Ngāti Awa

Ngāti Awa is a Māori iwi (tribe) centred in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand. It is made of 22 hapu (subtribes), with 15,258 people claiming affiliation to the iwi in 2006.[1] The Ngāti Awa people are primarily located in towns on the Rangitaiki Plain, including Whakatane, Kawerau, Edgecumbe, Te Teko and Matata.[2] Two urban hapu also exist in Auckland (Ngāti Awa-ki-Tamaki) and Wellington (Ngāti Awa-ki-Poneke).[3]

Ngāti Awa
Iwi (tribe) in Māoridom
Pūtauaki, ancestral mountain of Ngāti Awa.
Rohe (region)Bay of Plenty Region
Waka (canoe)Mataatua


Early history

Ngāti Awa traces its origins to the arrival of Māori settlers on the Mataatua waka (canoe). The Mataatua settlers established settlements in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. Initially, the tribe controlled a large area in Northland, but conflicts with other northern iwi resulted in a southward migration. One group eventually settled in the eastern Bay of Plenty, whose descendants would eventually found the iwi.

Awanuiarangi II is recognised as the eponymous ancestor of Ngāti Awa. Awanuiarangi II was a chief descended from Toroa, captain of the Mataatua. Descendants of Awanuiarangi II eventually formed their own iwi, Ngāti Awa, named after their ancestor.[2]

Tribal and land wars

Ngāti Awa was frequently at war with neighbouring iwi, including those with similar ancestry. Ngāti Awa initially had good trading relations with European settlers. However, the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s resulted in the British Crown confiscating more than 1,000 km² of Ngāti Awa land.

For more than a century afterwards, Ngāti Awa remained an aggrieved, struggling people. However, in 1999, the Waitangi Tribunal determined that the confiscation of Ngāti Awa land in the New Zealand Wars by the British Crown was illegal, and in 2003 a settlement was reached between Ngāti Awa and the New Zealand Government.

In the nineteenth century Ngāti Pūkeko were considered a separate iwi, but they are currently considered a hapū of Ngāti Awa.[2]

Government settlement

In 2003, following almost ten years of negotiations between the New Zealand Government and Ngāti Awa, a settlement was announced and reparations were made to the iwi. In summary:

  • The New Zealand Government ('the Crown') acknowledged and apologised for the illegal confiscation of Ngāti Awa land during the New Zealand Wars
  • The Crown paid NZ$42.39 million in reparations to Ngāti Awa
  • The Crown agreed to return control of seven sites of historical and cultural significance to the iwi
  • Three locations were renamed in accordance with original Ngāti Awa place names.[2]

Hapū and marae

Whākatane hapū

The following hapū are based around Whākatane and Coastlands:

  • Ngāti Hokopū, based at Te Hokowhitu a Tū ki te Rāhui marae and Te Hokowhitu a Tūmatauenga wharenui, and at Te Whare o Toroa marae
  • Ngāti Wharepaia, based at Te Hokowhitu a Tū ki te Rāhui marae and Te Hokowhitu a Tūmatauenga wharenui and Te Whare o Toroa marae
  • Te Patuwai me Ngāti Maumoana, based at Toroa marae
  • Warahoe, based at Tokitareke marae and Te Puna o Te Orohi wharenui
  • Ngāi Te Rangihouhiri II, based at Te Rangihouhiri II marae
  • Ngāi Taiwhakaea II, based at Taiwhakaea marae and Taiwhakaea II wharenui[3]

Poroporo hapū

The following hapū are based around Poroporo and Pāroa:

  • Ngāti Pūkeko, based at Pūkeko marae
  • Ngāti Rangataua, based at Rangataua marae
  • Ngāti Tamapare, based at Rewatu marae and Ueimua wharenui
  • Te Whānau o Tariao Tapuke, based at Rangimarie marae and Rarawhati wharenui
  • Ngāti Hikakino, based at Puawairua marae[3]

Te Teko hapū

The following hapū are based around Te Teko and Edgecumbe:

  • Ngā Maihi, based at Tūteao marae
  • Ngāi Tamaoki, based at Ruaihona marae
  • Ngāi Tamawera, based at Uiraroa marae
  • Ngāti Hāmua, based at Te Māpou marae and Rongotangiawa wharenui
  • Te Pahipoto, based at Kokohinau (Tuhimata) marae and Oruatapare wharenui
  • Tuariki, based at Tuariki marae
  • Te Kahupāke, based in the area of Te Teko[3]

Matatā and Mōtītī hapū

The following hapū are based around Matatā and on Mōtītī Island:

  • Te Tāwera, based at Iramoko marae and Te Paetata wharenui, in Matatā
  • Te Patuwai me Ngāti Maumoana, based at Te Hinga o te Ra marae, and at Te Rua Kopiha marae and Tamatea ki te Huatahi wharenui, on Mōtītī Island[3]

Urban hapū

The following urban hapū are affiliated with Ngāti Awa:


Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa became the new governing body of the iwi in 2005.[2] Representatives from the Rūnanga were responsible for negotiating the settlement with the government on behalf of Ngāti Awa. Based in Whakatane, the rūnanga manages the financial assets of the iwi, and promotes cultural, educational and economic development in the region.[4]

The trust manages the tribe's Treaty of Waitangi settlement under the Ngāti Awa Claims Settlement Act and is a body corporate for the tribe's land, under Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa Act. It represents the iwi in aquaculture and fisheries under the Māori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act, and represents the iwi during resource consent consultation under the Resource Management Act. The trust is governed by one representative from each of the 22 hapū, and is based in Whangarei.[3]

Local government

The tribal area of the iwi is within the territory of Kawerau District Council and Whakatāne District Council.

It is also within the wider territory of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.[3]


Sun FM

Sun FM is the radio station for Ngāti Awa. It was first known as Te Reo Irirangi o Te Manuka Tutāhi during a three-week AM trial run in 1990. It went to air as Tumeke FM in 6 April 1991, became Sun FM in 1994 to increase its advertising appeal, and between 1996 and 1999 worked to increase its Māori language content.[5] The classic hits station broadcasts on 106.5 FM in Whakatane.[6]

Notable people

See also


  1. "2006 Census – QuickStats About Māori (revised)". Statistics New Zealand. 2007-04-04. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  2. Harvey, Layne (2006-09-26). "Ngāti Awa". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
  3. "TKM Ngāti Awa". Te Puni Kōkiri, New Zealand Government. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  4. "Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa official website". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  5. "Sun FM - Te Reo Irirangi o te Mānuka Tūtahi". Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa. Ngāti Aaw. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  6. "Iwi Radio Coverage" (PDF). Māori Media Network. 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
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