Nga Potiki – A History of Tribal Commercialism and Innovation
Karikari was the principle Nga Potiki settlement up and until the early 20th Century and from which emerged a culture of innovation. Located at the foot of Mangatawa, Karikari flourished around a successful cattle and sheep farming enterprise that produced wool, maize, wheat, oats, kumara and potatoes on a commercial scale.
In September 1875, the BOP Times visited Karikari and reported the manufacture of an array of horse drawn machinery including threshing machines, harrows, ploughs and gigs, as well as construction of whale boats and two 5 ton ocean going vessels to export produce. Karikari was sufficiently wealthy to easily cater for an earlier visit by Tawhiao, the second Maori King on 6 June 1887 at the head of a delegation of some three hundred supporters from Tainui Waikato. In 1894, Nga Potiki leader Wi Parera Tarakiteawa oversaw the erection of a large house at Karikari named ‘Tamapahore’ and was opened in 1896 by the third Maori King Mahuta Tawhiao in the presence of Te Kooti Arikirangi, prophet and founder of the Ringatu faith. The house was 50 feet x 20 feet and of weatherboard construction that featured two large stained glass windows at each end reflecting the wealth of the village.
In 1901, Wi Parera, Eruera Te Tauhou, Te Awanui and other Nga Potiki leaders successfully petitioned the Native Land Court to partition the Mangatawa Reserve out of the No. 2 Papamoa Block for the exclusive ownership of Nga Potiki Whanau. Karikari fell into decline after 1900 hastened by the individualization of land title policies imposed by the Crown and subsequent movement of whanau to Te Whare o Tahuwhakatiki closer to the Tauranga Te Puke highway that enabled easier access to the newly established Papamoa Native School and the Papamoa Creamery at Wharo (Taranaki Lane).
In 1957 the Mangatawa Reserve comprising of multiple and small uneconomic land interests were consolidated into the Mangatawa Incorporation representing a reversal of the previous colonial government policy of individualization of land titles. In 2017, sixty years later, the Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Incorporation is recognized as the leading edge Maori owned business in Tauranga that manages a diverse property investment and agribusiness portfolio on behalf of some 400 shareholders.
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Other smaller commercial enterprises owned by Nga Potiki whanau located across Kairua and Waitao and are also actively engaged in commercial horticulture supplying kiwifruit and avocado’s to the international market.
The Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust PSGE builds on this legacy of innovation and works in partnership with the Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks incorporation and other Nga Potiki land trusts to create new and exciting future’s for Nga Potiki whanau.