We are the Ngāi Tai tribe, descended from the people of the Tainui canoe, settled in Maraetai, Whitford and Howick Other Tainui descendants were Te Kawerau-a-Maki. we lived under forest cover.
Between 1740 and 1750 Ngāti Whātua-o-Kaipara moved south, invading the isthmus and killing Kiwi Tāmaki, paramount chief of Wai-o-Hua. They then took his last pā at Māngere. The conquerors secured their dominance
From 1600 to 1750 the Tāmaki tribes terraced the volcanic cones, building pā (settlements behind protective palisades). Across the isthmus they developed 2,000 hectares of kūmara gardens.
At the peak of prosperity in 1750, the population numbered tens of thousands. It was pre-European New Zealand’s most wealthy and populous area.
In 1821, wanting to avenge previous defeats by Tāmaki tribes, the Ngāpuhi leader Hongi Hika launched a series of attacks on the region. he stormed two Ngāti Paoa pā Mauinaina and Mokoia, killing hundreds and enslaving hundreds more.
Although Ngāti Whātua had over 1,000 warriors, the 500-strong invading force was armed with muskets and crushed their old foe. Apihai Te Kawau, chief of the Ngāti Whātua, abandoned the isthmus and took his people into exile.