RUAWAIPU The Traditional Tribe Of The East Coast  
About Us
Mai te Atua o te rangi, ka aroha pumau, i nga uri a Ruawaipu
“Through the darkness there shall come the light to embrace the people of Ruawaipu”
ko te pono, ko te tika, ko te aroha (truth, justice and love)
  • To have the true story of Ruawaipu told for the generations to come.
  • To protect and maintain the tino rangatiratanga and taonga of Ruawaipu hapu as agreed and protected under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • That the people of Ruawaipu by way of informed consent, consultation and participation achieve full redress for atrocities caused against them by the Crown.
  • That all Ruawaipu descendants and future generations have the ability to exercise and maintain their tino rangatiratanga and mana whenua over their tribal estate.
  • To have faith and trust in the divine creator of all living things (mana Atua).
  • To preserve the mauri of our whenua as Kaitiaki (mana whenua).
  • To honour our tipuna and maintain integrity in the face of adversity (mana tangata).

There are over 40 Ruawaipu claims filed in the Waitangi Tribunal’s East Coast Inquiry.

Ruawaipu is our eponymous tipuna wahine who occupied and held mana over the northern East Coast territory and waters (the Whangaporaoa river to the Tuparoa stream). These river boundaries overlap with our neighbours Apanui and Uepohatu. Ruawaipu is not a descendant of Porourangi and was born at least 4 generations before.

Although the Ruawaipu peoples can trace their genealogy to Porourangi through intermarriage (as well as Apanui, Kahangungu & others), Porourangi like other eponymous ancestors did not occupy the Ruawaipu territory. Porourangi lived at Whangara and was regarded as tapu with ariki lineage to Hawaiki via Paikea (who was a manuhiri). Porourangi did not have authority over any land.

Alexander Wilson, Gudgeon and Apirana Ngati in their respective research and writings unanimously view the Ruawaipu peoples as pre migration tangata whenua. Ruawaipu and the Uepohatu peoples are also referred to as “the Toi tribes” (original tangata whenua pre Hawaikin).

“Of Ruawaipu the person we know little … an honoured name in whakapapa, but of supreme importance as the carrier of the mana whenua.”

[Bob McConnell writes in his book “Te Araroa” at page 8]

“We can say that when Porourangi and his brother Tahu were living at Whangara and commencing to lay foundations of the various tribes which trace descent from them, Ruawaipu and Huritakeke (Uepohatu) were at the head of the Toi tribes”

– [TRONP Ngati Link Sep2002 – extracted from the Rouru nui a Toi lectures – APIRANA NGATA]

“In 1895, W.E.Gudgeon, a Judge of the Maori land Court made some reference to the query, as to why Porourangi, when he said: “The name Ngati Porou does not by any means convey a correct idea of assemblage of tribes now known under that designation. Porourangi was indeed one of the progenitors of the tribe, but was not the only one, nor, indeed the chief one”.

[Extract of paper by A.T. Mahuika 25/5/93.]



























t is said from various research that Hauiti (now the autonomous tribe Te Aitanga-A-Hauiti) exiled his older brothers Taua and Mahaki ewe Karoro. Mahaki went to the Waiapu valley and married a Ruawaipu women of high rank. Mahaki did not hold rights to Ruawaipu land, it was held by his wife.

“Ngati Porou are unable to say how, or what manner, they first became possessed of their present land””.
[Gudgeon. W.E. Journal of Polynesian Society - The Maori Tribes of the East Coast of N.Z, continued from page 219, Vol III – Part II page 19. ]

It is said that this was the origin of Ngati Porou. Apirana Ngata refers to this whanau-hapu as “Ngati Porou Proper” or “Ngati Porou tuturu” of the Waiapu valley.

A descendant of Mahaki ewe Karoro was Rapata Wahawaha who was as a child a slave and referred as having a birth of low rank. In the 1860’s Rapata and other East Coast native converts swore their allegiance to the Church of England and Queen Victoria, and were supplied guns and militia by the Crown to unleash a religious campaign of colonial terrorism on innocent East Coast tangata whenua.

The Crown had originally planned to starve out the Ngati Porou after the “dirty work was done” to gain total access of Ruawaipu, Uepohatu, and Hauiti lands (the East Coast territory). However the Te Kooti era saw a permanent alliance between the Crown and Ngati Porou kawanatanga lead by Rapata Wahawaha.

It was though this alliance (which still exists today) that the Ngati Porou loyalists became land agents and dignitaries for the colony. For example Rapata became a Major, received a sword of honour for his duties to Crown and recognized by the colony as chief. The Crown boundary of Ngati Porou expanded to Potikirua ki te Toka a Taiau and the process of assimilation and Ngati Porou indoctrination had begun.

It is interesting to note that Apirana Ngata for some reason promoted the English Treaty of Waitangi. The English version was not used on the East Coast. Perhaps Ngati Porou are trying to validate the Queens sovereignty under Article one?

Ruawaipu claim rights under Te Tiriti (indigenous text which did not cede sovereignty) which was signed by Hobson and our ancestors (who obtained their territorial rights to do so from Ruawaipu).
Today, the Ruawaipu people still defy the Crown and the Queen. Our story is yet to be told.


The Crown (now self proclaimed by the settler government) is the Royal signet representing the Royal family of England. The Royal title derives from God’s grace, and is bestowed upon the King or Queen of England who rules over their subjects by God’s law.

Unfortunately Ruawaipu are not English and our land is not England. Further more the Crown is simply a myth that derives from the Roman Empire. The Ruawaipu people have their whakapapa to God direct which is not a myth. It is only a matter of time before the imposters are brought to the table. As Te Kooti foresaw “there will come a day when the lore will challenge the law"