand-daughter of Toi, at Harataunga.  Paikea’s arrival is recalled in the full name of the island as Te-Ahuahutunga-o-Paikea. 


In this image: Harataunga

Paikea named Harataunga, Te Ara Hou.  Our Tradition has him visiting Waipou at Harataunga where a fresh water spring can be found in the rocks above sea level. This spring emerged when he struck a rock in his search for fresh water.  It also associates him with another marriage to Parawhenuamea from Te Ahuahu (Goddess of Water).  He proceeded to name many of the major features of Te Tai Tamahine, the eastern seaboard of Te Tara o Te Ika o Maui.

Paikea proceeded to take a number of wives thereafter and his progeny attest to his productivity finally taking Huturangi. The marriage to Huturangi begat Porourangi and Tahu Potiki. Porourangi begat Hau and his influence extended as far as Whitiranga in the Hauraki. 

From the time of Paikea up until today our bloodlines have continued by way of trade, assistance and inter-marriage within the Hauraki whanau and on our Hauraki whenua. 

Prior to the birth of Porourangi our bloodlines by way of intermarriage link us strongly to the Ariki lines of Te Arawa, Nukutere, Maataatua, Tainui, Takitimu and Horouta bloodstocks. Six Generations from the birth of Porourangi, Rongomaihuatahi married Turirangi and begat Apanui Ringamutu linking the Ariki lines of Ngati Porou, Te Arawa and commencing Whanau-A-Apanui.

In this image: Waipou, Harataunga

Notwithstanding the consistent whānau and Hapū contests that took place our bloodlines continued to trade, relate, inter-marry and bury our deceased in this whenua.  More particularly the trade in and around Opito Bay is well documented in being one of the largest pre-European trading Ports in all of Aotearoa.  The proximity to Harataunga gave us constant solace in our times of travel.  

Mataora is nestled in the apex of Te Tara-o-Te-Ika-a-Maui.  It looks outward into the tribally busy waters of Toi-Te-Huatahi.  It looks inward as a gateway to Ohinemuri and begets by way of springs the Ohinemuri River.  

In this image: Mataora Point, Te Oneroa beach.

Mataora was settled by tacit agreement of all iwi of this district in regard to its acknowledged place as an ancient Wananga for the Toi people and their descendants.  Ngāti Porou from times earlier than their cohesion as a tribal entity were acknowledged as being skilled and gifted in the arts. The remains of major Hauraki Ariki are interred for safekeeping here as an acknowledgement that it is a safe and consecrated place. Paora Te Putu is buried here, and it is said, so is Te Kooti. Our traditions from the time of Maui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga bestow a special significance on this whenua and moana. 

The Tuku was made to Ngāti Porou following the iwi of the Hauraki being decimated by warfare and fleeing their lands to the protection of their Waikato whānau. Ngāti Porou were now fully armed and in possession of large trading vessels. Our constant presence brought stability and peace to those that remained.

In 1868 at a Hui-a-Iwi, Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki determined that those who supported the Crown were to remain at Harataunga and those that supported Ringatu were to move to Mataora. Whānau divided accordingly.

The Ngāti Porou community of Mataora applied warriors, funds and arms in the supporting Te Kooti. Warriors from Mataora fought against the Crown at Rangiriri, Orakau, Whakamarama and throughout the British Campaigns.


The Ngāti Porou Community at Harataunga sent warriors to support Major Ropata Wahawaha in his campaigns in Tairawhiti, Taranaki and the King Country.  This community also sent large numbers to the First and Second World Wars in support of the Crown effort.

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In this image: Major Ropata Wahawaha, Ngāti Porou

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