When the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, the iwi living in the Wellington Harbour area were from the Taranaki region of the North Island. The collective name given to these iwi is Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika (Taranaki Whānui) and this area is often referred to as the Port Nicholson Block.
Because Taranaki Whānui lived here at this important time and because they still do, they are the mana whenua - traditional guardians of the Wellington Harbour and the associated lands.
Taranaki Whānui are those people who descend from one or more of the recognised tūpuna of:
- Te Āti Awa
- Ngāti Ruanui
- Ngāti Tama
- Ngāti Mutunga and
- Other iwi from the Taranaki area
The Taranaki Whānui aim to improve cultural, social and economic outcomes for the region. They are working in partnership with us to co-manage the Parangarahu Lakes area as Rōpū Tiaki.
As part of that partnership, Greater Wellington and Taranaki Whānui work together to achieve the vision of kōhanga ora or nests nurturing life and wellbeing. This means the lakes are prioritised as the important cultural, ecological and historical sites that they are. Outcomes of this include Tuna Heke: the restoration of tuna (eels) and native fishery of the Lakes; and Manu Korihi: ensuring the forests and wetland-lake ecosystems are flourishing.
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