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Origins of Te Uri o Hau o Te Wahapu o Kaipara Iwi

Manawhenua Report

Ref: Manawhenua Report - Te Uri o Hau o Te Wahapu o Kaipara Iwi, by William Wright Dec-1996

Most tribes, and Te Uri o Hau is of no exception, can claim descent from the crew of more than one canoe and throughout this report the relationship existing between Te Uri o Hau and Ngati Whatua with other tribes within Tai Tokerau and such southern tribes as Te Arawa, Ngati Porou and others will become more apparent. As mentioned earlier, Te Uri o Hau is very closely related to Ngati Whatua and is recognised as a hapu to that tribe because of their common tupuna, Haumoewaarangi. 

Nevertheless, Te Uri o Hau can also be recognised as an iwi of their own, due to the fact that a number of hapu are also interwoven and associated with Te Uri o Hau. The iwi of Ngati Whatua derived its name when in the regions of Muriwhenua (before Ngati Whatua’ move into the Kaipara region) and Te Uri o Hau’ name originated from the Pouto peninsula some eleven or twelve generations ago after Haumoewaarangi was killed in the southern Kaipara harbour region.  However, I will give accounts of our traditional history before focusing on our Tangata Whenua and Mana Whenua status that is associated in and around the Kaipara areas of today.  

The Mahuhu canoe is described as being “the canoe of Ngati Whatua”because of the strong genealogical ties to this waka through settlements and intermarriages with the people known many generations ago as the Mahuhu people. The crew of the Mahuhu waka intermarried and settled with the “descendents of Toi” before dispersing into other regions of the north – in which I will elaborate on a little later.  At a recent hui-a-iwi, the elders confirmed that their immediate ancestral waka was the Mahuhu although strong ties to the Takitimu waka were also very relevant as “Tamatea Arikinui, the captain of this canoe” travelled widely throughout the North and the Kaipara region. The Otamatea river is believed to have been named after the captain – Tamatea Arikinui, and many Te Uri o Hau descendants claim descent from the Takitimu waka as well.  

The Mahuhu canoe (among others) came to Aotearoa from the regions of Hawaiiki and travelled from North Cape to the East Cape and back North again, landing at places for crew members to settle with the Tangata whenua of the area. The Mahuhu then travelled down the west coast to the Kaipara harbour as recorded by Geo Graham from Te Uri o Hau o Te Wahapu o Kaipara Tupuna in 1887 to 1889 at North Kaipara Heads. 

 Their account is as follows:“The Mahuhu brought hither some of our ancestors. That canoe came from the hautiu (northwest) from Waerota. The take (cause) of that coming was a quarrel between two brothers – Rongomai and Rongoatu. The trouble was over a cultivation (Te Pare o Tonga), also family occupation areas and boundaries, and ceremonies concerning thecultivations Rongomai, the elder brother, therefore decided to search for another country.  Rongomai built and fitted out his waka and called it Mahuhu, after the cultivation ceremonies (whaka mahuhu) “being the cause of contention and migration”.  

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