|Iwi of New Zealand|
Pūtauaki, ancestral mountain of Ngāti Awa.
|Rohe (location)||Bay of Plenty Region|
Ngāti Awa comprises 22 hapu (subtribes), with 15,258 people claiming affiliation to the iwi in 2006. The Ngāti Awa people are primarily located in towns on the Rangitaiki Plain, including Whakatane, Kawerau, Edgecumbe, Te Teko and Matata. Two urban hapu also exist in Auckland (Ngāti Awa-ki-Tamaki) and Wellington (Ngāti Awa-ki-Poneke).
Ngāti Awa traces its origins to the arrival of Māori settlers on the Mataatua waka (canoe). The Mataatua settlers established settlements in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. Initially, the tribe controlled a large area in Northland, but conflicts with other northern iwi resulted in a southward migration. One group eventually settled in the eastern Bay of Plenty, whose descendants would eventually found the iwi.
Awanuiarangi II is recognised as the eponymous ancestor of Ngāti Awa. Awanuiarangi II was a chief descended from Toroa, captain of the Mataatua. Descendants of Awanuiarangi II eventually formed their own iwi, Ngāti Awa, named after their ancestor.
Tribal and land wars
Ngāti Awa was frequently at war with neighbouring iwi, including those with similar ancestry. Ngāti Awa initially had good trading relations with European settlers. However, the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s resulted in the British Crown confiscating more than 1,000 km² of Ngāti Awa land.
For more than a century afterwards, Ngāti Awa remained an aggrieved, struggling people. However, in 1999, the Waitangi Tribunal determined that the confiscation of Ngāti Awa land in the New Zealand Land Wars by the British Crown was illegal, and in 2003 a settlement was reached between Ngāti Awa and the New Zealand Government.
In 2003, following almost ten years of negotiations between the New Zealand Government and Ngāti Awa, a settlement was announced and reparations were made to the iwi. In summary:
- The New Zealand Government ('the Crown') acknowledged and apologised for the illegal confiscation of Ngāti Awa land during the New Zealand Land Wars
- The Crown paid NZ$42.39 million in reparations to Ngāti Awa
- The Crown agreed to return control of seven sites of historical and cultural significance to the iwi
- Three locations were renamed in accordance with original Ngāti Awa place names.
In the nineteenth century Ngāti Pūkeko were considered a separate iwi, but they are currently considered a hapū of Ngāti Awa.
Ngāti Awa today
From 2005, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa became the new governing body of the iwi. Representatives from the Rūnanga were responsible for negotiating the settlement with the government on behalf of Ngāti Awa. Based in Whakatane, the rūnanga manages the financial assets of the iwi, and promotes cultural, educational and economic development in the region.
- Harvey, Layne (2006-09-26). "Ngāti Awa". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa website
- "2006 Census – QuickStats About Māori (revised)". Statistics New Zealand. 2007-04-04. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-25.