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History of Mataatua and Toroa Tipuna Whare

Toroa was the Captain of the Mataatua canoe that landed at Te Manuka Tutahi.  He held the Mana of Arikinui (paramount Chief).  Puhimoana-Ariki, the younger brohter of Toroa held the powers of Tangaroa (God of the sea), and Muriwai (sister of Toroa), who was very sacred, held the Hohonutanga depth of the tapu, the power of Sacredness.  Tama ki Hikurangi held the Mana of Wairua (Te Aho mai Te Whenua ki te Rangi tae atu ki a ti Kore).

When Te Hurinui Apanui was asked by Ngati Awa Iwi whanui to be their Paramount Chief or Ariki he decided to give his Sacred house Toroa to Ngati Awa as a koha which was then called "Toroa".  He taonga nui rawa atu.  This he gave to Ngati Awa for uplifting him to the glorified position of being their Arikinui.

After deliberating at length, Ngati Awa decided to offer Toroa to Patuwai because Patuwai was the only Hapu of Ngati Awa who did not have a Marae in the Ngati Awa district as both their Marae were on Motiti Island.  Ngaraka (or Miriama Ngahau/Ratapahi/Tamati), grandaughter of Putanui and Te Haukakawa (being one of the chiefs that signed the Treaty of Waitangi in Whakatane), stood up and said "Haria mai ki runga i te whenua o taku Matamua maana hei manaaki hei tiaki mo ake tonu atu".  This actually meant that Takotohiwi would lead Patuwai Hapu in being guardians of Toroa Tipuna Whare and the Marae-atea-a-Tumatauenga and it will come down from the eldest son and so on, to lead Patuwai on this honourable journey.

Initial Site of our Tipuna Whare Toroa

The first propsed site that was decided for Toroa Tipuna was at the railway line, end of the block of land where the Ancestor now stands and because of the massive size of the original Toroa meeting house it was impossible to fit our Tipuna house Toroa, which was twice as large as the current wharenui that exists today.

The second propsed site discussed by the elders was to have our Tipuna face north-east ki Paepae-Aotea ara ki te Rerenga Wairua (towards Whale Island), but was dismissed as they did not want the posterior (backside) of Totoa to face manuhiri when they arrive.

The third site propsed was to have our Tipuna face towards Kohi Point, and again the elders went against this idea because the area it would stand on was swampy and unsuitable for the building and that sight was towards the Ngamanu homestead.

The fourth propsed site the elders discussed was to locate our Tipuna whare towards the Eastern Boundary and face it to the west (Hauauru), this was agreed upon and which remains in its present position today.