After migratory canoes arrived in Northland from Polynesia, Māori settled throughout the area, as its warm climate ensured abundant food sources. There are still traces of early occupation, including some major pā sites. Middens (rubbish dumps containing layers of shell and bone mixed with charcoal, ash and burnt stone) reveal what these first people ate, collected and threw away in the course of their everyday life. This shell midden is at Ninety Mile Beach on the Aupōuri Peninsula.
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