‘He whenua te toto o te tangata’

Land plays an important part in the Maori psyche. Many waiata and proverbs have been composed about land and its place in tribal culture. Ngāti Pūkenga are no different. Through Crown ommissions and Treaty breaches Ngāti Pūkenga was seperated from the lands of their forefathers. Our ancestors strenuously sought for justice. The Crown, its instruments and agents did not understand Ngāti Pūkenga. We did not fit their worldview. We were not confined to one geographic area. We were not the product of one line of ancestry or affilliated to only one waka. Our holdings were extensive. These were removed from us. Our lands in Tauranga Moana were confiscated and not returned to us. Our status as a tribe has been challenged ever since that time. The Court officials, judges and so called historians wrote us out of presence. Iwi around us have not treated us with equal respect. We are called upon to defend our existence at every step. We have variously been described as a hapu of Ngāi Te Rangi, Whakatohea, Te Arawa, Ngapuhi and Ngāti Maru to name a few. Many of our people choose not to identify with Ngāti Pūkenga because we do not enjoy a high status or are talked about in non-mana enhancing ways. We live with stigma. We aim to rectify and restore the mana of our ancestors for the benefit of the generations that follow. This is our story...our truth.

We acknowledge there are other truths but when standing in our house, the Pūkenga house, this is the truth as we see it. Every tribal truth is like this. Just as when you stand and view Mauao from each corner of Tauranga Moana, it looks different, so does every tribal truth. And just as every description of Mauao is correct, as it is the very same mountain, so too are the truths of our whanaunga iwi.

Now let our story begin...

Our History

The History of Ngati Pukenga

....Ngati Pukenga are Mataatua people.  The Mataatua canoe captained by Toroa left Hawaiki and made land fall in Whakatane.  Taken by his younger brother Phui, the canoe travelled North landing for a short period time at Tauranga.  The Mataatua crew named it 'Te Tauranga o Mataatua', or 'The Landing place of Mataatua'.  This canoe continued its journey North where it remains today...........