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Te Whānau-ā-Apanui
Iwi of New Zealand
Rohe (location) Eastern North Island
Waka (canoe) Mataatua
Population 11,808 [1]
"United Tribes" number 54

Te Whānau-ā-Apanui is a Māori iwi located in the eastern Bay of Plenty and East Coast regions of New Zealand's North Island. In 2006, the iwi registered 11,808 members,[1] representing 13 hapu.




Early history

Apanui Ringamutu is the founding ancestor of the iwi. He was descended from Tama-te-kapua of the Arawa canoe, and the Ngāriki people of the Tauira canoe.

During the 17th century, Apanui acquired vast amounts of land along the East Coast of the North Island. Through familial connection, he acquired land from Ngāti Porou and Ngāriki. He was given land extending from Pōtikirua to Puketapu, and from Taumata-ō-Apanui to the Mōtū River; the land in between was later won through conquest.

European contact

Relations with Europeans were not generally hostile. Early European settlers showed little interest in the isolated region, which lacked deep-water harbours for shipping. However, visiting Europeans taught Te Whānau-ā-Apanui the skills of whaling and commercial agriculture. Both areas become major economic industries for the iwi in the early 20th century, and profits were directed into community development projects.

Modern history

During the 1980s, the iwi experienced economic decline with the loss of major transport services, privitisation of state assets and the eventual economic unfeasibility of its small-scale farming operations. This resulted in some emigration of iwi members from traditional tribal homelands.

Te Whānau-ā-Apanui has produced an unusually high number of artists, including Pineamine Taiapa, one of the foremost practitioners of traditional Māori carving; acclaimed artist Cliff Whiting; and his son, artist and restoration expert Dean.[2]

Te Whānau-ā-Apanui today

Presently, the iwi is represented by Te Rūnanga o te Whānau, which is involved in social services and local economic development. The Rūnanga successfully manages a fisheries operation and invests in the development of local forestry and other industries. In particular, the Cyberwaka rural community project provides information technology training.

See also


  1. ^ a b "2006 Census – QuickStats About Māori (revised)". Statistics New Zealand. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  2. ^ Helen Robinson (2005), 'Cliff and Dean Whiting: Reviving Restoration', Heritage New Zealand, Winter 2005, p.46.

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