In the early 18th century, the Ngati paoa tribe moved into the Haoraki gulf and even going as far north as Mahurangi. Between 1740 and 1750, a number of conflicts ensued of where the Ngati whatua-o-kaipara went south invading other iwa(tribes), including the defeat of the Wai-o-hua. The conquerors then showed their dominance by marrying the Nga-oho who were their descendants. A shaky peace followed, but the Tamaki tribes were still vulnerable to attack.
The Ngapuhi invasion
To keep Iwa from completely destroying each other, a political unit was formed known as the hapu. It could range from a hundred to seven hundred people and were connected with all types of whanau(extended families). The hapu controlled tribal territory which had access to fisheries, seabeds as well as other valuable resources. Only one Iwa had the right for that resource. This could lead to many false accusations. The hapu would be there to make sure no wars were declared.
Land use in Tamaki
Settlements were constructed to support tribes and hold resources. Early Tamaki Iwa had arrived in 1600, and had built several pa(settlements behind protected palisades) around the volcanic cones that dotted the landscape. These tribes branched out heading down south to where the isthus were, building over 2,000 kumara gardens! The most prosperous time in the Tamaki tribe culture was 1750, and by this time, the Tamaki tribes were a thriving, prosperous society.
The Tamaki Resources
In 1821, the ngapuhi launched an invasion on the tamaki tribes to avenge former defeats. With 2,000 men and 1,000 muskets, he stormed tamaki, pillaging pa, killing and enslaving hundreds of people. In 1825 they attacked again, this time with the target being ngati whatua. However before this could happen, Apihai Te kawau took his people into exile, abandoning the isthmus and saving his people from further harm.
The coastal area of Tamaki was a rich resource area for the iwa located there. The tamaki river was a shark and kawhai fishing ground, whilst wood pigeons were found near Ohuiarangi (Pigeon Mountain). Yams and gourds were grown on the Browns island and also on the fertile soils of Howick. The land would prove invaluable to the iwa for generations to come.
Ohuiarangi was the central trading point for things like greenstone and scoria was used to create the thousand sof gardens that dotted Tamakis landscape. Howick was used to protect the surrounding fertile area and Cockle Bay was the place where they would collect shellfish. Tamakis rich, resourceful nature has attracted many and is still doing it today.