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Ko wai mātau?


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Tamatea Pōkai Whenua is the Post Settlement Governance Entity for Heretaunga Tamatea. Established to receive the redress negotiated by He Toa Takitini in settlement of the historical Treaty grievances of Heretaunga Tamatea against the Crown.

Te Rohe o Tamatea Pōkai Whenua

Hāro ake rā Te Kaahu ki tūāraki ko Tūtaekurī,

Koko i te taupae o Ruahine ki runga ki Ruataniwha. Whakatemoana te titiro ki te tonga ko Pōrangahau. Heretaunga - Tamatea! E kokoia, e ara e!

Considered the richest, most fertile soils in all of Aotearoa, the traditional tribal rohe of Heretaunga Tamatea comprises 1.475 million acres spread amongst lofty mountain ranges, deep, conturing valleys and large, vast alluvial plains with five main river systems fuelled by the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha aquifers.

The rohe of Heretaunga Tamatea is aptly described  by 'te kanohi hōmiromiro o te hāro o te kāhu' (the all seeing eye of the hawk in flight).  It starts on the coast at Te Kauwae-a-Māui/Cape Kidnappers and follows the coast north to the mouth of the Tūtaekurī River. It then extends westward along the Tūtaekurī to the foothills and eastern slopes of the Ruahine Range. Heading south, it embraces the Kāweka and Gwavas Forests to the headwaters of the Manawatū River in the south. It then crosses eastward to the coast at Te Poroporo and turns northwards up the coast embracing Parimāhu, passing one of the nation's outstanding landscapes - Kōhinurākau, Te Mata-o-Rongokako and Kahurānaki, the sacred mountain of the rohe - to arrive back  at Te Kauwae-a-Māui/Cape Kidnappers.

Before the arrival of Pākehā, a system of wetlands, swamps, and lakes extended from the Heretaunga plains through the Pekapeka wetlands and the Ngā Puna-a-Tara to the Whatumā lake system in the south. This, together with the area’s coastal fisheries and extensive bush, provided extremely rich sources of food, as well as medicine and materials for the region’s peoples. The names of the rivers, streams, natural features, fauna and flora of Heretaunga Tamatea illustrate the long association between the land and the people.

Takiwā Map

The signficant wealth and prosperity of Hawke’s Bay has been sourced both from the lands and the waters of the rohe, and from the labour and generosity of generations of the hapū of Heretaunga Tamatea.


​This generosity is the primary example of the tikanga of manaaki tangata, the customary practise of welcoming and embracing of guests to our lands; our participation with distinction through several colonial and imperial wars; our major contribution to industrial, pastoral, agricultural and horticultural development; and our iconic academic, artistic and sports acclaim.

Te Aute College - Heretaunga Tamatea Treaty Settlement Deed Signing-273.jpg

Ngā Hapū o Tamatea Pōkai Whenua

The hapū of Heretaunga Tamatea are tangata whenua within their respective takiwā.


The rich resources of Heretaunga Tamatea and surrounding areas attracted successive waves of immigrants over the centuries.  Among the earliest groups to settle in the region were Ngāti Hotu, Ngāti Mahu, Ngāti Whatumoana, Ngāti Ōrotu and Te Tini-o-Awa.  Later came te Kurahaupo waka settlers of Ngāi Tara and Rngitāne, followed by the Takitimu peoples of Ngāti Kahungunu under Taraia and Ngāti Ira/Ngāi Tahu under Te Aomatarahi.


Although the arrival of new migrants sometimes led to conflict with groups who precded them, strategic intermarriage helped to stabilise communities and establish bloodlines which connect the present hapū of Heretaunga Tamtea through these ancestors to the lands they currently occupy. They have held, and continue to hold, ahi-kā-roa since they first settled the land.

The hapū of Tamatea Pōkai Whenua are:

  • Ngāi Tahu ki Takapau

  • Ngāi Tamaterā

  • Ngāi Te Ao

  • Ngāi Te Hauapu

  • Ngāi Te Hurihanga-i-te-rangi

  • Ngāi Te Kīkiri o Te Rangi

  • Ngāi Te Ōatua

  • Ngāi Te Rangikoianake I

  • Ngāi Te Rangikoianake II

  • Ngāi Te Rangitekahutia

  • Ngāi Te Rangitotohu

  • Ngāi Te Ūpokoiri

  • Ngāi Te Whātuiāpiti

  • Ngāi Toroiwaho

  • Ngāti Hāwea

  • Ngāti Hikatoa

  • Ngāti Hinemanu

  • Ngāti Hinemoa

  • Ngāti Hinetewai

  • Ngāti Hotoa

  • Ngāti Honomōkai

  • Ngāti Hōri

  • Ngāti Kautere

  • Ngāti Kere

  • Ngāti Kotahi

  • Ngāti Kurukuru

  • Ngāti Mārau o Kahungunu

  • Ngāti Mahuika

  • Ngāti Manuhiri

  • Ngāti Mihiroa

  • Ngāti Ngarengare

  • Ngāti Papatuamāro

  • Ngāti Pīhere

  • Ngāti Pōporo

  • Ngāti Pukututu

  • Ngāti Rāhunga

  • Ngāti Takaroa / Ngāti Tākaro

  • Ngāti Tamatea

  • Ngāti Te Rehunga

  • Ngāti Toahoropaki

  • Ngāti Tukuaterangi

  • Ngāti Urakiterangi

  • Ngāti Whakaiti.

The Hapū of Tamatea Pōkai Whenua sometimes created competing political alliances like Te Hika-a-Ruarauhanga and Te Hika-a-Papauma, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga and Ngāi Te Whatuiāpiti but for most part they have lived politically independant lives under seperate rangatira, each on their own lands, each with their own mana.

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