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Iwi and port unite to remember Auckland’s founding

Ports​ of Auckland and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei today unveiled Te Toka o Apihai Te Kawau, a commemorative memorial of the founding of Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Te Toka o Apihai Te Kawau is a place where all people can come and learn the history of Tāmaki Makaurau on the edge of the Waitematā Harbour. Intended to be an attraction for locals and tourists alike, the memorial has been created along the port's historic Red Fence on Quay Street, near the former tip of Rerenga Ora Iti (Britomart Point).

After signing the Treaty of Waitangi, Ngāti Whātua, under Apihai Te Kawau, made land available for British settlement on the Waitematā. On 18 September 1840, Crown representatives landed at Rerenga Ora Iti, where the British flag was raised and a gun salute fired, thus marking the founding of Auckland. This rock indicates the spot where Rerenga Ora Iti met the water, roughly where the British party would have come ashore.

The memorial's design is centred on Apihai Te Kawau's rock, set on a basalt stone bench, surrounded by a series of glass panels detailing the early history of Auckland.​

"The port is honoured to have been able to work alongside Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, hand-in-hand, to create this special monument to celebrate the founding of our city and commemorate the contributions of Apihai Te Kawau to Tāmaki Makaurau" said Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson.

"Ports of Auckland has grown alongside the city of Auckland for 178 years and we're proud to have been able to create this special monument to celebrate our city's history."

"It's a historic day for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to honour the significant contribution made by our tupuna Apihai Te Kawau in establishing the city of Auckland" said Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei spokesperson Danny Tumahai.​

Images from the morning's unveiling can be found here


For further information contact:

Matt Ball ​​

Head of Communications

P: +649 348 5262

M: +6421 495 645

E: [email protected]