Auckland's Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has unveiled a new monument to commemorate the contribution made by their ancestor, Apihai Te Kawau who’s famed for establishing the country's largest city 178 years ago.

The monument represents their foundations and their ongoing relationship with major stakeholders in the city.

Situated near the former tip of Britomart Point is the rock of Apihai Te Kawau.

According to Marama Royal, Chair of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust, the memorial signals Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei's ongoing relationship with the crown, Auckland Council and neighbouring subtribes.

“It's like a marriage, you have your ups and down. Ngati Whātua has never been exclusive of sharing its wonderful taonga which is the whenua of Auckland City.”

And that relationship has certainly been tested over time.

While Apihai Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres to establish Auckland City soon after the signing of the Treaty, the tribe was left nearly landless by the 1970’s.

But today Taiaha Hawke, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is one of the country's major iwi powerhouses, with an asset base valued at $1.09 billion.

“Me whakamana mātou te wāhanga ki te Kawau me huri mai te Kaunihera kia areare mai rātou nō te mea he iwi whai rawa. Atu i te Te Kaunihera me te Kāwana, ko mātou kē te pakihi e mau nei i ngā whenua i Tāmaki nā reira me huri mai.”

The subtribes are set to commemorate another significant milestone, with the 40th anniversary of the occupation of Bastion Point.

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