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Tokomaru Bay is a small beachside community located on the isolated East Coast of New Zealand's North Island. It is 91 km north of Gisborne, on State Highway 35, and close to Mount Hikurangi. The district was originally known as Toka-a-Namu, which refers to the abundance of sandflies. Over the years the name was altered to Tokomaru Bay.
The two hapu or sub-tribes that reside in Tokomaru Bay are Te Whanau a Ruataupare and Te Whānau a Te Aotawarirangi. The ancestral mountain of Tokomaru Bay is Marotiri. The ancestral river is Mangahauini.
The seven-kilometre wide bay is small but sheltered, and was a calling place for passenger ships until the early 20th century. Captain Cook spent time here on his 1769 journey of discovery, and later European settlement included a whaling station. A visit by Missionaries Williams, Colenso, Matthews and Stack heralded the coming of Christianity to the district in 1838 and their crusade proved very successful with the local people.
The area around the bay has long been a Maori stronghold. The nearby pā at Te Mawhai was refortified by Henare Potae in the 1860s during the battles between the Ngati Porou and the warriors that followed the Pai Mārire movement (commonly known as Hauhau).
The town's modern economy is mainly based on agriculture and forestry, with some tourism. The most common occupation in Tokomaru Bay is professionals, followed by managers and labourers.
Tokomaru Bay's population is predominantly Māori, with the area being a stronghold for the Ngāti Porou iwi.
Southern right whales sometimes come into bay to calve or rest.
Te Whānau a Ruataupare ki Tokomaru, a hapū of Ngāti Porou, has three meeting places in the area: Pakirikiri Marae and Te Hono ki Rarotonga meeting house, Tuatini Marae and Huiwhenua meeting house, and Waiparapara Marae and Te Poho o Te Tikanga meeting house.
In October 2020, the Government committed $5,756,639 from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade Pakirikiri, Tuatini, Waiparapara, and 26 other Ngāti Porou marae. The funding was expected to create 205 jobs.
Te Ariuru Marae and Te Poho o Te Aotawarirangi meeting house, located in the northern bay, is a meeting place of another Ngāti Porouhapū hapū, Te Whānau a Te Aotawarirangi.
Hatea-A-Rangi Memorial Park is Tokomaru Bay's sports ground and local park.
Tolaga Bay Area School is a Year 1–15 co-educational state area school.In 2019, it was a decile 2 school with a roll of 242.
Hatea-A-Rangi is a Year 1–8 co-educational state school.In 2019, it was a decile 3 school with a roll of 24.
Mata School, located inland from Tokomaru Bay, is a Year 1–8 coeducational state primary school.In 2019, it was a decile 1 school with a roll of 5.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tokomaru is a year 1–8 co-educational Kura Kaupapa Māori school. It is a decile 3 school, and has a roll of as of March 2020.
Tokomaru Bay was the birthplace of Ngoi Pēwhairangi, famous Maori composer and performance artist, and former All Black, Buff Milner.
Ngāti Porou is a Māori iwi traditionally located in the East Cape and Gisborne regions of the North Island of New Zealand. Ngāti Porou is affiliated with the 28th Maori Battalion and has the second-largest affiliation of any iwi in New Zealand, with 71,910 registered members in 2006. The traditional rohe or tribal area of Ngāti Porou extends from Pōtikirua and Lottin Point in the north to Te Toka-a-Taiau in the south.
Ruatoria is a town in the Waiapu Valley of the Gisborne Region in the northeastern corner of New Zealand's North Island. The town was originally known as Cross Roads, and was named Ruatorea in 1913, from the Māori Rua-a-Tōrea. In 1925 the name was changed to "Ruatoria", although some texts retain the original spelling.
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Frasertown is a small settlement in the northern Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand's eastern North Island.
Te Araroa is a town in the Gisborne Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated 175 km north of Gisborne city, along State Highway 35 between Tokata and Awatere. Te Araroa is the birthplace of noted Māori politician Sir Āpirana Ngata. Māori in the area are generally associated with the Ngāti Porou iwi. It is 100 metres from its local beach.
Wharekahika / Hicks Bay, formerly called Hicks Bay, is a bay and coastal area in the Gisborne District of the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated 150 km east of Opotiki and 186 km north of Gisborne city, along State Highway 35 between Potaka and Te Araroa.
Tikitiki is a small town in Waiapu Valley on the north bank of the Waiapu River in the Gisborne Region of the North Island of New Zealand. The area in which the town resides was formerly known as Kahukura. By road, Tikitiki is 145 km (90 mi) north-northeast of Gisborne, 20 km (12 mi) northeast by north of Ruatoria, and 24 km (15 mi) south by east of Te Araroa. The name of the town comes from the full name of Māui, Māui-tikitiki-a-Taranga. State Highway 35 passes through the town at the easternmost point of the New Zealand state highway network.
Rangitukia is a small settlement 10 kilometres south of East Cape in the northeast of New Zealand's North Island. It is located close to the mouth of the Waiapu River.
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Waipiro Bay is a small coastal settlement in the Gisborne District on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The name also refers to the bay that the settlement is built on. It was named Waipiro by Chief Paoa, which translates literally to "putrid water", referring to the area's sulphuric properties. It is in the Waiapu ward, along with nearby towns Te Puia Springs, Tokomaru Bay, and Ruatoria. It is located 15 km (9 mi) south of Ruatoria, 77 km (48 mi) north-east of Gisborne, and 41 km (25 mi) south-west of the East Cape Lighthouse, the easternmost point of mainland New Zealand. By road, it is 103 km (64 mi) from Gisborne, and 231 km (144 mi) from Ōpōtiki. Waipiro Bay is governed by the Gisborne District Council, and is in the East Coast electorate.
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Hiruharama is a village and rural community in the Gisborne District of New Zealand's North Island. It is located just south of Ruatoria and north of Makarika, on State Highway 35.
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