The Legends of Our Forebearers
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The Legends of Our Forebearers

Ihenga, The Explorer

Tamatekapua was the captain of the Arawa canoe that made landfall on the beach at Maketū in the early 1300s.   Also, on the Arawa canoe was Īhenga who proved himself to be a rangatira (leader) and an explorer of note.

On his journey’s inland, Īhenga explored the lakes district, named many of the tribal landmarks we know today, including two of our district’s largest lakes – Rotoiti-i-kitea-a-e-Īhenga te moana and Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe (now known locally in their abbreviated form as Rotoiti and Rotorua). His exploration extended far beyond the tribal territory of Te Arawa to the far reaches of Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) leaving behind names that still exist today.

The Birth of Ngati Pikiao and Te Takinga

The Ngati Pikiao line descends from Kawatapuarangi.  One of his sons, Pikiao I had a wife named Rereao, a Tainui woman bore him a son Hekemaru.  Seven generations later, a descendant of this son named Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, became the first Māori king, hence the very strong relationship between Ngāti Pikiao and Tainui to this day.

Te Takinga was the illustrious warrior chief and son of Pikiao II for whom Te Takinga Marae is named.