Story: Northland region

Māori map of New Zealand

This map of New Zealand’s two main islands is a copy of one made at the direction of Tukitahua of Ōruru in the 1790s. It is the oldest known map made by a Māori, and is particularly interesting for what it reveals about Northland in the late 18th century. It shows Whangaroa (Wongarooa) and Hokianga (Cho-ka-hang-a) harbours. Also marked are the boundaries of the northernmost part of the region, named Moodoo-Whenua (Muriwhenua), along with populations of local tribes. The double dotted line across the North Island shows the path taken by the spirits of the dead on their way to Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Rēinga) before they leave for the spiritual homeland of Hawaiki. Because it was his home, Tuki gave disproportionate space to Northland on this map. The South Island (Poenammoo), which he had only heard of, is very small.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl-CHA-2/1/9

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Claudia Orange, 'Northland region - First inhabitants: Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/7537/maori-map-of-new-zealand (accessed 16 December 2019)

Story by Claudia Orange, updated 1 May 2015