The Māori name for Auckland is Tāmaki. Among the many versions is Tāmaki-makau-rau (Tāmaki of a hundred lovers), signifying to the enviable, productive site at the hub of a network of waterways, taking travelers north and south, east and west. Over the decades different groups flourished, cohabited and relocated each other in turn.
The Ngāi Tai tribe, stemmed from the people of the Tainui canoe,inhabited in Maraetai. Tainui descendants were Te Kawerau-a-Maki. This grouplived under forest cover in the Waitākeres and controlled land as far north asthe Kaipara, across to Mahurangi and down to Takapuna. The Ngāti Te Ata tribewas based south of the Manukau at Waiuku. Along the coast from Whangaparāoa to the Thames was Ngāti Pāoa, a Hauraki tribe.
From 1600 to 1750 the Tāmaki tribes shaped the volcaniccones, by building pā. Across the isthmus they developed 2,000 hectares of kūmaragardens. At the peak of prosperity in 1750, the population numbered tens of thousands. It was pre-European New Zealand’s most wealthy and packed area.
From the early 18th centurythe Ngāti Pāoa people edged their way into the Hauraki Gulf and as far north asMahurangi. Between 1740 and 1750 Ngāti Whātua-o-Kaipara moved south, invadingthe isthmus and killing Kiwi Tāmaki, paramount chief of Wai-o-Hua. They then took his last pā at Māngere.
The coastal area of Auckland lots of resources for early Maori. Seasonal migration occurred where people would move to get food sources. The Tamaki River was a shark and kawhai fishing ground; fish drying took place on the river between Pakuranga and Otara. Wood pigeons were lavish around Ohuiarangi, hence the name Pigeon Mountain. Kumara, taro, yams and gourds were grown on Browns Island and on the fertile soils of Howick and stored in kumara pits on the peninsula.
Te Naupata (Musick Point) which was a Pa to survey and protect the entry to the Tamaki River.