Our story

Waikato Te Iwi

More than 700 years ago the Tainui canoe mored at its final destination on the Kaawhia coast, by the famous Pohutukawa known as Tangi Te Korowhiti. Tainui Waka carried our voyaging tuupuna whose descendants settled the lands of the Tainui Waka rohe. Over time those same uri whakaheke begat the tribes of Waikato, Hauraki, Maniapoto and Raukawa.

Ko Mookau ki runga
Ko Taamaki ki raro
Ko Mangatoatoa ki waenganui.
Pare Hauraki, Pare Waikato
Te Kaokaoroa-o-Paatetere.
Mookau is above
Taamaki is below
Mangatoatoa is between.
The boundaries of Hauraki, the boundaries of Waikato
To the place called ‘the long armpit of Paatetere’.

Te Hiitori o te Raupatu

I riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai. 
As land was confiscated, so should land be returned.

In July 1863, military forces of the Crown breached the Mangatawhiri River and unjustly invaded the Waikato, initiating a conflict against Kiingitanga and the people of Waikato. By April 1864, after the persistent defence of our whenua, we became outnumbered, and together with our allies, we retreated and sought refuge in the King Country.

What followed was the confiscation of approximately 1.2 million acres of our tribal lands and the widespread suffering, distress and deprivation caused to ngaa iwi o Waikato as war continued to be waged against them. Lives were lost, taonga and property destroyed, and ancestral lands unjustly taken – the effects of which lasted for generations. For 125 years, we sought justice from the Crown for the confiscations and its devastating impact on the livelihoods and the well-being of Waikato Maaori.

Timeline of significant events:


Tainui Waka arrives in Aotearoa. The people of the Tainui Waka settle in Auckland, Hauraki, Waikato and the King Country.


The Declaration of Independence is signed by 35 northern chiefs declaring Maaori sovereignty.


Pootatau Te Wherowhero signs the Declaration of Independence.


The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Pootatau Te Wherowhero is installed as the first Maaori King, signs He Whakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence.


The start of the land conflicts between Maaori and Government.


Taawhiao Pootatau Te Wherowhero becomes the second Maaori King.


Invasion of the Waikato – July to December. New Zealand Settlements Act. Government confiscates 1,202,172 acres.


Soldiers allotted sections taken from the confiscated lands which included a town acre and a farm section.


Native Land Court established.


Maaori Representation Bill created three Maaori seats in the North Island and one in the South.


Taawhiao leads deputation to England to petition Crown on the Raupatu claim. Advised to petition New Zealand Parliament.


Kiingi Mahuta installed as the third Maaori King.


Mahuta accepts a seat on the NZ Legislative Council to seek redress for Raupatu.


Kiingi Te Rata succeeds his father to become the fourth Maaori King.


Te Rata leads deputation to England to petition Crown on the Raupatu claim, received same advice.


Government attempts military conscription in Waikato during World War I. Kiingitanga leader Te Puea Heerangi maintains that Waikato had ‘its own King’ and would not fight for the British King.


Sim Royal Commission to review the Raupatu issue. Commission found Raupatu to be “immoral, illegal and excessive.”


Rangatahi group established by Tuumate Maahuta and Pei Te Hurinui Jones to negotiate with Government on Raupatu.


Kiingi Koroki appointed as fifth Maaori King.


Prime Minister Savage promises settlement of 5,000 pounds per year.


World War II – Raupatu negotiations suspended.


Tuurangawaewae hui – Prime Minister Fraser offers 6,000 pound per year for 50 years, and 5,000 pounds thereafter in perpetuity. Kiingi Koroki accepts offer but does not consider it as “full and final”


Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu succeeds her father to be the sixth and the longest-serving leader of the Kiingtanga.


Waitangi Tribunal established.


Trust Board annuity reassessed at $15,000 per annum.


The Tainui Report released.


Te Hiikoi ki Waitangi Manukau Claim Hui Taumata.


Waitangi Amendment Act allows Tribunal to recommend on claims back to 1840.


The Waitangi Tribunal receives the Waikato-Tainui WAI 30 claim concerning lands confiscated, Waikato River bed, fisheries and harbours.


Tainui Coalcorp case taken to High Court and heard before Court of Appeal. Tainui receives unanimous decision in favour.


Opening of Raupatu hearings at Owae Marae, Waitara, Taranaki. Presentation to Waitangi Tribunal and Crown of Tainui claims.


Direct negotiations with National Government begin. National Government agrees to return Hopuhopu Military Camp and reimburse Trust Board for costs of negotiations.


Hopuhopu and Te Rapa is returned.


December 21 the signing of the Heads of Agreement to the Deed of Settlement at Hopuhopu.


May 22 the Deed of Settlement is signed at Tuurangawaewae Marae. To signify the event, the Crown returned to Tainui the taonga, Te Korotangi. The settlement package totalled $170m.


The Trust Board begins a two year consultation process with tribal members to find a suitable post-settlement governance structure.


The tribe votes that the successor of the Board will be called Te Kauhanganui.


The Tainui Maaori Trust Board is formally dissolved on April 30 and the first Te Kauhanganui meeting is held on August 13 Waikato River settlement historic, environment and legal research is completed.


Kiingi Tuuheitia is installed.


The Waikato-Tainui Deed of Settlement for the Waikato River is signed.


New Government seeks a review of the Deed and a subsequent Deed of Settlement is signed, including the Kiingitanga Accord to protect the integrity of the Settlement.


The Waikato-Tainui Raupatu (Waikato River) Settlement Act receives the Royal Assent.