The origin of Tapuika begins in the ancestral home, Hawaiiki. The tupuna Tapuika was born in Hawaiiki to Tia the son of Atuamatua. At his birth Tapuika was named for the sacred fish of Maui. He in turn would name his son Makahae for the cutting up of the sacred fish of Maui. 

It was from Hawaiiki that Tia along with his twin brother Hei, and other important figures (including Tamatekapua, Oro, Maaka, Kurapoto, Ngatoroirangi and his wife Kearoa, Pou, Hei’s son Waitaha, and Tia’s son Tapuika journeyed in the Te Arawa waka to Aotearoa. These ancestors were all related to one another and their immediate descendants would eventually settle an immense area enclosing almost the entire Central North Island district, save for the area south- east of Ruapehu plus areas to the north such as the Coromandel peninsula and the east to Tauranga and beyond.

Te Taumau o Nga Tupuna

After a number of near mishaps the Te Arawa waka eventually arrived in Aotearoa. As the waka journeyed down the east coast of the North Island the tupuna on board the waka began to taumau (claim) certain places for themselves. The taumau or claiming of land by naming different areas after parts of the body made that land sacred and ensured that the taumau of the tupuna would be respected by others. When the waka lay off the coast between Motiti Island and Wairakei stream, Tia turned to his twin brother Hei and told him to lay a claim to the land for his uri (descendants). Hei stood to taumau (claim) from the Katikati ranges in the north to the Papamoa ranges in the south for his son Waitaha;

'Mai i tera maunga ki tera maunga waiho te whenua ko te takapu o taku tamaiti a Waitaha.'

Tia then stood to taumau the area from Te Rae o Papamoa (Papamoa Ranges) to the peak in the south, to the river the flows to the sea for his son Tapuika;

Mai i nga pae maunga ki te toropuke e tu kau mai ra ki te awa e rere mai ana, waiho te whenua ko te takapu o taku tamaiti a Tapuika

As the Te Arawa waka approached Maketu, Tamatekapua stood and pointing to the headland which projects into the sea at Maketu claimed that part of the area for him and his descendants.

Te Takapu o Tapuika, or the tribal estate of Tapuika, was claimed by Tia for his son Tapuika. Tia himself did not intend to settle in the takapu. He was one of the great explorers of the new land, and his travels saw many places come to bear his name, notably Taupo-nui-a-Tia, (Lake Taupo), Atiamuri, Aratiatia. Consequently, Tia’s taumau, or claim, for Tapuika was just one part of a much larger area that was explored by him and which stretched far inland to Taupo and beyond.

Te Noho Tuturu o Nga Tupuna o Tapuika

When the Te Arawa waka made landfall at Maketu, the tupuna Tapuika and his children; Makahae, Huritini, Marangaiparoa, Tukutuku, Tuariki, Tamateranini settled on the lands radiating inland. Huritini and Marangaiparoa later left the area and went to their grandfather Tia living at Titiraupenga on the western shores of Taupo leaving Makahae, Tukutuku, Tamateranini and Tuariki to settle the lands claimed by the taumau of their grandfather Tia.

At his death Tapuika was buried in the ancient urupa of Koaretaia at the former mouth of the Kaituna at Maketu.

Hapu of Tapuika

Nga uri o Tapuika flourished in the new land, increasing in number and spreading across their lands, establishing and maintaining mana whenua and expanding to create a number of hapu linked by a common whakapapa. It was the hapu of Tapuika that held mana whenua over their portion of the tribal estate. Each hapu zealously defended its mana and its resources, but joined with the other hapu of Tapuika in times of conflict against common enemies. It was the hapu, under the leadership of their rangatira, who made decisions relating to the use of lands and resources.

The following are the hapu of Tapuika from ancient times; Ngati Te Kanawaihi, Ngati Hineumu, Ngati Tauana, Ngati Marukukere, Ngati Kuri, Ngati Hinerangi, Ngati Moko, Ngati Ruangutu, Ngati Ngakohua, Ngati Totokau, Ngati Tukohuru, Ngati More, Ngati Marupuriri, Ngati Te Uarangi, Ngati Kiri, Ngati Ngarangipahi, Ngati Tauraherehere, Ngati Tukaheke, Ngai Tahere, Ngati Ngaroto, Ngati Tuheke, Ngati Ohokino, Ngati Taraokino, Ngati Taru, Ngati Wahapua, Ngati Hapotiki, Ngati Hautapu, Ngati Hawera, Ngati Huaki, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Pahiko, Ngati Te Pare, and Ngati Tu