Ng%C4%81i Tahu
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Ng%C4%81i Tahu

Ng?i Tahu
Iwi (tribe) in M?oridom
Ngai Tahu Takiwa.jpg
Rohe (region)South Island
Waka (canoe)T?kitimu, Arahura, ?raiteuru
Population54,819[1] Edit this at Wikidata

Ng?i Tahu, or K?i Tahu, is the principal M?ori iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. Its takiw? (tribal area) is the largest in New Zealand, and extends from White Bluffs / Te Parinui o Whiti (southeast of Blenheim), Mount Mahanga and Kahurangi Point in the north to Stewart Island in the south. The takiw? comprises 18 r?nanga (governance areas) corresponding to traditional settlements.

Some definitions of Ng?i Tahu include the Waitaha and K?ti M?moe tribes who lived in the South Island prior to the arrival of K?i T?hu.[2] The five primary hap? (sub-tribes) of the three tribes are K?ti Kur?, Ng?ti Irakehu, K?ti Huirapa, Ng?i Thuriri and Ng?i Te Ruakihikihi.


Sculpture of Tipene O'Regan, rangatira, kaumatua, writer, orator, teacher and principal negotiator of the Ngai Tahu settlement

Early history

Ng?i Tahu trace their traditional descent from Tahup?tiki, the younger brother of Porou Ariki, founding ancestor of Ng?ti Porou, a tribe of the East Coast of the North Island. They originated on the east coast of the North Island, from where they migrated south to present-day Wellington. Late in the 17th century they began migrating to the northern part of the South Island. There they and K?ti M?moe fought Ng?i Tara and Rangit?ne in the Wairau Valley. K?ti M?moe then ceded the east coast regions north of the Clarence River to Ng?i Tahu. Ng?i Tahu continued to push south, conquering Kaikoura.

By the 1690s Ng?i Tahu had settled in Canterbury, including Banks Peninsula. From there they spread further south and into the West Coast.[3]

19th century

The Blue Book: recording Ng?i Tahu kaumatua alive in 1848

In 1827-1828 Ng?ti Toa under the leadership of Te Rauparaha successfully attacked Ng?i Tahu at Kaikoura. Ng?ti Toa then visited Kaiapoi, ostensibly to trade. When Ng?ti Toa attacked their hosts, the well-prepared Ng?i Tahu killed all the leading Ng?ti Toa chiefs except Te Rauparaha. Te Rauparaha returned to his Kapiti Island stronghold. In November 1830 Te Rauparaha persuaded Captain John Stewart of the brig Elizabeth to carry him and his warriors in secret to Akaroa, where by subterfuge they captured the leading Ng?i Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, and his wife and daughter. After destroying Te Maiharanui's village they embarked for Kapiti with their captives. Te Maiharunui strangled his daughter and threw her overboard to save her from slavery.[4] Ng?ti Toa killed the remaining captives. John Stewart, though arrested and sent to trial in Sydney as an accomplice to murder, nevertheless escaped conviction.[3]

In the summer of 1831-1832 Te Rauparaha attacked the Kaiapoi p? (fortified village). After a three-month siege, a fire in the p? allowed Ng?ti Toa to overcome it. Ng?ti Toa then attacked Ng?i Tahu on Banks Peninsula and took the p? at Onawe. In 1832-33 Ng?i Tahu retaliated under the leadership of Tuhawaiki, Taiaroa, Karetai and Haereroa, attacking Ng?ti Toa at Lake Grassmere. Ng?i Tahu prevailed, and killed many Ng?ti Toa, although Te Rauparaha again escaped. Fighting continued for a year or so, with Ng?i Tahu maintaining the upper hand. Ng?ti Toa never again made a major incursion into Ng?i Tahu territory. By 1839 Ng?i Tahu and Ng?ti Toa established peace and Te Rauparaha released the Ng?i Tahu captives he held. Formal marriages between the leading families in the two tribes sealed the peace.[3]

Modern history

The New Zealand Parliament passed the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act in 1998 to record an apology from the Crown and to settle claims made under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. One of the Act's provisions covered the use of dual (M?ori and English) names for geographical locations in the Ng?i Tahu tribal area. The recognised tribal authority, Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu, is based in Christchurch and in Invercargill.[2]


In the nineteenth century many Ng?i Tahu, particularly in the southern reaches of Te Wai Pounamu, spoke a distinct dialect of the M?ori language, sometimes referred to as Southern M?ori, which was so different from the northern version of the language that missionary Rev. James Watkin, based at Karitane found materials prepared by North Island missions couldn't be used in Otago.[5] However, from the 20th century until the early 21st century the dialect came close to extinction and was officially discouraged.[6]

Southern M?ori contains almost all the same phonemes as other M?ori dialects (namely: /a, e, i, o, u, f, h, k, m, n, p, r, t, w/), along with the same diphthongs. But it lacks /?/ ("ng") -- this sound merged with /k/ in prehistoric times: for example: Ng?i Tahu as opposed to K?i Tahu). This change did not occur in the northern part of the Ng?i Tahu area, and the possible presence of additional phonemes (/b, p, l, r/) has been debated. Non-standard consonants are sometimes identified in the spellings of South Island place names, such as g (as distinct from k, e.g., Katigi, Otago), v (e.g., Mavora), l instead of r (e.g., Little Akaloa, Kilmog, Waihola, Rakiula), and w or u instead of wh as reflecting dialect difference, but similar spellings and pronunciations also occur in the North Island (e.g. Tolaga Bay, Booai (P?hoi)).[5]

The apocope (the dropping of the final vowel of words) resulting from pronunciations like 'Wacky-white' for "Waikouaiti" have been identified with Southern M?ori. However, the devoicing (rather than apocope) of final vowels occurs in the speech of native speakers of the M?ori language throughout New Zealand, and the pronunciation of the names of North Island towns by locals often omits final vowels as well, like in the pronunciation of "Paraparam" or "Waiuk".[5]


Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu (TRoNT) is the governance entity of Ng?i Tahu, following the Treaty of Waitangi settlement between the iwi and the New Zealand Government under Ng?i Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.[7] It is also a mandated iwi organisation under the M?ori Fisheries Act 2004, an iwi aquaculture organisation under the M?ori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004, an iwi authority under the Resource Management Act 1991 and a T?hono organisation. It also represents Ng?i Tahu Whanui, the collective of hap? including Waitaha, Ng?ti M?moe, and Ng?i Tahu, including, Ng?ti Kuri, Ng?ti Irakehu, Ng?ti Huirapa, Ng?i Tuahuriri, and Ng?i Te Ruahikihiki, under Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu Act 1996.[8][2]

The interests of Ng?i Tahu cover a wide range of regions, including the territories of Tasman District Council, Marlborough District Council, West Coast Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Otago Regional Council and Environment Southland, and the district councils which make up these regional councils.[2]

Papatipu r?nanga/runaka, as constituent areas of Ng?i Tahu, each have an elected board which then elect a representative to Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu. K?i Tahu has a very corporate structure, in part due to the death of an important Upoko Ariki (paramount chief), Te Maiharanui, at the time of the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand.[why?] Under the Resource Management Act, both the trust and local papatipu r?nanga should be consulted with about natural resource matters. The 18 representatives of papatipu runanga oversee Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu as a charitable trust. As of 2016, the acting kaiwhakahaere (chairman) is Lisa Tumahai, the chief executive officer is Arihia Bennett, the general counsel is Chris Ford, and the trust is based in Addington, Christchurch.[2]

R?nanga and marae

Canterbury r?nanga

Ng?i Tahu has 9 r?nanga (governance areas) in Canterbury:

  • Te Ngai Tuahuriri centres on Runanga Tuahiwi and extends from the Hurunui to Hakatere (Ashburton, New Zealand), sharing an interest with Arowhenua Runanga northwards to Rakaia, and thence inland to the Main Divide.[9] The Tuahiwi marae of the Ngai Tuahuriri hap? is located in Tuahiwi and includes M?hunui II meeting house.[2]
  • Te Runanga o Koukourarata centres on Koukourarata (Port Levy) and extends from P?hatu Pa to the shores of Te Waihora, including Te Kaituna.[9] Koukourarata Marae is located in Port Levy, and includes T?tehuarewa meeting house.[2]
  • Wairewa Runanga centres on Wairewa (on Banks Peninsula) and the catchment of lake Te Wairewa and the hills and coast to the adjoining takiwa of Koukourarata, Onuku Runanga, and Taumutu Runanga.[9] Wairewa marae is located at Little River and includes Te Mako meeting house.[2]
  • Taumutu Runanga centres on Taumutu and the waters of Te Waihora and adjoining lands and shares a common interest with Te Ngai Tuahuriri Runanga and Te Runanga o Arowhenua in the area south to Hakatere (Ashburton).[9] The local marae, Ng?ti Moki, is located in Taumutu.[2]

Otago r?nanga

Ng?i Tahu has 3 r?nanga (governance areas) in Otago:

  • Te Runanga o Moeraki centres on Moeraki and extends from Waitaki to Waihemo and inland to the Main Divide.[9] Moeraki marae in located in Moeraki and includes Uenuku meeting house.[2]
  • Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki centres on Karitane and extends from Waihemo to Purehurehu and includes an interest in Otepoti (Dunedin) and the greater harbour of Otakou. The takiwa extends inland to the Main Divide, sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains to Whakatipu-Waitai with Runanga to the south.[9] The Huirapa hap? have the Puketeraki marae in Karit?ne.[2]
  • Te Runanga o Otakou centres on Otakou and extends from Purehurehu to Te Matau and inland, sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains to the western coast with Runanga to the north and to the south (includes the city of Dunedin).[9] The ?t?kou marae is located at Otago Heads, and includes the Tamatea meeting house.[2]

West Coast r?nanga

Ng?i Tahu has 2 r?nanga (governance areas) in Westland:

  • Te Runanga o Makaawhio centres on Mahitahi (Bruce Bay) and extends from the south bank of the Pouerua River to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) and inland to the Main Divide, together with a shared interest with Te Runaka o Kati Waewae in the area situated between the north bank of the Pouerua River and the south bank of the Hokitika River.[9] The runanga's marae, Te Tauraka Waka a Maui, at Mahitahi, officially opened on 23 January 2005. Southern Westland, only thinly settled by M?ori, had -- uniquely in the iwi's region -- lacked a marae for 140 years.[10] The marae includes the Kaipo meeting house.[2]
  • Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae centres on Arahura and Hokitika and extends from the north bank of the Hokitika River to Kahuraki and inland to the Main Divide, together with a shared interest with Te Runanga o Makaawhio in the area situated between the north bank of the Pouerua River and the south bank of the Hokitika River. Ned Tauwhare is currentlychair of the Runanga.[9] Arahura marae north of Hotikia includes the T?huru meeting house.[2]

Southland r?nanga

Ng?i Tahu has 4 r?nanga (governance areas) in Southland:

  • Waihopai Runaka centres on Waihopai (Invercargill) and extends northwards to Te Matau sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains to the western coast with other Murihiku (Southland) Runanga and those located from Waihemo (Dunback) southwards.[9] The Murihiku marae and Te Rakitauneke meeting house are located in Invercargill.[2]
  • Te Runanga o Awarua centres on Awarua and extends to the coasts and estuaries adjoining Waihopai sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains between Whakatipu-Waitai and Tawhititarere with other Murihiku (Southland) Runanga and those located from Waihemo southwards.[9] Its marae, Te Rau Aroha, is located at Bluff, and includes Tahu Potiki meeting house.[2]
  • Te Runanga o Oraka Aparima centres on Oraka (Colac Bay) and extends from Waimatuku to Tawhititarere sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains from Whakatipu-Waitai to Tawhititarere with other Murihiku Runanga and those located from Waihemo southwards.[9] The r?nanga has a marae, Takutai o te Titi, in Riverton.[2]
  • Hokonui R?nanga centres on the Hokonui region and includes a shared interest in the lakes and mountains between Whakatipu-Waitai and Tawhitarere with other Murihiku Runanga and those located from Waihemo southwards.[9] Its marae, O Te Ika Rama, is located in Gore.[2]

Trading enterprise

Shotover Jet in Queenstown is one of several assets owned by Ng?i Tahu Holdings

Ng?i Tahu actively owns or invests in many businesses throughout the country. In the 2008 financial year, Ngai Tahu Holdings had a net surplus of $80.4 million, of which $11.5 million was distributed to members of the iwi via runanga and whanau.[11]


Primary industries

  • Ng?i Tahu Seafood
  • 31 forests totaling more than 100,000 hectares

Property and other investments

Ng?i Tahu Property currently has assets with a market value in excess of $550 million. Ng?i Tahu has an investment portfolio of prime properties including:[13]

  • Akaroa residential developments
  • Armstrong Prestige, Christchurch
  • Christchurch Civic Building
  • Christchurch Courts Complex
  • The former Christchurch Police Station site[14]
  • Christchurch Post Building (with Christchurch City Council)
  • Christchurch residential developments
  • Dunedin Police Station
  • Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools
  • Governor's Bay residential developments
  • Iveagh Bay Terraces
  • Lincoln Farm subdivision (with Lincoln University)
  • Mahaanui Office (for Department of Conservation)
  • O'Regans Wharf, Lake Esplanade, Queenstown
  • Building 4 (Queenstown Courts Building)
  • Queenstown Police Station
  • Pig and Whistle, Queenstown
  • Ryman Healthcare (40 million shares)
  • Sockburn Business Park, Blenheim Road
  • St Omer Wharf, Queenstown
  • Tower Junction Village, Addington
  • Tower Junction Megacentre, Christchurch
  • Turners Car Auctions, Addington
  • Tumara Park
  • Wigram Air Base, Christchurch.
  • Wigram National Trade Academy
  • Wigram Village[15]

Tahu FM

Tahu FM is the iwi's official radio station. It began as Christchurch's Te Reo Iriraki Ki Otautahi on 6 February 1991. Between 1996 and 2001, it formed a broadcasting partnership with Mai FM and began playing more urban contemporary music.[16] It changed its name to Tahu FM in December 1997, and briefly changed its name to Mai FM in 1999 before reverting to Tahu FM.[17] It broadcasts in Christchurch on 90.5 FM. In 2000 it began broadcasting Kaikoura on 90.7 FM, Dunedin on 95.0 FM, Invercargill on 99.6 FM, and around the country on 505 Sky Digital.[18]

Tahu FM resumed broadcasting five days after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, with assistance from Te Upoko O Te Ika and other iwi radio stations, and operated as the city's M?ori language civil defence station.[19] In December 2014 it was recognised as the country's highest-rating M?ori radio station.[20][21][22]

Notable Ng?i Tahu


  1. ^ "2013 Census iwi individual profiles: Ng?i Tahu / K?i Tahu". Stats NZ. Retrieved 2017.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Rohe". Te Puni K?kiri, New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Tau, Te Maire, "Ng?i Tahu]", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
  4. ^ "Captain Stewart and the Elizabeth - a frontier of chaos?". Ministry for Culture and Heritage, NZ History online. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Harlow, R. (1987). A word-list of South Island Maori. Auckland: Linguistic Society of New Zealand. ISBN 0-9597603-2-6
  6. ^ Harlow, R.B. (1979). ""Regional Variation in Maori". New Zealand Journal of Archaeology, 1, 123-138.
  7. ^ For example: "Research". Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu. Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu. Retrieved 2014. Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu (TRoNT) is regularly approached by researchers and organisations seeking engagement, advice or support for various research projects.
  8. ^ "Papatipu R?nanga". Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu. Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (Declaration of Membership) Order 2001". New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Marae project". Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Te Runanga o Ng?i Tahu, Annual Report 2008, page 85
  12. ^ [1] Archived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ McDonald, Liz (10 August 2017). "Ngai Tahu's new $85m Christchurch office complex will 'strengthen city's mana'". The Press. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ [3] Archived 20 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Tahu FM in joint venture with Auckland Station". 5 (9). Te M?ori. p. 7.
  17. ^ Reedy, Lisa (1999). "Tahu FM becomes Mai FM; Aroha mai, aroha atu - 'the things we do for love'" (10). AUT University. Te Karaka : the Ngai Tahu magazine. pp. 12-13.
  18. ^ "Kaitaia". Welcome to the Radio Vault. New Zealand: The Radio Vault. 23 July 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ "Iwi radio stations stand together in wake of earthquake". Human Rights Commission. Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network. 16 March 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "Iwi Radio Coverage" (PDF). M?ori Media Network. 2007. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ Peata Melbourne. "Tahu FM named top iwi radio station in the country". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Reedy, Lisa (1999). "Tahu FM becomes Mai FM; Aroha mai, aroha atu - 'the things we do for love'". Te Karaka : The Ngai Tahu Magazine (10): 12-13. ISSN 1173-6011.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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