This month we highlight one of our northern iwi, Ngāti Tama. Ngāti Tama trace their roots to the Tokomaru waka from Hawaiki, and take their name from Tamaariki, a captain aboard the vessel.

Whakapapa of these rangatira and others aboard, the sagas of their journey and eventual establishment in northern Taranaki are well preserved in tribal traditions.

Ngāti Tama were renowned for their bravery, as they were responsible for maintaining the northern Taranaki border with Maniapoto. This strength continues to see the Iwi overcome challenges. Ngāti Tama uri are represented by Te Runanga o Ngāti Tama.

Elected to the Runanga Board in February 2016 were returning members, Paul Silich and Larry Crowe, and new members Conrad O’Carroll, Amos White, Patricia O’Carroll, Lisa White and Tahu White. Ngāti Tama uri who migrated south in the 1830’s have established their own representative entity to manage the affairs of Ngāti Tama of Te Tau Ihu, the Ngāti Tama Manawhenua ki Te Tau Ihu Trust.

They’ve held the responsibility since 1993 for advancing Treaty of Waitangi claims on behalf of the Uri o Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu. “Ko taku iwi tuaroa tēnā” “That is my backbone” My backbone is sacred, do not dare touch it. To read more about Ngāti Tama, one of the eight Taranaki iwi working collectively on our Maunga negotiations, visit their website here.