Our Tupuna Whaoa is some generations younger. Whaoa descends from Tahu matua on his mother’s side, Hinewai, and he descends from Atuamatua on his father’s side, Paengatu. As a tribe, we derive our name from our ancestors Tahu matua and Whaoa.
Through successive generations of inter-marriage with neighbouring iwi, our tribal members also trace descent from ancestors who arrived on the Arawa, Mataatua and Tainui waka.
From the arrival of our Tupuna Ariki we have asserted and maintained mana whakahaere through continued ahi karoa (occupation) and possession of our lands and taonga. Prior to the arrival of European settlers to Aotearoa – New Zealand, Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa was an autonomous, independent and self-governing confederation of hapu. These hapu included; Ngati Tahu, Ngati Karaka, Ngati Maru, Ngati Hinewai, Ngati Whaoa, Ngati Rahurahu, Ngati Matarae and Ngati Te Rama.
As Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa we exercised tino rangatiratanga over our traditional rohe. The historical hapu no longer form distinct communities within Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa. In more recent times the descendants of our many tupuna have operated as a single tribal grouping known today as Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa.
There have been questions over the years about whether Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa is a hapu or a Iwi, we are in fact a Iwi unto our own right and are recognized both by government and other Iwi as having independent Tribal status. Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Iwi is bordered by Tuwharetoa in the South, Ngati Raukawa in the West, Ngati Manawa in the East and Te Arawa in the North.