Toitu he kainga, whatungarongaro he tangata - People pass on but our home in the land remains

Only a few kilometres from the centre of Auckland City, there is a piece of land called the Orakei block, which has a special significance for both Māori and non-Māori people alike.

Situated between Hobson Bay and Mission Bay, it includes the suburb of Orakei, Okahu Bay, Orakei Domain, the Savage Memorial, and Bastion Point.

Detailed map of the Orakei Block

The history of this land tells us much about how the city of Auckland was created. Ngati Whatua of Orakei, the Maori hapu which once owned the land, paid an immense price when it was lost to them. The story of the land at Orakei helps us to understand what tribal land ownership means to the Māori people.

Ngati Whatua - The People of Orakei

Ngati Whatua of Orakei are a hapu of the Ngati Whatua tribe, which is based at Kaipara. They lived in the Auckland area for many hundreds of years. Their land was rich and fertile, an economic and spiritual resource for the hapu which was the basis of their identity. The whole hapu owned the land communally and they worked it together, tending crops and gathering food from the surrounding coastline and countryside. The tribal base or papakainga was at Okahu Bay.

Next: The Founding of Auckland

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