At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (6 February 1840) the iwi living in the Wellington Harbour area and in the Hutt Valley originated from Taranaki. The collective name given to these iwi is Taranaki Whānui ki Te Ūpoko o Te Ika (Taranaki Whānui). Their occupation at the time and continued residence attributes them the rights and duties of mana whenua
Taranaki Whānui are those people who descend from one or more of the recognised tīpuna of:
- Te Ātiawa
- Ngāti Ruanui
- Ngāti Tama
- Ngāti Mutunga and
- Other iwi from the Taranaki area
The main tāngata whenua group around the harbour and up the Hutt Valley today are hapū of Te Ātiawa who originated largely from Ngā Motu (New Plymouth). Te Ātiawa were considered to have created their own ahi ka rights once Ngāti Mutunga left for the Chathams in 1835 and these rights have “been reinforced by their continued occupation ever since.”
Information provided by Wellington Tenths Trust
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Ngāti Toa Rangatira mana over the Wellington area was acknowledged by the symbolic gifting of the mere pounamu (greenstone club) Tawhito Whenua to Ngāti Toa chief Te Rangihaeata by Te Kēkerengū (Ngāti Ira).
Kēkerengū was the son of Te Whānake, paramount chief of Wellington, and Tāmairangi, ariki tapairu (high born chieftainess) descended from the senior lines of tribes from Wellington, Wairarapa and Ngāti Kuia of Arapaoa in the South Island at Taputeranga in Island Bay.
Once peace was established with Ngāti Kahungunu the Tararua and Remutaka Ranges became known as Te Tuara Tapu o Te Rangihaeata signifying the backbone of the Ngāti Toa chief and the boundary between the two tribes. The rohe of Ngāti Toa extends from the Whangaehu River south along the ranges to Turakirae. It then crosses Raukawa Moana (Cook Strait) to Marlborough and Nelson. This is encapsulated in the tribal pepeha: Mai i Miria te Kakara ki Whitireia, whakawhiti te moana Raukawa, ki Wairau, ki Whakatū.
Information provided by Ngāti Toa Rangatira
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