European contact

After Pākehā arrived, some tribes acquired muskets.

Under gunfire attack from northern tribes, many Ngāti Kahungunu people from Napier escaped to Māhia.

Whaling stations were set up on tribal land in the 1830s, and Ngāti Kahungunu began farming and market gardening.

Some of the tribe's chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, but European settlers soon acquired a massive amount of their ancestral land.

Pāpāwai village in the Wairarapa became a centre for teaching tribal history, and the site of the Māori parliament.

The wealthy political leader Tamahau Mahupuku held grand gatherings there, and would travel to town accompanied by a brass band.

Ngāti Kahungunu today

In 2013 there were around 61,000 people in the tribe, and 86 marae administered by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

Cultural ventures included Radio Kahungunu and the internationally successful Māori Dance Theatre.