History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840
Ngati-Apa and other Tbibes
Ngati-Apa and other Tbibes.
Lying to the south of the Whanganui tribes, are the territories of page 154Ngati-Apa, whose southern boundary was (very roughly) the Manawa-tu river, whilst their inland boundaries extonded to the Ruahine Mountains, and were limited on the north by Ngati-Whiti and others of the Mokai-Patea country, a very large district of open plains and broken forest ranges. This tribe claims to be descended from Ruatea and other people, who came to New Zealand in the "Kura-haupo " canoe in 1350, besides the descendants of Apa-hapai-taketake, who came from the Bay of Plenty originally, and gave his name to the tribe.
Another migration from the north took place in later times; they first went to Taupo and lived them sometime, but finally falling out with the Ngati-Tu-whare-toa tribe of these parts were defeated in battle, and departed for the West Coast. The chiefs of these fugitives were To Whakakahu and Tu-inakoha, and their particular hapu was named To Apa-o-Rangatira. Such is the account by the people of the Rangi-taiki, Bay of Plenty. This tribe was one of those that suffered from the incursion of and conquest by Ngati-Raukawa of Maunga-tautari in tho "twenties" of the nineteenth century, as we shall have to refer to later on. So far as our history is concerned, they do not occupy an important position, and indeed not much of their history is known to me. The records of the Native Land Court no doubt contains a good deal about them.
The Rangi-tane trihe, which joined the Ngati-Apa on the south, has been at one time a large tribe occupying the Manawa-tu district, and extending over the Rua-hine and Tara-rua ranges into the Upper Wai-rarapa and Upper Manawa-tu valleys, the Seventy Mile bush, etc., and has equally suffered—on the West Coast—from the invasion above referred to. They claim descent from Tane-nui-a-rangi, and are mostly a tangata-whenua tribe, mixed with the descendants of the crew of "Taki-tumu" canoe. All that is known of their history is summarized in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 71, to which the reader is referred for further information.
Mua-wpoko is the name of the tribe adjoining Rangi-tane on the south, and having their head quarters about Otaki. Their eastern boundary was the Tara-rua range, and their territoiy was not a very large one. There are but few of them left, as the tribe suffered severely from the Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Toa conquest already alluded to. The tribe is said to be an offshoot of Rangi-tane.
Ngati-Ira was the next tribe to the south, which before the conquest just alluded to occupied Pori-rua, Port Nicholson, etc. The page 155history of this tribe, as known to the writer, will be found in Journal Polynesian Society, Vol. XV., p. 74.
The whole of the above four tribes were conquored by Ngati-Toa of Kawhia, Ngati-Raukawa of Maunga-tautari (Waikato) and Te Ati-Awa of Taranaki, between the years 1821-1830, as will be shown; and as a consequence the interest in them is absorbed by the later occupants of these territories.