- For the canoe from Māori tradition, see Arawa (canoe).
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Formerly known as Nga-rakau-tapu-a-Atuamatua, the Te Arawa canoe takes its name from the red shark it resembled as it was descending into a whirlpool upon its migration to Aotearoa from its homeland, Rangiatea. The captain of the canoe was Tamatekapua, and its principal tohunga(priest) was Ngatoroirangi.
Te Arawa is now made up of a confederation of Māori iwi and hapu (tribes and sub-tribes) based in the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty areas of New Zealand, with a population of around 40,000.
The history of the Te Arawa people is inextricably linked to the Arawa canoe. The iwi and hapu that constitute Te Arawa include Ngati Whakaue, Ngati Rangiteaorere, Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Makino, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Rangiwewehi, Tapuika, Waitaha, Ngati Ngararanui, Ngati Rongomai, Ngati Tahu, Ngati Whaoa, Ngati Tarawhai, Ngati Te Roro o Te Rangi, Ngati Kea Ngati Tuara, Ngati Tura-Ngati Te Ngakau, Ngati Uenukukōpako, Tūhourangi, Ngati Wahiao Ngati Manawa, and Ngati Tuwharetoa.
The Te Arawa tribes have a close historical interest in the lakes around Rotorua.
Many Te Arawa men fought for the Colonial Government in the New Zealand land wars that occurred in the mid-19th century in the North Island of New Zealand.
Perhaps in part for this reason the iwi chose to negotiate directly with the New Zealand government over their historical grievances, bypassing the Waitangi Tribunal. A series of negotiations has resulted in several settlements of their various claims, the largest of which are the settlement relating to the 14 lakes, signed in December 2004, and the settlement for all the historical claims of a cluster of Te Arawa iwi and hapu signed on 30 September 2006. The Government apologised to Te Arawa for breaches of the Treaty, and paid $36 million in compensation, including up to 500 km² of Crown forest land, as well as 19 areas of special significance, including the Whakarewarewa Thermal Springs Reserve.
- Stokes, Jon (30 September 2006). "$200m treaty deal makes tribe 'a force'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
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