Return to Home Page
Maori on the Hokianga
Ngāpuhi - The First Settlers at Hokianga
Updated: 15 March 2019
Website Owner: Dr. Kenneth M. Baker
The Polynesian navigator from Hawaiki, Kupe in the Matawhaorua
canoe is the basis of the legend of the  Ngāpuhi on the Hokianga. It
is said that Kupe, guided by light reflected from the mountain Te
Ramaroa entered the Hokianga Harbour from the west on the
Northern tip of New Zealand.  

Kupe's first settlements were Kohukohu, Te Pouahi and Whānui on
the northern shores of the harbour while Koutu, Pākanae and
Whirinaki were the settlements on the southern side.  Kupe
returned to Hawaiki which gave rise to the name Te Hokianga-a-
Kupe (the great returning place of Kupe) and other canoes returned

Ngāpuhi is the largest tribe in New Zealand and is estimated to
number 122,000. The territory stretches west to east from the
Hokianga Harbour to the Bay of Islands, and southward to
Maunganui Bluff and Whāngārei and the heart lies at Te Tai
Tokerau (the northern tide) in the far north.

Ngāpuhi played an extremely important role in the early relations
with the British Crown and in the European settlement of New
Zealand.  Two Hokianga chiefs, Hone Heke and Tamati Waka Nene
were instrumental in persuading Maori chiefs to sign the Treaty of
Waitangi although later, the former led opposition to the Treaty
after its signature because of various grievances, mainly to do with
loss of Maori land.

There are many other more complete sources of information as
regards the history of the Ngāpuhi and Maori on the Hokianga and
a representative selection is given below.
Legend passed down verbally over the ages, has it was the Ngāpuhi who migrated across the
Pacific from Hawaiki and landed at the Hokianga
Ngāpuhi in the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Hone Heke
From: Sherrin & Wallace, Early History of
New Zealand, published 1890 - original copy in
the personal collection of Ken Baker
Hokianga History and Memorabilia