'Titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamura' 'When you understand the past, you know your future'
The Original Tangata whenua Settlements of Western Bay of Plenty
It all began in the 13th century The earliest known settlers to Tauranga were Māori who arrived in the Tākatimu, Mātaatua and Te Arawa waka (canoes) in the 13th century, forming part of the original migration from East Polynesia (Hawaiki) to Aotearoa (The Land of the Long White Cloud), today known as New Zealand. At 9.00 am on Friday 23 June 1826 The Herald was the first NAMED European ship to enter Tauranga Harbour, 'Tauranga' meaning 'safe harbour', albeit it is well known that other ships carrying Europeans arrived earlier than this. Read more here
Tauranga Moana | Western Bay of Plenty, West The western area of the Western Bay of Plenty district, which includes Tauranga City, is known as Tauranga Moana (Waihi Beach / Bowentown to Pāpamoā Hills) and was first occupied by the iwi of
Te Arawa & Waitaha | Western Bay of Plenty, East Otanewainuku, Te Puke, Kaituna, Maketu: The eastern area of the Western Bay covers Otanewainuku, Te Puke, the Kaituna Catchment and on to Maketu down to Otamarakau. This region was first occupied by the iwi of Coastal Te Arawa from the waka Te Arawa and covers two iwi from this canoe:
Te Arawa: which carries on over the borders of Western Bay of Plenty into Eastern Bay of Plenty and Rotorua Lakes District and
Waitaha: Waitaha are an ancient iwi that descends from the waka Te Arawa. Their area of interest extends from Waimapu to Mauao along the coastline to Maketu, and inland to Otanewainuku. The Waitaha tribal register has approximately 1800 registered members.
It is believed that Te Arawa was the first waka to land in New Zealand at Maketu at the mouth of the Kaituna River.