Sunday, December 4, 2011


Te Herenga Waka
Te Paepae-ki-Rarotonga was the canoe of the great chief Toi-te-huatahi, or as some knew him Toi-kai-rakau. Toi lived in Hawaiki and was the most influential chief of his time. He had his family around him and enjoyed a life filled with pride and privilege. His eldest son was a man called Rauru-ki-tahi. He was a famous carver and also a waka builder of some renown. Rauru had a son called Nga Puna Ariki-a-Whatonga (Whatonga). One day a waka race was held to celebrate the launch of Whatonga’s new waka Te Hawaii. Many waka were involved in the race.

The course saw them travel way beyond the horizon and back again. Unfortunately the weather turned bad and a great storm engulfed the fleet. Many waka did not return to shore that day, including Whatonga’s. Toi was devastated by the loss of his loved one but would not give up hope of finding his grandson alive. He went in search of Whatonga and received word that he had survived and was now recuperating in the south. Toi travels the pacific in search of his grandson and eventually arrives on the shores of Aotearoa. Toi approaches the local people and enquires after his grandson. Unfortunately for him, Whatonga had already returned to Hawaiki. 
It seems the two men passed each other like ships in the night. Toi likes the look of this new land and decides to settle here. He builds a pa called Kapuaterangi near Whakatane. Members of his extended family soon join Toi at Kapuaterangi. They soon begin to establish their roots in the area. Many tribes trace their descent from Toi and the Nga tini o Toi clan that flourished in the early days. Ngati, Ngai and Nga are simply abbreviations of the term ‘Nga Tini‘ and mean ‘the many
Toitehuatahi... his son Raurukitahi and grandson Nga Puna Ariki o Whatonga

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