Welcome to the homepage for Waitaha.
Waitaha are the descendants of our tupuna Hei and his son Waitaha. They were both aboard the waka Te Arawa when Te Arawa arrived at Maketu. Although many of the sons of Waitaha settled throughout Aotearoa, the people of Waitaha remained. Hei Marae is located at Motungarara, Manoeka Road, Te Puke, Bay of Plenty, NZ.
This photo is of Hei Marae and was taken in 2008. The central image is our wharenui Hei, in the foreground is the wharekai Ngataiwhakaki and the pohutukawa tree that stood behind her. Ngataiwhakaki was pulled down in January 2011 and a new wharekai has been built on the same site. The opening of this building will be on Saturday 2 June 2012. The pohutukawa was also removed to make room for the new building.
It is important to us all to never forget why we live in a place called “Manoeka” – 1,000 acres. Because of the raupatu (confiscation) of Waitaha lands following the battles between the British military and the hapu and iwi living in the Tauranga, Papamoa and Te Puke areas, Waitaha were on the verge of dying out. When the Crown acquired the Te Puke block, Waitaha were granted two areas – 1,000 acres at Motungarara (now known as Manoeka) and 500 at Te Puke (No 1 Road area). Other Waitaha settlements and pa were destroyed and eventually we were able to establish Hei Marae, our only marae.