The people who lived in the land were the Patupaiarehe, The Patupaiarehe didn’t get along well, so to avoid trouble, groups of them lived apart. One iwi lived in the Waitakere forest on Auckland’s west coast, another in the Hunua forest in the south. This meant they kept out of each other’s way.
From the early 18th century the Ngāti Pāoa people edged their way into the Hauraki Gulf and as far north as Mahurangi.
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 of the isthmus by intermarrying with Ngā Oho, descendants of the Wai-o-Hua.
In 1821, the Ngāpuhi leader Hongi Hika wanted to avenge previous defeats by Tāmaki tribes so he launched a series of attacks on the region. With 2,000 men and 1,000 muskets, he stormed two Ngāti Paoa pā, Mauinaina, and Mokoia, enslaving hundreds and killing hundreds more. Hika repeated the slaughter at Te Tōtara and the Ngāti Maru fortress near Thames.
In 1825 Ngāpuhi attacked once more. The target was Ngāti Whātua this time. The battle is known as Te Ika-a-ranganui it was fought near Kaiwaka. Although Ngāti Whātua had over 1,000 warriors, the 500 strong invading force was armed with muskets and crushed their old enemy. Apihai Te Kawau, chief of the Ngāti Whātua, abandoned the isthmus and took his people into exile.
And then in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and all was at ease. The British Crown and more than 500 Māori chiefs signed this agreement during this time.