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44 degrees south
Ka tiu te toroa a uta, ka hoka te toroa a tai
Te rangi pū nunui, te rangi pū roroa
Papaki kau ana ngā ngaru tuatea ki Waitangi
Horahia atu te takapou ki Pā Tangaroa
Tērā te motu kohu ko Wharekauri e takoto ake nei e Hai!
Located about 870 kms away to the East of New Zealand, in what is known as the “Roaring Forties”our Ngāti Mutunga identity is synonymous with our Pa Tangaroa (the sea realm of Tangaroa).
Blessed with an abundance of kai-moana (seafood) commercial fishing underpins our economy and way of life.
There a dozen islands that make up the Wharekauri archipelago including the main island of Wharekauri, Rangiauria (Pitt Island), Motuhara (the 44s), Motuhope (Star Keys), Rangatira (South east island), Tapuaenuku (little Mangere), and Rangitutahi (The Sisters) amongst a number of other island.
Two islands are permanently inhabited; Wharekauri, the main island has a population of about 640 people and Rangiauria (Pitt Island), which has a population of about 40 people.
We are the people of Wharekauri. Journeying from our Taranaki kainga of Urenui, Mimi, Waitara, Ngāmotu and Mokau amongst others, our tipuna came to Wharekauri in 1835 and established our mana.
We are the descendants of Mutunga and Te Rerehua, the eponymous ancestors of Ngāti Mutunga.
Our hapū affiliations include Ngāti Haumia, Kekerewai, and Ngāti Rāhiri. Our waka affiliations include Tokomaru, Aotea, Tainui and Ōkoki.
Our affiliation stems across our whanaunga iwi including Ngāti Mutunga of Urenui, Ngāti Tama, Te Ati Awa, Taranaki Iwi, and Ngāti Toa Rangatira. These links remain as important to us today as they were during our migration to Wharekauri.
We look to our maunga Pipitarawai, Korako; our awa Mangatukarewa; and our pataka kai Te Whaanga that establishes our Ngāti Mutunga identity.
We are the Mana Tangata.
From our ‘ringa raupa’, our calloused hands, we have shaped the island as the island has shaped us.
We have maintained our ahi-kaa and our absolute tino rangatiratanga over Wharekauri. From our first settlement in Whangaroa (Port Hutt) our Iwi spread out to encompass the whole island and across to Rangiauria (Pitt Island) and the surrounding motu.
Our people established sheep and produce farms that were trading wool, mutton and potatoes as far away as the United States by 1840. Today our people continue to farm the island and their efforts make up a significant part of our economy.
We maintain our presence through our whare Whakamaharatanga at Te One (previously pa Tangaroa at Waitangi before it burned down in 1920) where our Iwi Trust Office is also located. We maintain three homes and two kaumatua flats at Te One and we are now in the process of establishing more homes for our whanau.
September 22nd, 2021
Since the original Pa Tangaroa whare burned in the 1920s our tupuna have always harboured a desire that a whare and pa be re-established. So it’s with pleasure that some 100 years later we now arrive at a point where we can achieve that.
The Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Asset Holding Company has negotiated to build and own the new facility building in Waitangi.
September 20th, 2021
Our journey toward the full recovery of our Ngāti Mutunga reo, waiata, and toi is now taking flight.