Kawhia History - The arrival of Tainui and its history
Together with the abundant sea-foods such as fish, shellfish and seaweed found at Kawhia, the food supplies of these early arrivals were extensive and secure.
It was this very abundance of food at Kawhia that ensured the survival of the Tainui people, their increase in numbers and their eventual colonisation of adjacent territories.
As the centuries passed the descendants of Hoturoa and his crew increased in numbers.
About six generations after their arrival of Tainui at Kawhia, Kahukeke the wife of Ue, trekked inland and named several of the prominent peaks including Pirongia, Kakepuku, Pureora and Te Aroha.
From then on the descendants of Tainui spread out over the ranges into the extensive valley systems of the Waipa, Waikato and Waihou rivers, and adjacent hill country, thereby consolidating Tainui claims to the hinterland territories, more distant from Kawhia.
So by the time the first Pakeha came to Aotearoa, Tainui had grown into a confederation of large and powerful tribes which occupied all the territory from Mokau to Tamaki, and east through the Tiroa ranges to Putaruru then northwards along the Kaimai ranges to Coromandel, and also including the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf.
Nowadays Tainui are recognised numerically as the largest tangata whenua of Aotearoa.
Eventually the movement inland resulted in the Kawhia area becoming the tribal domain of the Toarangatira and allied tribes:, with Maniapoto occupying the upper reaches of the harbour at Hauturu, Waiharakeke and Kinohaku.
In the second decade of the nineteenth century serious and widespread warfare erupted among the Tainui tribes.
There were a series of battles culminating in a decisive victory for the Waikato river tribes over Ngati Toarangatira at Te Karaka, Taharoa.
This final defeat of Te Rauparaha led to the forced migration of most of the Ngati Toarangatira, (led by Te Rauparaha), and many of Ngati Raukawa to the Kapiti district of the southern North Island and across to Marlborough and Nelson in the South Island.
The other tribe which migrated with the Ngati Toarangatira were the Ngati Rarua who occupied the lands from Waikawau in the south to the southern boundary of the lands of the Ngati Te Aka-mapuhia to the south of Moeatoa Peak.
The last mentioned people were a sub tribe of the Ngati Toarangatira.
The vacated lands were occupied by Ngati Te Kanawa of Maniapoto and by sections of the Waikato tribes of Ngati Mahuta and Ngati Hikairo.
By founding settlements and cultivations at Taharoa, Ngati Mahuta, under the leadership of Kiwi te Pihopa, established
their mana over the southern reaches of the Kawhia harbour, including settlements on either side of the harbour entrance.
A section of this tribe from the middle Waikato valley, under the command of Kiwi, having fought over and taken possession of Ngati Toa Rangatira lands in the southern regions of Kawhia.
Ngati Mahuta are thus the host tribe of the courtyard at »Maketu