Te Heke Mai Raro 

200 years ago, our tupuna Te Rauparaha made the decision to lead the migration of Ngāti Toa Rangatira from Kāwhia to Kapiti.

To mark the 200-year anniversary of that remarkable journey of courage and tenacity, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira invites all our Ngāti Toa Rangatira iwi members to join us in celebrating our migration, known as Te Heke Mai Raro. 

Over the next several months, we will celebrate with a wide range of events and activities that promote Ngāti Toatanga, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. 

We’ll also develop a dedicated Te Heke Mai Raro website with resources and information for our whānau and iwi to learn more about Ngāti Toa Rangatira, our life in Kāwhia and Taharoa, and of course Te Heke Mai Raro.

Te Heke Tahutahu Ahi (The Fire Lighting Migration)

The most significant event for our iwi, with planning currently well underway, is to return to Kāwhia and Taharoa, and retrace the steps of our tupuna to Taranaki – which is part of historical migration, known as Te Heke Tahutahu Ahi. 

Scheduled to take place from 5 – 9 November 2021 and in recognition of our collective history and whakapapa, we will also be accompanied by Ngāti Koata and Ngāti Rarua on this historic and important journey.   

This will be a trip of a lifetime for many of our iwi members and best of all, it will enable you to see, touch, feel and smell the areas that we would have already read and learnt about on our dedicated Te Heke Mai Raro website. 


2 June 2021

Since we issued our pānui about the Te Heke Tahutahu Ahi haerenga, we’ve received an overwhelming number of expressions of interest from whānau to attend the haerenga in November.

It’s awesome to see the level of interest from our whānau about the kaupapa. Like you, we are excited for the haerenga and the opportunity to learn more about the steps of our tupuna. 

As a collective haerenga with our whānau from Ngāti Koata and Ngāti Rarua, each iwi has been allocated 100 spaces for their whānau to attend, providing our haerenga with a total of 300 spaces. At our last check, our combined expressions of interest from whānau had exceeded the space available.

Limiting the numbers to a total of 300 spaces is due to capacity requirements for accommodation, transportation and logistics, particularly with regards to managing access and health and safety requirements at key historical sites, with many located in remote and hard-to-reach areas. 

Our Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata and Ngāti Rarua project teams have been visiting locations for our haerenga together to understand accommodation, transportation and logistics requirements, and we can confirm that many of the sites we want to visit will be challenging for a large ope such as ours. We have also identified that a large number of marae in Kāwhia and Taranki are closed for refurbishment for 2021 and so it is important that we manage numbers closely.

As Ngāti Koata and Ngāti Rarua’s expressions of interest phase have also closed recently, we will kōrero with their respective project teams to build a clear understanding of our total number of expressions of interest from our three iwi. 

We are looking to confirm those that were successful in registering their interest with us by the end of July. This should allow whanau enough time to prepare.

For those that may be unsuccessful in securing a seat on this haerenga we would like to reassure you that other haerenga and events to commemerate the Hekenga have been planned and there will be opportunities to participate in iwi events.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at communications@ngatitoa.iwi.nz where we will respond to you within 24 hours.