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Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara


In 2000, Wellington City Libraries in association with Wellington Tenths Trust funded the first of what would become four volumes of tupuna living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 1840 (and onwards) — 'Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara' (published in 2001).

Although Waitangi Tribunal reports from the ongoing claims process at the time gave a comprehensive insight into the history of the land, it was felt that missing from that history were the stories of the people who lived and established a presence on these lands.

So many mana whenua painstakingly guided and steered these books to fruition with their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm. For each volume below, you can click through and find our full acknowledgements. We would not have proceeded without their knowledge and help, or without the backing of the Wellington Tenths Trust.

Wellington City Libraries would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to two key people involved in this project who have since passed away — Neville Gilmore and Sandra Clarke — as well as our friend and colleague Lotofoa Fiu.

— Ann Reweti (Kaimahi, Ratonga Māori, Researcher, Wellington City Libraries).

Launch Photos

The images below were taken at the launch of Volumes 2, 3 and 4 at the old Central Library. We feel very privileged to have been able to host mana whenua and launch this mahi together each time. We were very generously supported by mana whenua.

Some quick notes

You can find information about volumes 1-4 of Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara below, as well as a list of the tupuna in each volume and links to find the books on our library shelves. A selection of biographies are also available online in English and te reo Māori with the kind permission of their whānau. Further below, we've provided an alphabetical list of tupuna across all four volumes for quick reference, as well as a link to a more in-depth online version of the print indexes for all four volumes combined (featuring names, places and more).

Over the years 'Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara' was worked on, macron use was different than it is today. In the printed booklets, for the tupuna names we did not use macrons because these were not employed in our source material from the time. The online versions were done in the early 2000s for this project, and have generally used a macron (tohutō) or umlaut to represent vowel length.

Wellington City Libraries wishes to thank and acknowledge the Wellington Tenths Trust for allowing full scanned versions of Volume 1 and Volume 2 (links below) to be available online on our Wellington Recollect site. We ask that, in addition to normal copyright considerations, users of this resource uphold the mana and dignity of the people depicted within it.

Volume 1

Citation: Nga tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara, volume 1, written and researched by Sandra Clarke for Wellington City Libraries, with assistance from Ann Reweti and Lotofoa Fiu. (2001)

Volume 1, published in 2001, gives an overview of the individuals, hapu and iwi who migrated to Te Whanganui-a-Tara from the Taranaki rohe during the 1820-1840 period.

Contents and Tūpuna

  • Introduction
  • Te Wai Heberley
  • Rōpiha Moturoa
  • Mohi Ngaponga
  • Ngatata-i-te-Tangi
  • Wiremu (Wi) Tako Ngatata
  • Hirini Nukutaia
  • Patukawenga
  • Wi Hape Pakau
  • Hemi Parai
  • Wiremu (Wi) Piti Pomare
  • Te Rira Porutu
  • Ruhia Porutu
  • Kurae Puakawe
  • Retimana Pukahu
  • Te Kaeaea or Taringakuri
  • Ta Matoha
  • Wi Kingi Wairarapa
  • Wiremu Kingi Pouawha
  • Honiana-te-Puni-Kokopu
  • Tamati Wiremu te Wera
  • Te Wharepouri
  • Wi Kingi te Awhitu

Volume 2

Citation: Nga tupuna II o Te Whanganui-a-Tara, prepared by Sandra Clarke, Lotofoa Fiu, Ann Reweti. (2003)

This volume extends our knowledge beyond the visible sites at Pipitea, Petone and Waiwhetu and the former Te Aro to the kainga at Tiakiwai, Kaiwharawhara, Ngauranga, Pakuao and Ohariu including present day Makara, and even Muka Muka. In this volume the researcher has continued to place considerable emphasis on identifying those who signed the Deeds of Release in 1844 at the 11 sites either within the bounds of Port Nicholson Harbour or on the West Coast.


Volume 3

Citation: Nga tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Volume 3, written by Sandra Clarke, assisted by Lotofoa Fiu and Ann Reweti. (2005)

This volume provides a further 26 biographies and increases our understanding of the Te Atiawa community at Port Nicholson in the 1830's just before large numbers of settlers came and the efforts made to adjust to the new organisations after September 1839. It also includes references to some people who had major interests at Waikanae and Picton or at least in the upper part of the South Island — called Te Tauihu o te Waka.


  • Reihana te Kamo
  • Wiremu Tamihana te Neke
  • Parete Teira
  • Kautawera
  • Tini Waitapu
  • Karena Te Whiwhia
  • Hohepa Kopiri
  • Enoka Hohepa Taitea
  • Pane Waka
  • Mahau Tomairangi
  • Oriwia te Atiraukawa
  • Matene Tauwhare
  • Manihera te Toru
  • Taare Waitara
  • Paratene te Aoturoa
  • Kauamo
  • Ramari Ropiha
  • Te Munu Te Ohiro
  • Teretiu Paora
  • Akanihi Himiona
  • Ahipane Marangi
  • Henare Pumipi te Whakainu
  • Wakaiwa Lavinia Barrett
  • Tuarau
  • Heni Wairaweke
  • Tautara
  • Wi Kingi te Awhitu & whanau

Volume 4

Citation: Nga tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Volume 4, by Sandra Clarke and Neville Gilmore. (2007)

This fourth and final volume, published in 2007, features another 29 profiles. It seeks answers to some of the questions of the earlier volumes and helps us to understand why leaders of Te Atiawa ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara had such a prominent role in the development of Wellington City, giving us greater understanding of the lives of the people who signed the first agreement in September 1839.


Tupuna across all four volumes

Below you'll find an alphabetical list of tupuna across all four volumes (organised by first initial), with links to online versions in te reo Māori (and English), where available. Please note that the whole of Volume 1 and Volume 2 are also available through Wellington Recollect in a scanned, digital form.

(Scroll to view the full name index)

  • A

  • E

    • Enoka Hohepa TaiteaVolume 2 , Volume 3
  • H

    • Hana te AwhituVolume 2
    • Hana WaitaraVolume 2
    • Harata te KioreVolume 2
    • Hare ParataVolume 4
    • Harena KauamoVolume 2
    • Hemi ParaiVolume 1
    • Hemi Topine te Mamaku (abridged)Volume 2
    • Henare Pumipi te WhakainuVolume 3
    • Heni WairawekeVolume 3
    • Hirini NukutaiaVolume 1
    • Hohepa KopiriVolume 3
    • Honiana-te-Puni-KokopuVolume 1
    • Hori NgapakaVolume 4
    • Hori PipiVolume 4
  • I

    • Ihaka Te RouVolume 4
    • Ihikaera te WaikapoarikiVolume 4
    • Ingo TakataVolume 4
  • K

    • Karena Te WhiwhiaVolume 3
    • Karena WaitereVolume 4
    • Karepa TuweraVolume 2
    • Karipa TawakeVolume 2
    • KauamoVolume 3
    • KautaweraVolume 3
    • Kerei PakuahiVolume 2
    • Kereopa te WharepouriVolume 4
    • Kipa MahukiVolume 4
    • Komene PaipaVolume 4
    • Kurae PuakaweVolume 1
  • M

    • Mahau TomairangiVolume 3
    • Manihera te ToruVolume 2 , Volume 3
    • Mata Pekainu TumatuhiataVolume 4
    • Matene TauwhareVolume 3
    • Mawene HohuaVolume 4
    • Mere Kapa Ngamai IVolume 2
    • Mere PararakiVolume 4
    • Mere te HameneVolume 2
    • Minarapa Rangihatuake (abridged)Volume 2
    • Mohi NgapongaVolume 1
    • Mohi PuketapuVolume 4
  • N

    • Ngatata-i-te-TangiVolume 1
  • O

  • P

    • PairokeVolume 2
    • Pairua te RangikatatuVolume 2
    • Pane WakaVolume 3
    • Paratene te AoturoaVolume 3
    • Paratene te WheoroVolume 2
    • Parete TeiraVolume 3
    • Patara te TapetuVolume 4
    • PatukawengaVolume 1
    • Pirihira te TiaVolume 2
  • R

  • T

    • Ta MatohaVolume 1
    • Taare TahuaVolume 4
    • Taare WaitaraVolume 3
    • Taituha te RenaVolume 2
    • Tamati Wiremu te WeraVolume 1
    • TautaraVolume 3
    • Te Kaeaea or TaringakuriVolume 1
    • Te Keepa NgapapaVolume 2
    • Te Kere NgataieruaVolume 4
    • Te Munu Te OhiroVolume 3
    • Te Poho-o-te-rangiVolume 4
    • Te Rei PukekuraVolume 4
    • Te Rira PorutuVolume 1
    • Te Teira WhatakoreVolume 4
    • Te Wai HeberleyVolume 1
    • Te Watarauihi NgahengaVolume 4
    • Te WharepouriVolume 1
    • Te Wira MangatukuVolume 2
    • Te Wiremu OtakiVolume 4
    • Teretiu PaoraVolume 3
    • Teretiu TuwhareVolume 4
    • Tini WaitapuVolume 3
    • Tipene te RaroVolume 4
    • TuarauVolume 3
  • W

    • Wakaiwa Lavinia BarrettVolume 3
    • Wi Hape PakauVolume 1
    • Wi Kingi te AwhituVolume 1
    • Wi Kingi te Awhitu & whanauVolume 3
    • Wi Kingi WairarapaVolume 1
    • Wi Omere Te IpuVolume 2
    • Wiremu (Wi) Piti PomareVolume 1
    • Wiremu (Wi) Tako NgatataVolume 1
    • Wiremu Kingi PouawhaVolume 1
    • Wiremu Kingi PuwhakaaweVolume 2
    • Wiremu Tamihana te NekeVolume 3
    • Wiremu te Kahui Kararehe (abridged)Volume 2

Combined index for all four volumes (names and places)

This full index for all four volumes combined is a gateway to all the references to tupuna, land, settlers and interactions written about in 'Nga Tupuna o Te Whanganui-a-Tara'.

If you're wondering if you can find information about a particular person or place in 'Nga Tupuna', we hope you find this index helpful. It gives a flavour of the books themselves, and may help you decide if you want to access a particular volume.

Extended Biographies

After the publication of Volume 4 in 2007, more and more related content began to become available online — historical government records, images, newspaper articles, letters and manuscripts and more.

We wanted to collect some of these important content links in one place for easier access. Here are three 'extended biographies', that try to do this for three tupuna:

Order copies or contact us

Copies of volumes 2-4 are available for purchase ($10 each) — please just email enquiries@wcl.govt.nz and we will be in touch.

Unfortunately, we no longer have any copies of Volume 1 left, but you can access an online version of Volume 1, with the kind permission of the Wellington Tenths Trust. You can also find copies of any volume to borrow from our libraries.

Have feedback or a question about this page or this mahi? Email us — we'd love to hear from you!

Email us — enquiries@wcl.govt.nz

Korero o te Wa I Raraunga I Rauemi I Te Whanganui a Tara I Whakapapa