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WHO WE ARE
ko tuwharetoa te iwi

Ko Tongariro te Maunga. Ko Taupo te Moana.
Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi. ko te heuheu te Tangata

Ngāti Tūwharetoa trace our origins to Te Arawa waka and the great migration from Hawaiki-nui, Hawaiki-roa, Hawaiki-pāmamao.

On arrival to Aotearoa our ancestor, Ngātoroirangi Ariki Ahorei Kaipupuri, Chiefly Priest of the highest order of learning, lay claim to the whenua and resources from the mountain tops within Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

Successive generations from the time of Ariki Tūwharetoa-i-te-au-pōuri returned and reclaimed the legacy of Ngātoroirangi, ensuring the continued rights of Ngāti Tūwharetoa to the whenua.

In 1886 Lake Taupō, Waikato River and tributaries flowing into Lake Taupō were vested into the single title of the Taupō-nui-a-Tia Block. In 1926 these waterways were vested in the Crown.

The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board (“the Trust Board”) was established pursuant to the Māori Land Amendment Act 1924 and Māori Land Claims Adjustment Act 1926. The first members of the Trust Board were
appointed on the 15th November 1926. These members were:

  • Hoani Te Heuheu (Tukino VI)
  • Pau Mariu
  • Kahu Te Kuru
  • Paora Rokino
  • Pitiroi Mohi
  • Taite Te Tomo
  • Takinga Arthur Grace
  • Werihe Te Tuiri

The first Trust Board meeting was held at Tokaanu on the 24th November 1926. Hoani Te Heuheu was elected as the first Chairman and Puataata Alfred Grace as the first Secretary.

The Trust Board later became a Māori Trust Board established by legislation to administer the Trust Board’s assets for the benefit of present and future generations of Ngāti Tūwharetoa. The Trust Board became a statutory entity in 1931 pursuant to the Māori Purposes Act 1931 and is currently constituted by the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955. In 1992, under the leadership of Ariki Sir Hepi Te Heuheu, the Crown returned Taupō Waters to the Trust Board on behalf of and for the benefit of present and future generations of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

In 2007, under the leadership of Ariki Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, the terms of the 1992 arrangement with the Crown were enhanced with the 2007 Deed.

The Trust Board is committed to maintaining and enhancing the health and wellbeing of Taupō Waters, and enabling Ngāti Tūwharetoa to achieve our social, cultural, environmental and economic goals and aspirations.