There are eight tribes in Te Tau Ihu (Nelson–Marlborough):
- Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau and Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō (from the Kurahaupō canoe)
- Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Rārua and Ngāti Toa Rangatira (from the Tainui canoe)
- Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu and Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui (from Taranaki).
There is therefore no single account of the traditional history of the region:
Fragmented traditional narratives of the Kurahaupo iwi and their predecessors with whom they merged (Ngati Tumatakokiri, Ngati Wairangi, Ngai Tara), difficulties in ascribing tribal affiliations to individuals in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the differing perspectives of the northern migrants on their settlement histories, and the competing interests of neighbouring iwi Ngai Tahu ; all preclude any single account of the traditional history of the region from gaining universal acceptance. (Waitangi Tribunal Report 2008: Te Tau Ihu o te Waka a Maui: Report on Northern South Island Claims, p.27)
This section attempts to tell some of the stories about the people and their land - ngā kōrero o Te Tau Ihu o te waka a Māui. For more versions of these stories, and many other stories, see the Te Tau Ihu Statutory Acknowledgements document and associated maps, which record many of the traditional stories which the different iwi associate with their regional sites of significance. Note - a statutory acknowledgment recognises the particular cultural, spiritual, historical and traditional association of an iwi with an identified site/area. For a more complete overview of the origins and rohe of the iwi of Te Tau Ihu, see the Prow story on The Tangata Whenua Tribes of Te Tau Ihu.
The iwi websites (linked above) also have a growing collection of stories and information about each iwi and their Rohe, see:
- Ngāti Kuia – cultural mapping. Find "maps" under the Media heading.
- Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō - cultural mapping project
- Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau - brief history
- Ngāti Koata - Our history
- Ngāti Rārua - Oral histories and stories
- Ngāti Toa Rangatira - Taonga
- Te Atiawa - Our History
- Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu - Our history
For background information see the Māori history section on Te Ara.
A note on spelling:
Many Māori names have been restored as a result of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, while the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa, the national authority on place names, has reinstated others in recognition of the significance of Māori place names to both the tangata whenua and New Zealand as a whole. Stories on the Prow reflect the name which was generally accepted at the time of publication. Names have been altered when possible to reflect subsequent changes, but it has not been possible to change all spellings and names as they occur. Contact us if you think a place name needs to be updated.
The Prow will retain the original names of institutions, as they were referred to at the time they existed, e.g. the Takaka Town Board will retain this name, whereas we will endeavour to amend other references to Tākaka.
See the Prow story on The Tangata Whenua Tribes of Te Tau Ihu and related stories on this site:
All stories in the Māori section are listed below.