Over a thousand years ago the Mataatua waka arrived during the Hekenga Nui (Great Migration) with two chiefs, the captain Toroa and his younger brother Puhi, our great ancestor. Entering the Hokianga Harbour, they were in danger of sinking on the treacherous sand bar.
Someone called out ‘hokianga whakapau karakia’ – use every prayer you have. Landing at many places along their journey, Puhi and his family finally settled at Tākou Bay planting kumara, taro, gourds; harvesting the soil, the forest and the moana in a cycle of the seasons. They prospered and expanded into the great tribe of Ngā Puhi Nui Tonu.
After thirty generations Ngāpuhi dominated the mid-North from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands. Our paramount chief Te Pahi set up the first trading post in 1802 at Woolshed Bay to supply the demands of whalers, sealers, and returning convict transports. Te Pahi’s son, Ruatara travelled to England in 1807, returning with seeds of wheat and corn to establish the first export of grain to
On Christmas Day 1814 Samuel Marsden was invited to establish the first Christian Church here. A month later came the first school, then the first plough, the first blacksmith, the first flour mill and the first crop of potatoes. Twenty years later Ngāti Rēhia hosted the signing of Te Tīriti o Waitangi – the Treaty of Waitangi.
From Tākou in the North to Puketona in the South, we are the Ngāti Rēhia of Kerikeri, Aotearoa, New Zealand.
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