Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

Walk backwards into the future with eyes fixed on the past

Our People

Wairarapa Moana are the descendants of the rangatira and hapū that lived around the two Wairarapa lakes – Wairarapa Moana and Onoke Moana.

We are also descendants of Kupe, Paikea and the legendary Māui-Tikitiki. Our whakapapa comes from the migrations of the Kurahaupo and Takitimu waka.

Kurahaupo waka landed in various places in the north island and eventually settled at Nukutaurua. From here, various rangatira moved inland and south to begin the first major explorations and settlement of Wairarapa. Over time the Ngai Tara and Ngāti Rangitāne iwi settled throughout Wairarapa.

After its first land-fall, Takitimu waka made its way from the Far North, to Tauranga and on to the Eastern seaboard. There was a Takitimu landing at Nukutaurua and then eventually on to Rangiwhakaoma – Castle Point. It was here that the tohunga Tupai and others decided to settle in Wairarapa. Takitimu then continued on its journey to Te Waipounamu – the South Island.

Wairarapa was also settled by Ngāti Ira, mokopuna of the celebrated tipuna Paikea.

The Ngāti Kahungunu settlement of Wairarapa and particularly the lakes area takes place over many generations and is the result of many marriages, battles and peace treaties with our Kurahaupo ancestors.