The Coming of the Maori
[the Maori expanded family]
The first settlers of new zealand, who earned the nameof tangata whenua(people of the land) by priority of occupation, consisted primarily of the three groups formed by the crews of three canoes. As these crews expanded into larger family groups, they received distinctive names formed of the term Tini (Myriad) prefixed to the names of the original canoe commanders with the possessive particle o connecting them; Tini o Maruiwi (Myriad of Maruiwi), Tini o Ruatamore, and Tini o Taitawaro. A fourth group which split off from one of the crews, was named the Tini o Pananehu after one of the original voyagers. As the family group expanded and spread, they came to occupy the area now comprised of the provincial districts of Taranaki, Auckland, and Hawkes Bay. During this period, the increasing population split into later subdivisions which assumed or were given distinctive names.
The arrival of two voyaging canoes under Toi and Whatonga introduced new blood, and the crewmen took wives from the numerous population already established. Though quarrels took place and some groups may have suffered severe casualties, the process of intermixture took place and the tales of the annihilation of the tangata whenua have been grossly exaggerated. The mixed groups developed around Whakatane, where Toi had taken up his residence, and those more closely associated with him were named the Tini o Awa, after Awanuiarangi, a grandson of Toi. The groups of mixed descent were also alluded to under the more general term of the Tini o Toi. Whatonga moved south and his descendants occupied the Wellington provincial district, those occupying the area around Wellington Harbour assuming the group name of Ngaitara, after a son of Whatonga named Tara. In spite of intermixture, the majority of the people were descended from the original tangata whenua, or first settlers. In the following list given by Te Matorobanga (81, p. 76) the tribal groups were mostly if not wholly composed of tangata whenua. I page 333have omitted the tribal prefix of Ngati, which, though used by Te Matorohanga, was probably a later development.
The third influx of settlers, in 1350, was more numerous than the second and the crews of the various voyaging canoes settled in different parts of both the east and west coasts of the North Island. The parts occupied by the third settlers have been referred to with each canoe under the heading of "Canoe settlement" (pp. 51 ff.). As the later settlers expanded, they came into contact with the various tribes which had preceded them. In spite of inevitable conflicts, intermixture took place; and in the course of time, the earlier settlers were absorbed into the new tribal groups which developed. The Maori tribes which were in existence at the time of European contact were composed of mixed blood derived from all three waves of settlers in varying degrees.