Knowing your history

Here’s a little local history about Tuahiwi and Kaiapoi Pā which is close to where we live in Rangiora, enjoy

Tuahiwi is the home of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and has played a vital role in Ngāi Tahu history. The town of Kaiapoi that lies to the north of Ōtautahi (Christchurch) takes its name from the pā that was established in that area around the year 1700.

Established by the first Ngāi Tahu ancestors when they settled Te Waipounamu, Kaiapoi Pā was the major capital, trading centre and point from which further penetration of the South Island occurred making the area a genealogical centre for all Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Kaiapoi Pā was established by Moki’s elder brother Turākautahi who was the second son of Tūāhuriri hence “Ngāi Tūāhuriri” is the name of the hapū of this area.

Kaiapoi Pā was to become the stronghold of the Ngāi Tahu tribe, built on a peninsula, between Woodend and Waikuku. The pā is said to have functioned on a sophisticated fabric of social and economic orders. Decisions were made by the nobility who consulted with highly skilled tohunga. It was a centre of great learning and abundant resources.

In selecting the pā site, Tūrākautahi determined that kai (food) would need to be poi (swung in) from other places. Hence the name Kaiapoi which it is said can be translated as a metaphor for “economics”.

Tuahiwi was attacked by Te Rauparaha enroute to lay siege to Kaiapoi Pā. The eventual destruction of Kaiapoi Pā by Te Rauparaha in 1832 rendered the entire area unsafe and the Ngāi Tūāhuriri people fled.

Many people were killed as they fled from the pā site through the surrounding swamplands. Southern Māori retaliated and eventually Ngāi Tahu drove Te Rauparaha outside the tribal boundaries. The pā itself is now uninhabited where a memorial stands for those who died.

Feel free to add or comment to this as I learn more about the history of Waimakariri and Rangiora.

Noho ora mai (Stay well, look after yourself, or good bye)


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