Our History

Our History, Our Whakapapa

Quote1Our people have occupied these lands since the arrival of our Tupuna Ariki Tahu Matua. Tahu Matua arrived here in Aotearoa before the arrival of the seven waka from Hawaiki.

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.

Ngati Tahu – Ngati Whaoa always sovereign…

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.

Tino Rangatiratanga

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.

Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa, the Iwi

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.


  • 2013
    Launched Iwi Environmental Management Plan on 4th November 2013.
  • 2013
    Launched Tahu-Whaoa DVD History Series on 23rd June 2013.
  • 2010
    Changed Legal Entity from Society to Common Law Trust - In preparation for assets to be returned to the Iwi, March 2010.
  • 2010
    Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa as one of 3 affiliates of the Te Arawa Rver Iwi Trust (TARIT) signs a Deed in Relation to a Co Management Framework for the Waikato River. The Deed covers the upper catchment of the River from Huka Falls to Atiamuri, the stretch of River in The Tahu-Whaoa rohe on 9 March 2010.
  • 2006
    The Kaihautu Executive Council (Tahu-Whaoa affiliated) and the Crown sign the 2006 Deed of Settlement on 30 September 2006.
  • 2006
    The KEC is disestablished and replaced by Te Pumautanga O Te Arawa Trust (TPT). The KEC representatives transition into the new trustees and sign the Deed of Covenant on 1 December 2006.
  • 1991Runanga Founded
    Te Runanga O Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Incorporated Society Established in 1999.