NGATI WAE WAE
Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae is the tribal structure that combines whanau (family) who whakapapa to the West Coast settlement based at Arahura a short distance from Hokitika.
Tuhuru was a chief of Ngati Waewae, a hapu of Ngai Tahu. He reached adulthood during a turbulent period in the Maori history of the South Island.
In the eighteenth century Ngai Tahu from Canterbury went to the source of greenstone in the Arahura and Mawhera (Grey) regions of the West Coast, and fought with the local people, Ngati Wairangi.
The final defeat of Ngati Wairangi took place in the Paparoa Range, after which a meeting of Tuhuru and his party was held at Runanga.
Tuhuru and his people established a new pa at Mawhera and settled there. They were known as Poutini Ngai Tahu, the Ngai Tahu people of the West Coast.
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Ngai Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997
In 1997 the Government of New Zealand returned the resource pounamu to the collective tribal structure known as Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.
An Act to give effect to certain provisions of the Deed of On Account Settlement, signed on 14 June 1996 by the Crown and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu as representative of Ngai Tahu, by vesting, in Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, pounamu in the Takiwa of Ngai Tahu Whanui and in those parts of the territorial sea of New Zealand that are adjacent to the Takiwa of Ngai Tahu Whanui
Historically this iconic stone, known by Maori as pounamu, has shaped many events in the coast's history and continues to do so today.
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