Te Roroa are based at Waimamaku valley, Waipoua Forest, Maunganui Bluff and Kaihū valley. They are descended from the ancestor Manumanu I and his brother Rangitauwawaro, who migrated from Muriwhenua to the Waimamaku valley. There, they and their descendants intermarried with, and brought together, the local peoples of Ngāi Tuputupuwhenua, Te Tini-o-Kui, Te Uri-o-Nuku (from the Ngātokimatawhaorua canoe), Ngāti Ruanui (of the Māmari canoe), Ngāti Kahu and Ngāi Tamatea (from the Tinana, Māmaru and Tākitimu canoes), Ngāti Miru (of the Mataatua canoe), and other tribes including Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Ririki.⠀
Manumanu II (the son of Manumanu I), Rongotaumua (the son of Rangitauwawaro) and their descendant Toa extended Te Roroa’s influence further. They gradually took control of Kaihū and the upper northern Wairoa River, including fortifications on the strategically important mountains of Maungaraho and Tokatoka. Toa’s grandsons (the children of his eldest son Tiro) added to this legacy: Te Waiata and his son, the famous tohunga Tāoho, had authority over Kaihū and Maunganui Bluff; Te Maunga over Waipoua; Te Toko over Taiāmai; Te Māra over Waimamaku; and Paekoraha over Waiwhatawhata and Hunoke. Toa's descendants through his three wives included the important 19th-century chiefs Te Tāua, Tiopira Kīnaki, Parore Te Āwha and Te Tirarau.⠀
Te Roroa take their name from Manumanu II, who was killed in a battle at Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands. He was so brave that his enemies exclaimed, ‘Te Hei! Te roroa o te tangata, rite tonu ki te kahikatea!’ (Behold! That man is as tall as a white pine!)⠀
Their rohe stems from the Hokianga heads to Tokatoka maunga in the Kaipara and encapsulates the Waipoua Forest and Kai Iwi lakes.