Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti are the Kaitiaki, or caretakers, of Ipipiri, the eastern Bay of Islands, for Ngapuhi.
We are centred at Te Rawhiti and fully support the Guardians of the Bay of Islands and their goals.
As hapu, or sub-tribes, of Ngapuhi, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha have lived in, and around, the Bay of Islands for a thousand years and have whakapapa (genealogies) and oral history to remember this millennium.
Tribal Profile of Ngati Kuta & Patukeha Hapu
Te Maunga ko Rakaumangamanga o te whare tapu o Ngapuhi
The sacred mountain is Rakaumangamanga of the sacred house of Ngapuhi
Te Moana ko Ipipiri o Tokerau
The ocean is Ipipiri o Tokerau
Te Hapu ko Ngati Kuta me Patukeha
The sub tribes are Ngati Kuta and Patukeha
Te Iwi ko Ngapuhi
The tribe is Ngapuhi
Te marae ko Te Rawhiti
The marae is Te Rawhiti
As some of the earliest sailors to these shores, our history has been one of arduous endeavour and creative and industrious adaptation. Our conflict resolution has been fiery when conferences broke down on our Marae. Our tribal law was stringent, but we shared boundaries so that inland food was exchanged for the foods of the ocean. Tribal movement was constant fulfilling exchange obligations.
Over centuries, we did something which the Guardians of the Bay of Islands are attempting to re-create. We perfected the skills of conservation so that food was always plentiful, including the islands. When the recent navigator, Captain James Cook, arrived in the Bay in 1769, one of our earliest written accounts, the Journals noted that in the whole Bay of Islands area, there were, “..fertile gardens…forests…alluvial soils…out to sea the waters were rich in resources. Dense beds of cockles, rock oysters, scallops, and horse mussels…”, and every fish up to dolphins and larger. The views were “spectacular” with ferns, forests and birds and berries. The fortifications were numerous as were the people, who crowded the shores and hills. The Journal concluded that, “.. this is an irresistible site for settlement“, thus inviting the most recent set of sailors and settlers to the Bay. The extra population and the competition for land, led to the gradual breakdown of the centuries-old conservation laws which controlled the food sources. The new acquisitive laws did not note the seasons in the natural rotation of the year and knew not the significance of the rahui or ban on areas or species, to conserve them, nor acknowledged the balance between the land and the sea. New animals and plants changed the ecosystems, which challenged the ancient laws and processes. New legal laws cast the ancient laws into disrepute.
Our tribal minutebooks, for decades, display the concern and the attempts made to redress the alarming disappearance of sea and forest life. This effort by the Guardians to restore the mauri of the islands is one which we support, from the ancestors of the past, from our present physical assistance and partnership and from our hearts.