Some Interesting Occurrences in Early Auckland: City and Provinces
Chapter 1 — The Time Before the Pakeha
The Time Before the Pakeha
To give a proper perspective view of Auckland' origin it will be well very briefly to relate what was known of New Zealand by Europeans prior to its annexation to the British Empire and the founding of Auckland.
As near as we can tell it was in the early part of the tenth century that a Polynesian named Kupe, observing the enormous flights of kuaka (godwits), and knowing that they could not sit on the sea, formed the strong opinion that there must be a large land to the southward. Manning his great canoe he set out on a wonderfully great adventure and voyage of discovery. He circumnavigated Aotearoa —as he named his discovery — and returned home. It was two centuries before anyone else braved this journey of 2,000 miles to the strange new land. Then Toi–kairakau (“Toi the stick eater” — he was a vegetarian), in search for a loved grandson lost in Polynesia, decided to use Kupe' sailing directions and investigate Aotearoa. He did not find the lad, but decided to settle down among the tangata–whenua in the Bay of Plenty.
Then came the migration by big canoes about A.D. 1350. They made their way to New Zealand, and, sailing round the coast, each fixed on a resting place and settled dpwn among the residents. All Maoris claim descent from the crews of one or another of these seven canoes. “He got no canoe” means that the subject of this remark was a man of no breeding.
Between the voyages of Kupe and Toi–kairakau there must have been other arrivals in New Zealand of allied peoples from Polynesia, for Toi found a considerable population already established here, and settled down amongst them.