Te Aupōuri

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Te Aupōuri
Iwi of New Zealand
Rohe (location) Northland
Waka (canoe) Māmari
Population 8,200
Website http://www.teaupouri.iwi.nz/
Ruanui, an ancestor of Te Aupōuri

Te Aupōuri is the northernmost Māori iwi (tribal group), located north of Kaitaia, Northland, New Zealand, a region known as the Aupouri Peninsula. The iwi is one of the six Muriwhenua iwi of the far north of the North Island.

The ancestral legend[edit]

In Māori, Te Aupouri means "The Dark Cloud". According to legend, the Te Aupōuri came into conflict with the Te Rarawa iwi. The battle between the two eventually caused two other chieftains, Te Ikanui and Wheru, to become besieged in their in Pawarenga on Whangape Harbour. To mask their escape, they burnt their possessions and escaped under the cover of the smoke, hence the reference to the "Dark Cloud".

The following is the iwi's chant:

Māori English translation
Ko Tawhitirahi te maunga Tawhitirahi was the mountain
Ko Te Awapoka te awa Te Awapoka was the river
Ko Pārengarenga te moana Pārengarenga was the sea
Ko Pōtahi te marae Pōtahi was the marae
Ko Waimirirangi te wharehui Waimirirangi was the wharenui
Ko Te Rongopātūtaonga te wharekai Rongopātūtaonga was the eating hall
Ko Te Kao te kāinga Te Kao was the settlement
Ko Te Aupōuri te iwi Te Aupōuri was the tribe
Tīhewa mauri ora It is life

Ruanui and the Polynesian rats[edit]

According to the traditions of the Aotea, Horouta and Māmari ancestral canoes, kiore (Polynesian rats) were passengers on their voyages from Hawaiki to New Zealand. Carvings on a window frame of Te Ōhākī marae at Ahipara depict the story of Ruanui's rat, Ruanui being the captain of the Māmari canoe. On arriving in Hokianga Harbour, he released his rats onto an island now called Motukiore "rat island".

Notable Te Aupōuri[edit]