Maketū was the place where the Te Arawa canoe landed. It became one of the main Te Arawa tribal settlements, and there is evidence of widespread cultivation in the surrounding hills. Around 1830 the European trader Phillip Tapsell arrived at Maketū, and before long a lucrative trade in dressed flax developed. Te Arawa people wanted to exchange the flax for muskets, to protect themselves from other tribes who had already acquired arms.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips
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