History

Ko Mauao te Maunga, ko Tauranga te Moana...

‘Tauranga’ means either a resting place or anchorage for canoes (tauranga waka) or a fishing ground (tauranga ika). Over many generations,Tauranga Moana has provided a resting place for countless canoes (including, according to tradition, several of the great ancestral waka which voyaged from the Maori homeland of Hawaiki), and it has kept Maori well-supplied with fish and other kaimoana.

At the southern entrance to Tauranga Moana is Mauao or Mount Maunganui, which stands alone, dominating the surrounding landscape. According to legend, this hill was originally located by the mountain Otanewainuku to the south. Mauao was in love with a neighbouring mountain, Puwhenua, but she was pledged to Otanewainuku, so the lovelorn maunga decided to drown himself in the ocean. He enlisted the help of the supernatural forest-folk, the patupaiarehe,who dragged him to the sea. When they reached the shore, however, the sun rose and the patupaiarehe, who could not stand the sunlight, fled back to the forest. As a result, the hill was stranded in its present location, and was given the name Mauao, indicating that he had been caught or fixed in place by the dawn.  There are many sites of significance to Tauranga Maori located on and around this hill : it has been a pa site, a battle site, and a place where important tupuna were buried.

More history information to come... 

Page last updated 4 Jun 2008