Ngāti Whātua has maintained ahi kā in Kaipara from pre−European times to today and therefore holds mana whenua over the region.
Ki mai ana Te Atua o te Po
(The God of the Underworld is calling)
Ko Mangawhai ahau Ka Mate?
(Tis I, Mangawhai. Am I dead?)
(No, indeed not!)
Ka Pikipikitia ka kite ahau I te Tai o te uru,
(I stand ever watching over the western dunes,)
ngunguru te po, ngunguru te ao,
(that murmur by night, and by day,)
Wahi ka kutia, kakata, kakata, kakata te whenua!
(And over the Threshold, the rent and fissured earth!)
A Ngāti Whātua poem which is often chanted to puntuate an address. Mangawhai is a prominent summit in mid−Ngāti Whatua territory, and the western dunes refer to the traditional burial grounds (and ancestral spiritual pathways) of the tribe, particularly on the west coast, Te One Rangatira, commonly known as Muriwai Beach.
(Pers. Comm. Sir Hugh Kawharu)