According to Te Rarawa tradition, Te Rarawa’s historical development can be broken down into three main periods. The first is cosmological, consisting of our Atua Māori. This indigenous understanding of the universe benchmarks our existence as early Polynesians. ⠀
Te Rarawa shares a 6,000-year history of traversing the vast southern Pacific oceans. Te Rarawa ancestry flows from tūpuna like Tāwhaki, Toi and Kiwa whose lineages can be traced from numerous Pacific locations to living Te Rarawa communities of today. The notion of fluidity in tribal boundaries notwithstanding, Te Rarawa exercised tino rangatiratanga as tāngata whenua generally in the areas beginning from Hokianga; eastwards following the Hokianga River to Mangataipa, situated at the base of Maungataniwha; northwards along the ranges of Raetea to Takahue and following down the Pamapuria River to Maimaru, across towards Awanui; and westwards to Hukatere on Te Oneroa a Tōhē (Ninety-Mile Beach), then back down the beach to Ahipara; southwards to Tauroa, Ōwhata and Whāngāpe and down the coastline to Mitimiti and back to Hokianga, being the southern boundary of Te Rarawa Iwi. For centuries the rohe of Te Rarawa was continually tested through rivalry, conflict and dispute with neighbouring Iwi, who shared common historical associations, whakapapa and tūpuna with Te Rarawa.
Katie Murray has run the Waitomo Papakainga Development Trust family-focused social service organisation for over 30 years. She was Chairperson and Trustee of Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust, including membership of Te Hiku Accord. She initiated a partnership in Kaitaia between Police and Iwi/Māori providers, wherein social workers would visit whānau who came to attention through family harm incidents. She set up a shelter for the homeless and to provide meals for families experiencing financial hardship. She has been a member of key advisory bodies for Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Social Development and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as Chair of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa.