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After several years in exile and further exchanges between Wairarapa and Wellington (Taranaki) tribes, peace was declared at an historic gathering at Pitone (Petone) in 1840.

Following this, Rangitāne and Kahungunu hapū began to return to the Wairarapa.

They also migrated to, and lived in, the Heretaunga area or the Hutt Valley and inhabited the Eastern Wellington Harbour along with their Ngāti Ira relations up until the 1820s.

Since then, there has been considerable movement of Māori into and around the region.

The Wellington Harbour area (Te Whanganui a Tara) has seen various tribes occupying in succession and periods of simultaneous occupation by different tribes.

The most complex and turbulent period began when Europeans arrived in the early 19 century, the migration of both the Tainui tribes, from Kawhia and Maungatautari, and the Taranaki tribes to the western part of the region (including Porirua), caused major changes for the Ngai Tara, Muaupoko and Rangitāne people who had been resident for many generations.

Whatonga captained the Kurahaupo waka that is said to have landed at Nukutaurua on Mahia Peninsula.

Whatonga had two sons, Tara and Tautoki, whose descendants eventually settled the lower half of the North Island and the top of the South Island.

This became known as the North Island of New Zealand or Te Ika a Maui and the South Island was his canoe (waka) or Te Waka a Maui.

There are several landmarks in the region that are associated with this deed.

Wellington Harbour and Lake Wairarapa are referred to as the eyes of the fish (Ngā Whatu o te Ika a Maui).

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