At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (6 February 1840) the iwi (tribes) living in the Wellington Harbour area originated from the Taranaki region of the North Island. The collective name given to these iwi is Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika (Taranaki Whānui). Their occupation at the time and continued residence attributes them the rights and duties of mana whenua – traditional guardians of the Wellington Harbour and associated lands.
Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika are mana whenua of the Port Nicholson area. The iwi that make up Taranaki Whānui migrated to the Wellington area in the 1830s and have maintained ahi kā. We established ourselves around the Wellington Harbour. Our kāinga, our pā, our gardens have now been largely subsumed by urban development. Yet, we remain. Migration has meant that we are now a minority within our rohe. Yet, we are still the mana whenua. Taranaki Whānui are those people who descend from one or more of the recognised tīpuna of:
As mana whenua of the Capital City of Aotearoa/New Zealand our vision is to ensure that our members maintain their place within the rohe their tīpuna occupied in 1840. The loss of years and the fragmentation of iwi and whānau over the decades challenges us to restore the rightful place of our people within the Port Nicholson Block rohe.
The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust was established in August 2008 to receive and manage the Treaty settlement package for Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.