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Ngai Takoto

Tuwhakatere has been described as the most prestigious ancestor of the Ngai Takoto tribe with a lineage that traces back to Kauri, the Ngati Awa chief who lived in the Pukepoto/ Ahipara area, and to Tumoana, the captain of the Tinana waka and a northern chief. Ngai Takoto’s connection with the Kurahaupo canoe goes back through their foundation to Ngati Kaharoa. Also, the two wives of Tuwhakatere had lineal descent from Pohurihanga. Tuterangiatohia was a descendant of Te Pohurihanga’s son Whatakaimarie, and Tupoia, a Ngati Kahu chiefly woman, descended from Tumoana. Tuwhakatere’s own descent line from Tumoana comes down through Moenga, Te Whata and Moengarau. From Tuwhakatere’s first marriage came three grandchildren, of whom one Maui, was key ancestor for the Paatu tribal group in Peria. This makes it an offshoot of NgaiTakoto. From Tuwhakatere’s second marriage, to Tupoia, there were several children.⠀

One of them, Wahanui, a notable warrior, grew resistive at his subordinate position to his older brothers and decided to carve out a kingdom for himself elsewhere. His brothers decided to help him, but when the youngest one, Hoka, who had a clubfoot, decided he wanted to go too. Tuwhakatere tried to stop him but was unsuccessful. Hoka was killed in battle and Tuwhakatere, now grown old, subsequently lay down (takoto) and pined away in great sorrow (whakamomoritanga) for his youngest son Hoka and subsequently died, from his overwhelming grief. Hence from which the tribes name sprung forth, Ngai Takoto. ⠀

An elder of the tribe, Maori Marsden, stated there was no doubt about the area belonging to Ngai Takoto: “Where the sand shark (pioke) swims out in the bay that defines that land that is ours”. However, there is no doubt that the three significant locations in the tribal heartland at that time were: Houhora, Waimanoni and on Te Make (near Kaitaia). Of these three Waimanoni was the most important. This probably has something to do with its position close to Rangaunu Bay with its resources of fish, its waterway for canoes, and its suitability for gardening. NgaiTakoto could afford to be lavish.

Iwi Chair

Wallace Rivers/ Kaio Karipa

Wallace Rivers is one of the Co-Chairs for Te Runanga o Ngai Takoto, the mandated Post Settlement Governance Entity for receiving Ngai Takoto Treaty Settlement assets.

His tātai whakapapa to Muriwhenua is through his father and connects him primarily to Ngai Takoto, also Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Aupouri. He was born in Rawene, raised on a dairy farm in Otaua and has whakapapa to Ngāpuhi through his paternal grandmother.

His maternal whakapapa connects him to Waikato-Tainui, Waiohua, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngati Manuhiri and Te Ati Awa.

In terms of professional background, he has 35 years of private sector experience within the steel industry in both New Zealand and Australia with heavy and light engineering expertise in black steels and alloys. He has vast experience in steel manufacture, distribution, procurement, logistics, infrastructure, administration and senior management.

He has found it to be an enlightening experience working with and for iwi. Also humbling as he has always been aware of iwi politics but discovered it is not until you immerse yourself in it that those dynamics of whanaungatanga become real. He feels that working with and for your iwi grounds you but also centres your focus because you have to be accountable for the responsibility of  serving your people.  It is a heavier load to carry when you are responsible to thousands of people within your iwi and even more so when it comes to serving Taitokerau whānui.

His dreams and aspirations for his iwi Ngai Takoto is for governance and management to be successful in developing iwi settlement assets, in an environmentally and economically balanced sustainable structure, that provides a prosperous future for generations of mokopuna to follow. An enduring platform that sustains the health, wealth and wellbeing of all Ngai Takoto, our Muriwhenua whanau and their communities but also for our Taitokerau whānui.

He believes that skilled leadership, strong communication, maintaining core values within tikanga Māori frameworks is key to our future and what will secure an enduring whakapapa for generations to come.

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