Te Aitanga a Mahaki trace their beginnings from the waiata "Haramai a Paoa". The maunga in shape the haumi, and the land where Paoa found the totara to repair Horouta. The quotation is immortalised in the land, "Te manga i tu ai te rakau a Paoa", Mangatu.
Ko Maungahaumi te maunga Ko Mangatu te whenua Ko Waipaoa te awa Ko Te Aitanga a Mahaki te iwi
Haramai a Paoa i runga i tona waka i a Horouta Ka pakaru ki Tuaranui o Kanawa Ka haramai ki uta ki te rapa haumi, ki te rapa punaki Ka kitea te haumi, ka kitea te punaki E kai kamakama, ka miia tona mimi Rere ana Motu, rere ana Waipaoa Ko Kopututea te putanga ki waho Ki a unu mai tona kuri, e pakia mai nei E nga ngaru o te moana, e takoto nei Ka huri ka huri te haere a Paoa Ki te Tairawhiti e!
Our traditional history begins with the arrival of the Horouta waka at Ohiwa in the Bay or Plenty. In an attempt to cross a sandbar named Tukerae o Kanawa, the haumi of the Horouta snapped in half. To make repairs to the waka, Paoa took a party of warriors inland to search for a suitable tree. On a large mountain they found what they sought, and named the mountain Maungahaumi, where Paoa needed to relieve himself forming Te Mimi a Paoa, (the Waipaoa River), flowing south, and the Motu River, flowing north of the mountain.
The repaired waka headed east, rounding the East Cape following the coastline south, greeting the descendants of Toi, replenishing water and food as they went. Some of the Horouta descendants remained and settled with the Toi descendants on the way, whilst the rest continued south until they reached a large bay where Kiwa set up a rahui tuahu claiming the area in the names of the remaining crew of Horouta. The landing place was named Turanganui A Kiwa. To celebrate their discovery, Hineakua the daughter of Paoa, was given in marriage to Kahutuanui, the son of Kiwa, producing the future descendants of Turanganui A Kiwa.
The marriage of Rakaikoko, a descendant of Hine Hakirirangi, sister of Paoa, into the Kiwa - Paoa family, was an important alliance. Hine Hakirirangi was the ancestor who, it is said,to have nurtured and brought the kumara from Hawaikii in her sacred kete, and planted the vines at Manawaru and Araiteuru, as sustenance for the tribe.
Other important alliances with the descendants of both Hounuku and Hine Tuahoanga are recalled in the following waiata the classic Po! Po!
(1) Po! Po! E tangi ana tama ki te kai mana! Waiho, me tiki ake ki te Pou-a-hao-kai, Kei a mai te pakake ki uta ra, Whakarongo! Ko te kumara ko Parinui-te-ra, Ka hikimata te tapuae o Tangaroa, Ka whaimata te tapuae o Tangaroa, Tangaroa! Ka haruru! (2) Ka noho Uru ka noho i a Ngangana Puta mai waho ra ko Te Aotu, Ko Te Aohore, Ko Hine Tuahoanga Ko Tangaroa! Ko te Whatu o Poutini e!Kei te kukunetanga mai I Hawaikii ko te ahua ia, Ko Maui-wharekino ka noho ia Pani, Ka kawea ki te wai o Monariki Ma Onehunga, ma Onerere, Ma te piere, ma te matata Te Pia tangi wharau, ka hoake Ki runga ra, te Pipi-wharauroa Na Whena koe, e Waho e! Tuatahi, e Waho e!
Tuarua, ka topea i reira Ko te Whatanui, ko te Whataroa, ko te tihaere Na Kohuru, na Paeaki, Na Turiwhatu, na Rakeiora Ko waiho anake te tangata i rere noa
I te ahi rara a Rongomaraeroa Ko te kakahu no Ru, ko te Rangikaupapa Ko te tatua i riro mai Ia Kanoa, ia Matuatonga Tenei te manawa ka puritia Tenei te manawa ka tawhia Kia haramai tona hokowhitu i te ara Ka kiia Ruatpu e Uenuku ki te tama meamea, Ka tahuri i te Huripureiata Ka whakakau tama i aia Whakarere iho ana te kakau o te hoe Ko Maninitua, ko Maniniaro Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi wiwini! Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi wawana! Ko Hakirirangi ka u kei uta Te kowhai ka ngaora ka ringitia te kete Ka Manawaru, ko Araiteuru Ka kitea e te tini, e te mano Ka Makauri anake i mahue atu I waho i Toka-ahuru Ko te peka i rere mai ki uta ra Hei kura mo Mahaki; Ko Mangamoteo, ko Uetanguru, Ko te koiwi ko Rongorapua, Waiho me tiki ake Ki te kumara ia Rangi Ko Pekehawani ka noho ia Rehua Ko Ruhiterangi ka tau kei raro, Te Ngahuru tikotikoere Ko Poututerangi te matahi o te tau, Te putanga o te hinu, E tama! Ngata AT. 'Nga Moteatea', Part II,p.152.
Po! Po! My son is crying for food! Wait until it is brought from the pillars-of-netted-seafood, And the whale is driven to the shore To give you milk, my son. It will be given by your ancestor Uenuku. Listen! The kumara is from the Great Cliffs of the Sun. Tangaroa is striding there, Tangaroa is striding there, Tangaroa! Listen to the roar! It was Uru who dwelt with Ngangana; Their offspring were Te Aotu, Te Aohore, Hinetuahoanga, Tangaroa, and the Stone of Poutini. The beginning, the primal pregnancy, Was at Hawaiki, When Maui-whare-kino was married to Pani, She who was taken to the waters of Monariki For Onehunga, for Onerere, For the piere, for the matata, The ‘first whimper from the shelter’. Giving birth to Pipiwharauroa. You are of Whena, O Waho!
haere, Nā Kohuru, nā Paeaki, Nā Turiwhatu, nā Rakaiora. Ko Waiho anake te tangata i rere noa I te ahi rūrā a Rongomaracroa, Ko te kākahu nō Tū, ko te Rangikaupapa, Ko te tātua i riro mai I a Kanoa, i a Matuatonga. Tēnei te manawa ka puritia, Tēnei te manawa ka tāwhia; Kia haramai tona hokowhitu i te ara. Ka kīia Ruatapu e Uenuku ki te tama meamea, Ka tahuri i te Huripureiata, Ka whakakau tama i a ia. Whakarere iho ana te kakau o te hoe, Ko Maninitua, ko Maniniaro. Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi wiwini! Ka tangi te kura, ka tangi wawana! Ko Hakirirangi ka ū kei uta Te kōwhai ka ngaora ka ringitia te kete Ko Manawaru, ko Araiteuru, Ka kitea e te tini, e te mano. Ko Makauri anake i mahue atu I waho i Toka-ahuru; Ko te peka i rere mai ki uta rā Hei kura mō Māhaki; Ko Mangamoteo, ko Uetanguru, Ko te kōiwi ko Rongorapua, Waiho me tiki ake Ki te kūmara i a Rangi. Ko Pekehāwani ka noho i a Rehua; Ko Ruhiterangi ka tau kei raro, Te ngahuru tikotikoiere, Ko Poutūterangi te mātahi o te tau, Te putunga o te hinu, e tama!
Of the second part is the felling there Of the timbers for the posts at the sacred place, and the perch of bird snares, For Kohuru, for Paeaki, For Turiwhatu, for Rakaiora. Waiho was the only one who fled From the scattered fires of Rongo-maraeroa. The garment of Tu, Te Rangikaupapa, The belt which was brought hither By Kanoa and Matuatonga. Hence men's hearts are apprehensive, Hence men's hearts are fearful, Lest his band of warriors appear on the road. Ruatapu was called a bastard by Uenuku, And [in revenge] overturned the canoe [with his brothers,] Huri-pureiata, When that son swam away. Hurriedly he put aside the handle of the paddle, Maninitua and Maniniaro. The noble one cries, cries in fear! The noble one cries, cries in terror! It was Hakirirangi who reached the shore And at the time of the flowering of the kowhai, emptied her kumara - planting basket At the kumara plantations Manawaru and Araiteuru, To be seen by the myriads, by the thousands. Only the tree Makauri was left behind Out at the reef Toka-ahuru, The branch of which was cast ashore As a treasure for Mahaki. The rivers Mangamoteo and Uetanguru [nurture] The contents of Rongorapua. Wait until there is brought The kumara from the heavens. The stars Pekehawani and Rehua married; Their child was Ruhiterangi, alighting here below. Hence the bounteous harvest-time When the star Poututerangi signals the season of the first-fruits, And the calabashes overflow with fat, my son!
Notes on the Song
Po! Po! is probably a shortened form of ‘Potiki! Potiki!’ Oriori were often composed for the potiki (youngest child) in the family. In the second line the words ‘my son’ refer to the child for whom the oriori was composed. Pillar-of-netted-seafood (Pou-a-hao-kai) is a figure of speech used of seafoods being collected for a feast. Milk: Elsdon Best notes that the expression waiu is sometimes used with reference to food which when eaten by the mother, was believed to help her feed her child. Uru, Ngangana and their children Te Aotu and Te Aohore are mythical personages. Tangaroa is the god of the sea and of fish. The Stone of Poutini is an expression for greenstone, which in traditional accounts is often referred to as a fish. Hine-tuahoanga is the personification of the kinds of stones used as grindstone, for example in working greenstone. The mythical personage Maui-whare-kino was married to Pani; he stole the kumara from Whanui in the heavens and mated it with his wife, who then gave birth to the kumara in the waters of Monariki. In the next few lines there appear to be references to ritual matters concerned with the kumara and its origin, but the exact meaning of these expressions is uncertain. The posts mentioned in the second line of the next verse were the two posts erected at the tuaahu, the sacred place or altar where many religious rituals took place. Rongo is a mythical personage, the god of the cultivation of food and other peacetime pursuits. Rongo-maraeroa, one form of the name, is also a sacred name for the kumara. The significance of the lines in which the word occurs is uncertain. Tu is a shortened form of Tu-mata-uenga, god of war. Matuatonga is sometimes said to have arrived on board the Takitimu canoe. According to other accounts, Matuatonga is the name of the belt in which the kumara was brought to Aotearoa. Ruatapu and Uenuku (who is also mentioned in the sixth line of the song) are personages who according to a famous myth, lived in Hawaiki, one of the homelands of the Maori. Insulted by his father Uenuku, Ruatapu sought revenge by overturning at sea the canoe which carried his many noble kinsmen. One of them, Paikea, escaped to Aotearoa in the form of a whale (in other accounts, riding on a whale) and landed on the East Coast. Maninitua and Maniniaro occur in the myth of Pourangahua as the kumara digging-sticks which he brought back from Hawaiki, together with the kumara itself, in his journey on the back of the Great Bird of Ruakapanga. Hakirirangi is said to have arrived on the Horouta canoe, and to have brought the kumara with her. She was expert in kumara lore and knew well how to plant it at the time of the flowering of the kowhai. Manawaru and Araiteuru were names of kumara plantations at Turanga (Gisborne). Makauri is the name of a kahika tree (white pine) said to have grown at the bottom of the sea from the feathers which Pourangahua plucked from his bird when he was flying home with the kumara. A branch of the tree became the property of Mahaki, ancestor of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki tribe. Toka-ahuruis a reef out from the shore at Turanga. Mangamoteo and Uetanguru are rivers at Turanga. According to some accounts Rongo-rapua is the name of a belt in which the kumara reached this country. The last line refers to the fact that autumn is also the time when birds and rats are fat.
When Kahukuranui reached manhood he decided to come to Turanganui a Kiwa to visit his older brother, Ruaroa, and after a time married Ruatapuwahine, daughter of Ruapani (chart II). From this union was born Rakaihikuroa, who married two sisters, Hineteraraku and Te Orapa, grandchildren of Ruaroa. Rakaihikuroa established his marae at Pukepoto on the Repongaere Block where he lived with his sons.
The battle between Rakaihikuroa and Kahutapere was asaid to be the first battle to establish the iwi called Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Before the separation, this area was known as Ngati Ruapani or Ngati Kahungunu.
The return of Kahukuranui was followed by his nephews, Tawhiwhi and Mahaki. After a period of time other whanau groups were established; Kahutapere at Korowhiorau, Tutekohi at Whenuanui, Taururangi at Kauaenui and Mahaki and his whanau were established at Pawerawera.
Rakaihikuroa, because of his rangatira line to Ruapani felt that his son, Tupurupuru, should be the rangatira of Turanganui a Kiwa. "kia kotahi ra te whetu ki te rangi, ko Tupurupuru." Meanwhile, the people were paying tribute to the twins of Kahutapere, Tarakiuta and Tarakitai, creating a problem for Rakaihikuroa, who took the direct approach of killing the twins.
When Kahutapere discovered that Rakaihikuroa was too strong for him, he called on Mahaki, his whanau and his neighbours, Taururangi and Kahutauranga. Whakarau, who was away hunting at the time, later joined the battle at Pukepoto where he faced and killed Tupurupuru. While Tupurupuru lay wounded his brothers wanted to finish him off. Whakarau said, "kia watea, kia watea, waiho i kona te ika o te aho a te potiki a Hinetapuarau kia kahakihaki." From this incident is the name Ngapotiki, one of the main hapu groups of Te Aitanga a Mahaki, who claim Whakarau as their tipuna.
When Rakaihikuroa realised the fate of his son, he arranged that Mahaki should have his greenstone adze to cook the body of Tupurupuru. The names of the adze are: Te Whatupura, Te Whatumoana, Te Whatu o Ngahua, Te Whatu o Poutini, Te Whatutangiura. Because of this gift it is believed that Tupurupuru was cooked and eaten, however, elders of Te Aitanga a Mahaki have taught us that the body of Tupurupuru was taken and hidden on the Tangihanga Block where it remains to this day,
This battle resulted in the departure from Turanga of Rakaihikuroa, his sons, Taraia, Tamanuhiri, Tuwhakawhiurangi and a section of the whanau of Ruapani, of his second wife, Uenukukoihu. This battle is said to be the first battle in the establishment of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Rakaihikuroa moved to Te Wairarapa, married into tangata whenua and became Ngati Kahungunu ki te Wairarapa. Rangitawhio moved inland to his mothers people, settled at Rangatira and became known as Ngati Rangitawhio. Rakaipaaka moved to Mahia and Nuhaka and became known as Ngati Rakaipaaka. Hinemanuhiri married Te Pukaru, son of Ruapani and became known as Ngatihine of Ngati Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa. Kahutapere moved to Hangaroa and finally settled in Whakatane.
Chart IV shows the development of the hapu groups of Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
Ngapotiki take their name from Whakarau, marae are Tapuihikitia and Takitimu.
Whanau a Iwi take their name from Tauwheoro with Tarere as their marae.
Ngai Tamatea take their name from Tamateaiti with Taihamiti as their marae.
Ngati Wahia take their name from Wahia with their marae as Mangatu and Parihimanihi.
Ngai Tawhiri take their name from Whakauaki with their marae as Te Kuri and Tarere.
Ngai Tuketenui is not an active hapu and do not have a current marae.
Te Whanau a Kai take their name from Kaikoreaunei with their marae as Rongopai and Pakowhai.
Te Whanau a Taupara take their name from Taupara with their marae as Tapuihikitia and Takipu. There are various groups of Ngariki who all have an association with Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
These were presented to the tribunal by the following people:
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