Waikiekie, Northland, New Zealand

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Early Waikiekie

This was Parawahu territory; Te Parawhau lived in the wider Whāngārei area, and have connections with Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua. At Waikiekie, local Maori would have found Uriohau toward Tangiteroria and Titoki, and Ngatiwhatua in the south. There had been considerable fighting in the area during the musket wars of the 1820s, and by 1860 there were few Maori living in Waikiekie. [1]

Waikiekie Domain Reserve preserves the earth works of a fine Pā, abandoned following a long-ago battle.

An apparent lack of permanent Maori settlement in the area of Waikiekie was the reasoning behind the decision of the British Crown to designate the district of Waikiekie a wasteland and available for settlement by colonists. in 1854, there was enacted an Act for the regulating of the Disposal of Waste Lands of the Crown in New Zealand making it lawful for the General Assembly of the said Colony (New Zealand) to make laws for regulating the sale letting disposal and occupation of the waste lands of the Crown in New Zealand. [2] [3]

The Crown Purchase of Waikiekie was negotiated by John Rogan, and made in two blocks; Waikiekie Block No:1 was purchased in 1856 and Waikiekie Block No:2 in 1864. The Mareretu and Toka Toka Blocks were purchased in 1864.

Colonial Waikiekie

Waikiekie as a District in Northland, New Zealand, was first settled in the 1860s when the old Province of Auckland was looking for pioneer immigrants to take up land in the north. Messrs Ridgway & Sons were London Agents for the Province of Auckland; advertising free land available to immigrants on surveyed blocks in Waikiekie. In 1860, Alex. F. Ridgway & Sons published a six-penny booklet with - Voices from Auckland - New Zealand - Reliable information for intending immigrants to that Province; to which are added the latest Waste Land Regulations, with explanatory notes. [4]

To reach Waikiekie, Settlers would have arrived in Auckland after a voyage of three or four months in a reasonably well regulated immigrant ship. From Auckland, they would transfer to a small coastal boat for the Whangarei Harbour and up the Mangapai river. From the Mangapai jetty, there was a track of twelve or so miles to reach Waikiekie, carrying everything with them and leading what livestock they had managed to secure to give them a start on their raw block of standing bush.

These days, Waikiekie still lies off the beaten track, not quite halfway inland, between Dargaville in the west and Breem Bay on the east coast. Waikiekie was earlier a stop on the North Auckland Railway Line, between the Mareretu Tunnel and the Waikiekie Tunnel to the north. Access by train made it possible for flourishing farms to be developed in the district. No longer connected, only isolated sections of the North Auckland Line remain in service.[5]


  1. NZ History - Musket Wars
  2. NZll/ New Zealand Acts as Enacted - Waste Lands Act 1854 (18 Victoriae 1854 No 6)
  3. NZll/ New Zealand Acts as Enacted - Waste Lands Act 1858 (21 and 22 Victoriae 1858 No 75)
  4. Auckland University : Early New Zealand Books - Voices From New Zealand
  5. Wikipedia : North Auckland Line

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Categories: Waikiekie, Northland