You come to Whakamoa Bay after rounding Timutimu Heads and a number of picturesque but inaccessible bays. Whakamoa Bay was settled by Ngāi Tahu and has always provided a welcome refuge. Today it is a popular destination for launches.

The history of Whakamoa

During the period of occupation of Banks Peninsula by Moki and his chiefs, one of the chiefs called Te Ruahikihiki left Whakamoa Bay in the possession of Manaia. His people spread to nearby bays such as Ikoraki.

A rival chief, Te Wera, on finding Manaia’s people established at Ikoraki, sent for Manaia to straighten out the question of occupation rights. Peace was eventually agreed to, and the friendship was cemented with a marriage (taumau). The practice of taumau (arranged marriages) was a customary means of settling disputes between groups: by making them your whānau, peace was maintained.

Irakehu, a grand-daughter of Te Rakiwhakaputa (of Rāpaki), was given by Te Wera to be the wife of Manaia. Today their descendants continue to live on Banks Peninsula as the hapū Ngāti Irakehu, a lasting testament to this customary practice.

The bay was occupied up until the period of the Kai Huanga feud in the 1820s.


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