Maori Occupation

The following paragraphs are taken from a book written by J Woods, Omokoroa (Tauranga: Don Kale Printing Co) p.65

"Omokoroa was an attractive place to the Maoris from very early times. It was situated right next door to the 'road to the Waikato' the Wairere Track. Travellers came by sea to Te Puna (Huharua) and now called Station Road, and walked from there up the Whakamarama Valley to the summit of the Kaimai Range and down the other side past the Wairere waterfalls to the interior of the Waikato. Omokoroa was also a pleasant place to spend the summer months - swimming, fishing and gathering shell-fish. There were fresh water springs on the Peninsula and ample bush cover to give protection from the enemy".

The Omokoroa area appears mainly connected with the Ngati Haua tribe of Matamata. They lived on the Peninsula during the summer months to reap the harvest of the sea before returning to their winter quarters at Matamata via the Wairere Track. Their brilliant war Chief Te Waharoa was said to have occupied the Wai-Huri Pa in the early 1830's. The missionary. Archdeacon Brown, recorded in his journal for August 2nd 1838 "Went ... to see Waharoa who is lying very ill at Omokoroa. Found him in a deplorable condition both in mind and body" (Gifford and Williams). Waharoa was taken back to Matamata where he died in September 1838. The other tribe to have connections with the area was Pirirakau; they were also recorded as spending the summer months in the area, returning in the winter to the hills behind Whakamarama.”