About Us

arataki marae

Te Kawerau ā Maki are a West Auckland-based iwi. Our origins arise through whakapapa to the first human inhabitants of the land – the Tūrehu, and descent from the early migratory people to settle the region, such as the Tini ō Maruiwi and Te Tini ō Toi, to the arrival of the Tainui, Aotea, Moekakara, Tokomaru, Kahuitara, and Kurahaupo canoes in the 14th century, and the Ngati Awa, Ngāoho, and Ngāiwi people who occupied the wider area prior to 1600. We affiliate in particular to the Tainui Waka, leading to Te Kawerau being referred to as ‘the sternpost’ or northernmost people of the Tainui waka.

We take our tribal name from the eponymous ancestor Maki who settled the northern parts of the Auckland region in the early 17th century. The name refers to an event involving Maki and his hapū at Maramatāwhana and Tīneki to the north of Muriwai. From Maki and his wives Rotu and Paretutanganui, and sons Manuhiri, Ngawhetu, Maeaeariki and Tawhiakiterangi, and Maki’s younger brother Matāhu, his wife Te Kura and son Rehua, descend the various sub-tribal groupings that made up the Te Kawerau confederation.

Tawhiakiterangi (Te Kawerau ā Maki) was a son of Maki and along with his wife Marukiterangi are the founding ancestors of the iwi.

Te Kawerau ā Maki area of ancestral and customary interest encompasses the lands of Hikurangi (West Auckland), Te Ipu Kura ā Maki (Auckland Isthmus), Te Whenua roa ō Kahu (North Shore-Whangaparaoa), Mahurangi, Pakiri, southern Kaipara, and the Gulf Islands of Kawau, Hauturu ō Toi (Little Barrier Island) and Tiriti Matangi. The tribal heartland of the iwi is Hikurangi and Ngā Rau Pou ā Maki (Waitākere Ranges) along with lead interests in the Upper Waitematā.

Te Kawerau ā Maki have close ties with a number of iwi across our wider rohe, and for the past 400 years have maintained our ancestral and customary connections to our whenua, moana, and taonga.

Our people however suffered greatly during the 1820s musket raids and again during colonisation. By 1854 the Crown had acquired most of West Auckland with the exception of our two native reserves at Piha and Waitākere Valley. The alienation from our lands and taonga eroded our socio-economic base and left us practically landless as a tribe by the 1950’s. Our last kāinga and marae at Kōpironui (Woodhill) and Waiti (Te Henga/Bethells Beach) were lost to us during this time.

In recognition of the harms done to our people through breaches of Te Tiriti ō Waitangi, the Crown settled our historical claims with us on 14 February 2014. This included an apology and a renewed promise to work with us in accordance with the Treaty. The Te Kawerau ā Maki Claims Settlement Act came into force in November 2015. Today our iwi is in the process of rebuilding our political, social, cultural, environmental, and economic well being. This includes our visible presence at the Arataki Centre, the Henderson Civic Building, and our planned marae at Te Henga and Te Onekiritea (Hobsonville).

tkām areas of interest

Our Vision

Kawerau Iwi, Kawerau Mana, Kawerau Tangata

Our Mission

Represent and advocate the interests of the iwi, manage and grow the tribal assets, and drive iwi development that advances our cultural, social and environmental wellbeing

Our Values

  • Mana Motuhake (independence and integrity of decision-making)

  • Kaitiakitanga (maintain and protect our people, environment, and taonga)

  • Whānaungatanga (place our people at the centre of our mahi)

  • Auaha (innovation, creativity, and quality in our mahi)

  • Mātauranga Māori (our culture and tikanga informs and guides our endeavours)

Our Organisational Structure

tkām trust structure

Te Kawerau ā Maki are represented by Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust which is the post-settlement governance entity established to represent the iwi and to administer the Treaty settlement assets. The Settlement Trust is governed by six elected trustees. The Settlement Trust has two main subsidiaries that combined make up the Te Kawerau Iwi Group.

The Te Kawerau Iwi Investment Trust is the economic and commercial arm of the iwi and manages and grows the assets and pūtea for the benefit of the tribe.

The Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust is the social and environmental arm of the iwi and engages with environmental management and the development of education, employment, housing, health, and cultural projects and programmes.

A marae committee will be established for Te Henga Marae and Te Onekiritea Marae.

Te Kawerau Iwi Group Board Members

Te Warena Taua (M.N.Z.M)

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust - Chair

Te Kawerau Iwi Investment Trust

George Taua

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust

Miriama Tamaariki

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust

Ngarama Walker

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust

Greg Wetere

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust

Robin Taua-Gordon

Te Kawerau Iwi Settlement Trust

Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust – Chair

Edward Ashby

Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust – Deputy Chair

Ripeka Read

Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust

Sharyn Gasson

Te Kawerau Iwi Investment Trust

Ward Kamo

Te Kawerau Iwi Investment Trust - Chair

Te Kawerau Iwi Group Officers

Robin Taua-Gordon

Social Outcomes Manager

Edward Ashby

Tiaki Trust CEO and Environment Manager

Ritesh Prasad

Finance Manager

Josie Wall

Education Lead

Aleesha Tia Taua

Education Officer

Tyler Taua-Gordon

Engagement Officer

Pare Fleet

Engagement Officer

Ashleigh McDonald

Environment Lead

Jocelin Friend

Environment Officer

Mihi McMahon

Environment Officer

Renee Busby

Office Coordinator

Jewelz Petley

Community Lead

Dion Hosking

Recovery Navigator

Marica Qata

Recovery Navigator

Our Marae


Te Henga marae and papakāinga represents the cultural renaissance of the iwi and the rebuilding of our people’s wellbeing. Our original marae was lost following the construction of the Waitākere Dam in the early 1900s. As the only iwi in the region without a marae or papakāinga this project is vital to safeguarding our future. The project – known as Te Henga Whakahirahira – is underway and will be built on our ancestral whenua at Te Henga at the front of the Lake Wainamu dune system. It will be an eco-marae focused on sustainability and working with te taiao.

We are currently in the planning phase and need to raise funds for construction – if you can, please donate here.

our marae

Project Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge individuals who have contributed funding, time, and advocacy to the project. Key organisational partners include: 

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