The traditional rohe of Ngāti Hikairo extends from Kārewa (Gannet Island) in the Tasman Sea to Raukūmara near the mouth of Aotea Harbour then inland to Pukeatua and then easterly along the northern boundary of the Kāwhia Block to Tūrangatapuwae.
It extends north-easterly to Tirohanga-Kaipuke and further to the headwaters of Mangahoanga and then easterly to Tahuanui. It includes the peaks of Te Whauroa, Māhaukura and Hihikiwi.
It stretches down the north-eastern slopes of Pirongia to include Mangakarā, down to Manga-ō-tama (below Ngāhinapōuri) then east to Ngā Roto and beyond to Ōhaupō and Te Hīnau-ā-Tamatea. Then south to Mangapiko and then south along the Mangapōuri to the Waipā. Across the Waipā to include the Mangauika Block, and ascending to Te Ake-ō-Hikopiro then south to the junction of Rauāmoa Road and State Highway 31.
The southern boundary is then identified by State Highway 31 until it reaches the junction with Kāwhia Harbour Road. Then south westerly down to the Te Kauri Stream, then out to Kāwhia Moana and Tiritirimatangi, and then west to Paringatai (north of Maketū), then further west to Te Puia, where the boundary returns to Kārewa.
Old Transcripts from a Court Hearing:
"Therefore, the only people entitled to the consideration of the Court are those who remained continuously from the first up to the year 1840 or thereabouts".
The Court at Otorohanga found that Hikairo was the tribe who resided permanently on the land & also that those persons of Waikato who continued to live here up to the year 1840 after the main body of the tribe had returned to Waikato had also acquired an interest in the land.
The Court is still of the same opinion, that the Ngati Hikairo permanently occupied the land, that the pas on it belonged to them, that only their children were attending the schools established by the Missionaries on the side of Kawhia, that the Chiefs mentioned in the writings of the first Missionaries at Kawhia bout the years 1834-36 were Ngati Hikairos only, & that they owned all the vessels belonging to Kawhia in those days.
Again, it was the Chiefs of Hikairo who placed the land under the authority of the Maori King Potatau, this statement was confirmed by Whitiora Kumete the oldest man on the Waikato side, in addition there is the continual occupation up to the period of the war with the Europeans in Waikato.
As to the Waikato side, the Court finds that Pakarikari and Maketu were the places occupied by those persons of Waikato whose residence was permanent, that is to say by Te Kanawa and his companions.
Ngati ‘Hikairo having agreed to partition off the places for the Waikato people, the Court does not think it necessary to go into the question of occupations, or marks on those portions of the land.
As to the boundary pits at Tangitekorowhiti said to have been dug by Te Kanawa, it is by no means clear and the same may be said about the other marks and boundaries, the different descriptions which all differed.
Neither can it be said that Te Kanawa. Kiwi & Pingareka were left to hold Kawhia, though the plea might hold good in other places where Waikato have rights; But why did they leave the ‘Hikairo to live so long on the land to build pas on it for the purpose of fighting them, and why did they not drive them off the land?
On comparing the evidence given here with that given at Otorohanga, the Court finds a great difference concerning the sale of Pouewe about which there is much dispute, the ‘Hikairo say that the sale of the land was well considered and then agreed to by ‘Hikairo in order to remove the “tapu” for Waikato.
The other side say that Kiwi had authority over the land, it was said by the representative of Waikato at Otorohanga, that the land was not sold by Kiwi, but leased to Cowell, payment received by Kiwi, during the time of Cowell’s son, the land was given by Kiwi to his wife Mata a woman of ‘Apakura, and it was also aid that possibly the land was sold by Cowell to Charlton.
It is impossible to say which side is right, but the land was sold by some one, had it not been there would have been no uncertainty about the ownership now! … The Court having considered the evidence now give its Judgment as to the division of the land between ‘Hikairo and Waikato as follows:
An Order will issue in favour of Te Wheoro and Tuteao Kiwi and other persons of the Waikato tribe whose names are in the original Order for that portion of the Kawhia Block to be known as the “Maketu Block” the boundaries of which commence on the beach at Paringatai at the end of the ditch and bank by the side of the gate, thence to the first Pohutukawa tree inside the fence, thence to the Pohutukawa tree on the top of the hill (there is a dry tree on the northern side of it) thence running We’rly in a straight line to peg No IX on the Coast line of Kawhia Block, then by the Sea beach by the shore of Kawhia Harbour to the commencing point.