|Great M?ori migration waka|
|Iwi||Ng?i T?hoe, Ng?ti Awa, Te Whakat?hea, Te Wh?nau-?-Apanui, Ng?puhi, Ng?i Te Rangi, Ng?ti P?kenga|
M?taatua was one of the great voyaging canoes by which Polynesians migrated to New Zealand, according to M?ori tradition. M?ori traditions say that the M?taatua was initially sent from Hawaiki to bring supplies of k?mara to M?ori settlements in New Zealand. The M?taatua was captained by Toroa, accompanied by his brother, Puhi; his sister, Muriwai; his son, Ruaihona; and daughter, Wairaka.
In local M?ori tradition, the M?taatua waka was the first to land at Whakatane, approximately 700 years ago. According to various accounts, at some point a dispute arose between the commander, Toroa, and Puhi, eponymous ancestor of Ng?puhi, over food resources. As a result, Puhi left on the M?taatua with most of its crew to travel further north, while Toroa, T?neatua, Muriwai and their immediate families remained in the Bay of Plenty. Those that stayed behind settled and intermixed with previously established M?ori tribes in the region. People from Ng?i T?hoe, Ng?ti Awa, Te Whakat?hea, Te Wh?nau-?-Apanui and the Tauranga Moana tribes can trace their origins to this settlement.
Many accounts say that, from the Bay of Plenty, Puhi travelled northward in the M?taatua, eventually reaching the Bay of Islands in Northland. The Ng?puhi people can trace their origins to this settlement. Tribes in both the Bay of Plenty and Northland agree that the final resting place of the M?taatua was at T?kou Bay in the Bay of Islands.
Many iwi can trace their origins to ancestors on the M?taatua canoe. Tribes in both the Bay of Plenty and Northland maintain strong ties, and a reunion was held in 1986. A replica of the M?taatua rests at the Mataatua Reserve in Whakatane.