Kaipara Harbour

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Kaipara Harbour is a large enclosed harbour estuary complex on the north western side of the North Island of New Zealand. The northern part of the harbour is administered by the Kaipara District and the southern part is administered by the Rodney District. The local Māori tribe is Ngāti Whātua.

According to Māori tradition, the name Kaipara had its origins back in the 15th century when the Arawa chief, Kahumatamomoe, travelled to the Kaipara to visit his nephew at Pouto. At a feast, he was so impressed with the cooked root of the para fern, that he gave the name Kai-para to the district. "Kai" means food in the Māori language.



Māori settlements and marae have been scattered around the harbour margins for hundreds of years. The waterways of the Kaipara provided, and still provide, Māori with resources and a ready means of moving between marae.

Today most marae are associated with the Ngāti Whātua sub-tribes, Te Taoū and Te Uri-o-Hau. These sub-tribes both descend from the chief Haumoewhārangi who settled on the north end of the Kaipara entrance at Poutō. He was killed in an argument about kūmara (sweet potatoes). His widow Waihekeao developed a partnership with a Tainui warrior chief, Kāwharu. Kāwharu led several destructive campaigns around Kaipara. Eventually the descendants of Waihekeao and...
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