Ngāti Whātua

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ngāti Whātua
Iwi (tribe) in Māoridom
Lower Northland Peninsula
Rohe (region)Northland and Auckland
Waka (canoe)Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi

Ngāti Whātua is a Māori iwi (tribe) of the lower Northland Peninsula of New Zealand's North Island.[1] It comprises a confederation of four hapū (subtribes) interconnected both by ancestry and by association over time: Te Uri-o-Hau, Te Roroa, Te Taoū, and Ngāti Whātua-o-Ōrākei.[2] The four hapū can act together or separately as independent tribes.[3]

Ngāti Whātua's territory or rohe is traditionally expressed as: Tāmaki ki Maunganui i te Tai Hauauru and Tāmaki ki Manaia i te Rawhiti. The northern boundary is expressed as: Manaia titiro ki Whatitiri, Whatitiri titiro ki Tutamoe, Tutamoe titiro ki Maunganui. The southern boundary is expressed as: Te awa o Tāmaki. The area runs from Tāmaki River in the south to Maunganui Bluff (at the northern end of Aranga Beach on the west coast) in the north, and to Whangarei Harbour on the east coast. By the time of European settlement in New Zealand, Ngāti Whātua's territory was around the Kaipara Harbour and stretching south to Tāmaki Makaurau, the site of present-day Auckland.[2]


Ngāti Whātua descends from the ancestor Tuputupuwhenua (also known as Tumutumuwhenua). The iwi traces its arrival in New Zealand to the Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi canoe, which landed north of the Kaipara Harbour. They also descend from ancestors who migrated from Muriwhenua in the Far North and intermarried with the tribes in Ngāti Whātua's territory.[3]

Rivalry with Ngāpuhi escalated in the early 19th century when Ngāpuhi acquired muskets. Ngāpuhi attacked Ngāti Whātua in 1807 or 1808 in the battle of Moremonui north of Dargaville - probably the occasion of the first use of firearms in Māori warfare. Ngāti Whātua overcame the Ngāpuhi warriors with hand weapons while Ngāpuhi were reloading their muskets, winning a decisive victory over the attackers. Ngāpuhi, led by Hongi Hika, exacted revenge in 1825 when they defeated Ngāti Whātua in the battle of Te Ika a Ranganui near Kaiwaka.

Wishing to attract European settlement in their area, and in hopes of avoiding future requisition by unsatisfied officials, Ngāti Whātua offered land at Tāmaki Makaurau to Governor William Hobson in 1840.[citation needed] Hobson took up the offer and moved the capital of New Zealand to Tāmaki Makaurau, naming the settlement Auckland.

Ngāti Whātua came to national prominence in the 1970s in a dispute over vacant land at Bastion Point, a little way east of the Auckland city centre, adjoining the suburb of Orakei. The land, which the New Zealand government had acquired cheaply for public works many decades before, largely reverted to the tribe after a long occupation and passive resistance.[4][5]

Hapū and marae[edit]

Northern Wairoa[edit]

  • Ngāti Hinga hapu, based at Ahikiwi marae (Te Aranga Mai o te Whakapono wharenui), Kaihū
  • Ngāti Torehina, based at Taita marae (Kia Mahara Koutou wharenui), Māmaranui
  • Unidentified hapu, based at Kāpehu marae (Tāringaroa wharenui), Mititai, and Tama te Uaua marae (Tama te Uaua wharenui), Kaihū
  • Te Kuihi, based at Te Houhanga marae (Rāhiri wharenui), Dargaville
  • Te Popoto, based at Ōtūrei marae (Rangimārie Te Aroha wharenui), Aratapu
  • Te Roroa, based at Pananawe marae (Te Taumata o Tiopira Kinaki wharenui), Waipoua; Te Houhanga marae (Rāhiri wharenui), Dargaville; Waikarā marae (Te Uaua wharenui), Aranga; Waikaraka marae (Whakarongo wharenui), Kaihū
  • Te Uri o Hau, based at: Naumai marae (Ngā Uri o te Kotahitanga wharenui), Ruawai; Ōtūrei marae (Rangimārie Te Aroha wharenui), Aratapu; Rīpia marae (No wharenui), Rīpia, and Pouto; Waikaretu marae, Matakohe; Parirau Marae-Wharemarama (Te Uri-o-Hau). [1]


The Whangarei district has four hapu (sub-tribes):

  • Patuharakeke hapu, based at Takahiwai marae (Rangiora wharenui), Takahiwai
  • Te Kuihi hapu, based at Tangiterōria marae (Tirarau wharenui), Tangiterōria
  • Te Parawhau hapu, based at Korokota marae (Tikitiki o Rangi wharenui), Tītoki and Tangiterōria marae (Tirarau wharenui), Tangiterōria
  • Te Uriroroi hapu, based at Toetoe mare (Toetoe wharenui), Ōtaika[1]


  • Ngā Oho, based at Ōrākei marae (with Tumutumuwhenua wharenui), Ōrākei
  • Te Taoū, based at Ōrākei marae (with Tumutumuwhenua wharenui), Ōrākei
  • Te Uri Ngutu, based at Ōrākei marae (with Tumutumuwhenua wharenui), Ōrākei[1]


Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua has a mandate, recognised by the New Zealand Government, to negotiate Treaty of Waitangi settlements for Ngāti Whatua. It is also a mandated iwi organisation under the Māori Fisheries Act, an iwi acquaculture organisation Aquaculture Organisation in the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act, represents Ngāti Whatu as an iwi authority under the Resource Management Act and is a Tūhono organisation. It is a Māori Trust Board governed by 11 trustees from 5 takiwā or districts: 1 trustee from Ōrakei, 2 from South Kaipara, 3 from Otamatea, 1 from Whangarei and 4 from Northern Wairoa.[1] As of 2016, the chairperson of the trust is Russell Kemp, the support services manager is Pat Murray, and the trust is based in Whangarei.[6]

The iwi has interest in the territory of Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Kaipara District Council and Whangarei District Council.[1]

Radio station[edit]

Ake 1179 is the official radio station of Ngāti Whātua, but is not officially part of the iwi radio network.[7] It broadcasts on 1179 AM in Auckland, and features a combination of urban contemporary music and traditional storytelling.[8]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rohe". Te Puni Kōkiri, New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Te rohe o Ngāti Whātua: our area". Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Taonui, Rāwiri (22 September 2012). "Ngāti Whātua - Origins". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Bastion Point - The Untold Story" (Documentary). NZ On Screen. 1999. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  5. ^ Royal, Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal (11 July 2013). "Police cordon, Bastion Point". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ngati Whatua". Ngāti Whatua. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Listen Online". Irirangi. Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Māori. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Ake 1179". Te Rūnanga Ngāti Whātua. Ngāti Whātua. Retrieved 14 June 2015.

External links[edit]