Having now been connected to Mataatua and Te Manuka Tutahi in the heart of Whakatane will you be guided by us, on a walking journey, to explore some of the nearby sites of the ancestors of the local people from the tribe of Ngati Awa.
The Ngati Awa people descend from the ancestor Toi and his wife Te Kura-i-Monoa. It is said Toi used the constellations to navigate across the Pacific Ocean, he likened the celestial bodies to the star gate as he was a time traveller, travelling from island to island to reconnect back to his descendants. When his wife was giving birth to their son, he said to her I name our child after the star gate, the stars I used as a navigational compass which guided me to Aotearoa. And so the son was named Awanuiarangi, meaning people of the stars.
The sites of significance you will visit are the footsteps of our ancestor Toi and his son Awanuiarangi. He established the tribal boundaries commencing from Ohiwa to Waihi which encompasses the tribal mountain Putauaki. Putauaki, which stands in Kawerau, looks across to the ocean of Toi and the ancestral meeting house Mataatua. Your journey takes you to the foundation landmarks of the area, connecting you spiritually and physically to the Footsteps of our Ancestors.