Tokomaru Bay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand
Tokomaru Bay
Population: 462 (2008)
Territorial Authority
Gisborne District

Tokomaru Bay is a small beachside community located on the isolated East Coast of New Zealand's North Island. It is 91 km north of Gisborne, on State Highway 35, and close to Mount Hikurangi. The district was originally known as Toka-a-Namu, which refers to the abundance of sandflies. Over the years the name was altered to Tokomaru Bay.

The two hapu or sub-tribes that reside in Tokomaru Bay are Te Whanau a Ruataupare and Te Whānau a Te Aotawarirangi. The ancestral mountain of Tokomaru Bay is Marotiri. The ancestral river is Mangahauini.

History and culture[edit]

The seven-kilometre wide bay is small but sheltered, and was a calling place for passenger ships until the early 20th century. Captain Cook spent time here on his 1769 journey of discovery, and later European settlement included a whaling station. A visit by Missionaries Williams, Colenso, Matthews and Stack heralded the coming of Christianity to the district in 1838 and their crusade proved very successful with the local people.

The area around the bay has long been a Maori stronghold. The nearby at Te Mawhai was refortified by Henare Potae in the 1860s during the battles between the Ngati Porou and the warriors that followed the Pai Mārire movement (commonly known as Hauhau).[1][2]

The town's modern economy is mainly based on agriculture and forestry, with some tourism. The most common occupation in Tokomaru Bay is professionals, followed by managers and labourers.[3]

Tokomaru Bay's population is predominantly Māori, with the area being a stronghold for the Ngāti Porou iwi.

Te Whānau a Ruataupare ki Tokomaru, a hapū of Ngāti Porou, has three meeting places in the area: Pakirikiri Marae and Te Hono ki Rarotonga meeting house, Tuatini Marae and Huiwhenua meeting house, and Waiparapara Marae and Te Poho o Te Tikanga meeting house.[4][5]

Te Ariuru Marae and Te Poho o Te Aotawarirangi meeting house, located in the northern bay, is a meeting place of another Ngāti Porouhapū hapū, Te Whānau a Te Aotawarirangi.[4][5]

Southern right whales sometimes come into bay to calve or rest.[6]


Tolaga Bay Area School is a Year 1–15 co-educational state area school.[7] In 2019, it was a decile 2 school with a roll of 242.[8]

Hatea-A-Rangi is a Year 1–8 co-educational state school.[9] In 2019, it was a decile 3 school with a roll of 24.[10]

Mata School, located inland from Tokomaru Bay, is a Year 1–8 coeducational state primary school.[11] In 2019, it was a decile 1 school with a roll of 5.[12][13]

Notable people[edit]

Tokomaru Bay was the birthplace of Ngoi Pēwhairangi, famous Maori composer and performance artist, and former All Black, Buff Milner.


  1. ^ The New Zealand Wars: A History Of The Maori Campaigns And The Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72). Early New Zealand Books (NZETC). 1939. pp. 117–122.
  2. ^ Williams, Frederic Wanklyn (1939). Through Ninety Years, 1826–1916: Life and Work Among the Maoris in New Zealand: Notes of the Lives of William and William Leonard Williams, First and Third Bishops of Waiapu. Early New Zealand Books (NZETC). p. 202.
  3. ^ "QuickStats About Tokomaru Bay". Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  4. ^ a b "Te Kāhui Māngai directory". Te Puni Kōkiri.
  5. ^ a b "Māori Maps". Te Potiki National Trust.
  6. ^ [1] Archived December 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Education Review Office Report". Education Review Office.
  8. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". Ministry of Education.
  9. ^ "Education Review Office Report". Education Review Office.
  10. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". Ministry of Education.
  11. ^ "Official School Website".
  12. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". Ministry of Education.
  13. ^ "Education Review Office Report". Education Review Office.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°08′S 178°18′E / 38.133°S 178.300°E / -38.133; 178.300