Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 14, October 1970


Local tradition tends to indicate that the name HAURAKI which means NORTH WIND originated during one of the voyages of exploration by the Tainui Canoe of the northern part of the New Zealand coastline. It is believed that when the Tainui Canoe travelled around the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula and set a course for Waiheke Island, a strong northerly wind began to blow with such increasing intensity that the Tainui was forced to alter course and run with the wind. In doing so, the canoe found itself heading into the Firth of Thames or Hauraki Gulf and the voyagers found it necessary to search for a place where the canoe could take shelter until the wind subsided. A place north of Tararu, Thames Coast known today as Tainui Cove, is thought to be the place where the Canoe hove to for shelter.

It is also believed that the Tainui travelled some distance up the Piako River and en route left a stone anchor near Kopuarahi. Some four to five miles south of Tahuna there is an area called Te Hoe-o-Tainui where it is believed a paddle belonging to the Tainui Canoe was found.

Whakapapa or Genealogy tends to indicate that some of the voyagers decided to leave the Tanui Canoe while it was travelling up stream of the Piako River. The voyagers concerned were said to have been successful in establishing a Kainga. One of the oldest known tribes of the Hauraki district is the Ngati Hako Tribe and there is a strong belief that one of the voyagers who left the Tainui Canoe was the progenitor of that tribe.

According to local tradition the Hauraki district was regarded in Maoridom as being the area bounded on the east by the coastline from Cape Colville southwards to a point near Bowentown, where there is located a prominent rocky feature known as Nga Kuri a Wharei (Trig Station MA), thence proceeding inland from the last named point by a right line in a westerly direction to Te Aroha Mountain (Trig Station 567), thence in a north westerly direction by a right line to the Pateroa Range of hills at a point near Te Tawa Trig Station, thence in a northery and north westerly direction along that range of hills to Kohukohunui Trig Station, thence north easterly by a right line to Cape Colville.

Maori speakers of by-gone days often likened the Hauraki district to a canoe by stating that the Te Aroha Mountain was the stern and Moehau Mountain was the tip or nose. "Ko Te Aroha maunga te kei ko Moehau maunga te 'ihu".

Note: In early Maori New Zealand tribe fought tribe but with the advent of Europeans some districts suffered a new kind of warfare. "Hauraki" was more fortunate, and James Mackay who steered the local land negotiations was proud of the fact that this was accomplished without bloodshed. It is significant that a Paeroa Meeting House bears the name: "Te Pai-o-Hauraki", which means "The Peace of Hauraki".