Ngāti Porou looks to its founding ancestors to guide us now and into the future. Here are some of our key founding ancestors.
Ngati Porou are descendants of Maui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga. This relationship with Maui is shown in the genealogies of Ngati Porou. One of the canoes of Ngati Porou, named Nukutaimemeha, belonged to Maui and lies atop Mount Hikurangi in petrified form. The traditional lament ‘Haere ra e hika’ contains the line ‘ko te waka i hiia ai te whenua nui nei e…’, which tells how Nukutaimemeha was ‘the canoe from which this great land was fished up’ by Maui. The names ‘Tapuwaeroa’ and ‘Raparapaririki’ are derived from the travels of the adults of the Maui people, accompanied by their small children. The descent lines from Maui show the lineage of Toi-Kai-Rakau/Toi-Te-Huatahi and his descendants, down to Porourangi and his descendants.
All Ngāti Porou ancestors are descendants of Toi. From Toi came Rauru-nui-a-Toi, from Rauru-nui-a-Toi came Paikea, Pouheni, Tarawhakatu, Nanaia, and Porourangi. The descendants of Toi intermarried with each other. In this way Muriwhakaputa, a descendant of Ruawaipu, married Tuere the grandchild of Porourangi, who was also the eponymous ancestor of Ngai Tuere. The grandchild of Uepohatu, Mairehau, married Kuraunuhia, a son of Materoa. They gave birth to Umuariki of Te Whanau-a-Umuariki at Tuparoa, Mangaoporo, and Omaio in the Te Whanau-a-Apanui region. Materoa is a descendant of Porourangi and is also the eponymous ancestor of Te Aitanga-a-Mate.
Whatonga is a descendant of Toi. Further down the line of descent from Whatonga is Te Whironui, who married with Araiara to give birth to Huturangi, who married Paikea. One of the canoes of Ngati Porou is Nukutere, which belonged to Whironui.
From Paikea and Huturangi’s union came Pouheni, Tarawhakatu, Nanaia, and Porourangi. Paikea arrived at Te Roto o Kautuku, where he met his wife Huturangi, and where they lived before moving to Whangara. The dwelling places of these ancestors are still there, at Nga Puke Turua and Te Pito. Paikea’s trail is also there, and is known as ‘te ara o Paikea’. Huturangi’s swimming hole can still be seen today and is known as ‘Te Puna o Huturangi’. Both Paikea and Huturangi are descendants of Toi. Below: some of our brilliant tamariki from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti produced this story of the journey of Paikea for the Rangitawaea festival
Uepohatu is an ancestor of Ngāti Porou and a descendant of Toi. His granddaughter Mairehau married Kuraunuhia, grandchild of Porourangi, and they begat Umuariki. The descendants of Umuariki reside in Tuparoa, Mangaoporo – at Tutu-o-Kura and, Tutumatai, and Omaio, in the Te Whanau-a-Apanui region. The descendants of Uepohatu and Porourangi are further united through their descendants Mairehau (descendant of Uepohatu) and Kuraunuhia (son of Materoa, a descendant of Porourangi). Ngāti Porou are thus descendants of Uepohatu.
Ruawaipu is a descendant of Toi, as is Porourangi. Her descendants resided in the Kawakawa-mai-Tawhiti, and Marangairoa areas. Ruawaipu had mana over those lands in her time. Ngaoho conquered their lands, so Tamateaupoko (of Ruawaipu) moved to Whangara to live with her relatives there. While there, Tamateaupoko married one of Porourangi’ s descendants, Uekaiahu, and Muriwhakaputa married Tuere, the grandson of Porourangi. From this union came Ngai Tuere, who helped expel Ngaoho from the lands of Ruawaipu and restored the mana whenua of her descendants.
The name Porourangi is a shortened version of his full name which is as follows: Porou-Ariki Te Matatara-a-Whare-Te-Tuhi-Mareikura-a-Rauru. All of the senior lines of descent from Maui and Toi, and from Hawaiki to Aotearoa converged on Porourangi, hence the name ‘Porou Ariki’. ‘Te Matatara’ is a type of flax used to adorn houses, hence the name ‘Te Matatara-a-Whare’. This name is a metaphor for all of the ancestry and genealogy that was woven metaphorically into Porou Ariki (Porourangi). ‘Te Tuhi-Mareikura’ is an explanation about the red ochre with which chiefs would paint their foreheads. This was a symbol of prestige and chieftainship. ‘-a-Rauru’ refers to Porourangi’s descent from Rauru.
The ancestors of Hamoterangi arrived in a canoe called Te Ikaroa-a-Rauru. This is another canoe of Ngāti Porou. Porourangi married Hamoterangi and together they had three children. The eldest was Hau, followed by Ueroa, followed by a daughter named Rongomaianiwaniwa. From Hau came Ngati Porou, from Ueroa came the genealogical link between Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, and Tainui-Waikato, through Mahinarangi. Rongomaianiwaniwa is the genealogical link between Rongowhakaata and Ngati Porou. Kehutikoparae, daughter of Hau and Takotowaimua, married Manutangirua, her nephew. They give birth to Hingangaroa, who married Iranui, Kahungunu‟s sister. They had three sons. Taua (of Te Whanau-a-Apanui), Mahaki-Ewe-Karoro, and Hauiti (of Ngati Porou). Hamoterangi lived at Titirangi Pa, where her descendants would frequently return. On the death of Porourangi, Hamoterangi married Tahupotiki, Porourangi’s younger brother.
Canoes of Ngāti Porou
1. Nukutaimemeha – belonged to Maui.
2. Nukutere – belonged to Te Whironui.
3. Tereanini – belonged to Rongomaituaho, (son of Paikea) while he resided in Hawaiki.
4. Ikaroa-a-Rauru – captained by Maia. Hamoterangi is a descendant of those ancestors who came on this canoe.
5. Horouta – covers the tribes of the eastern seaboard: Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngai Tamanuhiri.
The Tribal Domain of Ngati Porou
This Ngati Porou territory extends from Potikirua to Te Toka-a-Taiau. Potikirua is a large rock between Whakatiri and Whangaparaoa. Te Toka-a-Taiau is a rock that stood in the Turanganui River but was blown up to clear the entrance to the Gisborne Harbour. Taiau is a descendant of Porourangi and Hamoterangi who resided at Titirangi Pa in Kaiti.
Below: the whakapapa of Maui
Below: the whakapapa of Porourangi