This district was created from out of the Te Waipounamu Maori Land Court district boundaries. The boundary is that set by the Ngai Tahu Settlement Act. Included with it are the islands associated with the Sounds.
Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui is the prow of the demigod Māui’s canoe – the top of the South Island.
Many different iwi (tribes) have migrated to these fertile, mineral-rich lands: the elusive ‘fairy folk’ of ancient times; the descendants of the navigator Kupe; and powerful Ngāti Tūmatakōkiri, who ruled for 200 years.
Today, eight tribes form the region’s tangata whenua population.