2021 Host Iwi

Each year, Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau hosts Matariki Festival in partnership with local mana whenua. In 2021, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are the iwi manaaki (host iwi).

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are pleased to take on the mantle as iwi manaaki for this year, at a very significant time for our people.

Ko Matariki pou rarama i te pō, Ko Tumutumuwhenua pou whakairo i te awatea

Iwi Stories

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei: Iwi

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are one of the hapū (sub-tribe) from the wider Ngāti Whātua iwi (tribe). They have approximately 5,000 hapū members throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) and around the world. Located in and around the Tāmaki isthmus, in the largest city in Aotearoa, they hold firm to their history, culture, identity and language.

Occupation of Ngāti Whātua in Tāmaki Makaurau began in the 17th Century under the leadership of rangatira (chief) Tuperiri. As such, every member of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei can trace their whakapapa (genealogy) to Tuperiri and are descended from the 3 hapū (sub-tribes): Te Taoū, Ngā Oho and Te Uringutu, collectively referred to as Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Today, the collective affairs of the sub-tribe are looked after by the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust.

From the Far North

The tūpuna (ancestors) of Ngāti Whātua came across the ocean from Wairotī and Wairotā. Under the primary command of Rongomai, the waka hourua (double canoe) Māhuhu-ki-te-Rangi travelled from the islands and made landfall in Aotearoa. They landed in Muriwhenua (the Far North), but over time they travelled south to settle in Tāmaki Makaurau.

As the Ngāti Whātua people journeyed south they fought a number of battles, from Maunganui to the base of the Tangihua Ranges. From Tangihua they navigated the Wairoa River and took possession of the Kaipara Harbour and surrounding lands by raupatu (conquest).

Around 1750, the Te Taoū people of South Kaipara occupied the Tāmaki Isthmus. After this time and up until the present, the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei people – initially led by Tuperiri – have maintained their ahikā and tūrangawaewae.

Their whenua rangatira included the Ōkahu Bay village, where the ancestral house Te Puru o Tāmaki stood, as well as the Takaparawhau ridge where the Ōrākei Marae now stands.

Chiefly Authority

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei rangatira Apihai Te Kawau and Paora Tūhaere led their people through many challenges, always striving to secure a sustainable future for their hapū. They were strategic and resilient leaders.  
From 1825, after being besieged by Hongi Hika and the northern tribes, Apihai Te Kawau and his people lived in the Waikato for nearly a decade.  
Te Kawau and his people returned to Tāmaki and re-established settlements at Karangahape, then Māngere and Onehunga. Between 1836 and 1838, gardens were re-established at Te Rehu (Cox’s Bay), Horotiu (Queen Street), Maunga Rāhiri (Little Rangitoto, Remuera) and Ōkahu Bay. 
News of Lieutenant-Governor Wiliam Hobson’s arrival in the Bay of Islands prompted a large gathering of high chiefs from the Kaipara, Waitematā and surrounding areas to talk about attaining peace. At a crucial stage of the hui, Tītai, a highly regarded Te Taoū tohunga (translation), rose to speak and told of a dream he experienced. He shared the prophetic words in a traditional chant. 
He aha te hau e wawara, e wawara? 
He tiu, he raki, he tiu, he raki 
Nāna i ā mai te pūpūtarakihi ki uta 
tīkina e au te kotiu 
Koia te pou whakairo ka  ki Waitematā 
ōku wairangitanga 
What was the wind that is roaring and rumbling? 
It was a wind in the north (the Treaty at Waitangi) 
A wind that exposed the nautilus shell (symbolising the unfolding of a new order) 
And in my dreams, I saw that 
I would fetch the 'wind' from the north 
To establish them myself (pou whakairo) at Waitematā 
After hearing this, the gathering sent a delegation led by Te Kawau's nephew, Te Rēweti, to the Bay of Islands. They offered Hobson a gift of land to establish his new capital alongside Te Kawau's people on the shores of the pristine, obsidian-like waters of the Waitematā.