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Māhinaarangi was the daughter of Tūaka, of Heretaunga of the Ngāti Kahungunu tribe who lived at pā Kahotea. This young lady was well sought out by countless young men all over the country. Her beauty was heard about as far as the Waikato so much that a young chief thwarted in love by his elder brother, journeyed to find out by himself. He was Tūrongo, the son of a wise old chief Tāwhiao of Kawhia.

Tūrongo arrived at Kahotea, in time to find Tūaka in the process of building a house, and being a builder himself, naturally involved himself in the task. Tūaka was most impressed with the quiet unassuming and diligent young stranger and made some private investigations. He was just the type of husband that he and his wife had in mind for their precious daughter.

There were certain glances between this couple and of course love began to bloom in more ways than one. Māhinaarangi adorned herself with a very special oil and perfume of the Raukawa tree, and as they passed each other at night, Tūrongo was able to identify her with this fragrance. They eventually pledged their love and were betrothed to each other, much to the delight of both tribes. Tūrongo returned to his people to prepare for his wife and unborn heir.


Māhinaarangi was accompanied by a contingent of her people hoping to have her child at Kawhia, on the land Tūrongo's father, Tāwhiao, had bequeathed to him. But alas at Tirau, en route to Kawhia, a son was born to Māhinaarangi and Tūrongo. The baby son was named Raukawa as a token of remembrance of their courtship with the alluring scent of the Raukawa tree.

The Ngāti Raukawa tribe are the descendants of this famous couple with traditional bases in the Waikato, Taupo, and Manawatu/Horowhenua regions of New Zealand.


Māhinaarangi Waiata

"MĀHINAARANGI" (Tune: "Puru Taitama e")


Nahau Tūrongo e, mahi whaiapo e

Te putiputi o Kahotea

Te puhi Mahinaarangi e


Na to kakara hoki o

Te rakau raukawa ara

Ka honoa a Waikato — Kahungunu

Ko Ngāti Raukawa ra


Aue Mahinaarangi e

Tu mai to Rangatiratanga

Ko Waikato — Ngāti Kahungunu

Aue Māhinaarangi e

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