Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata

Koukourārata was the largest Māori settlement in Canterbury in the mid 1800s with a population of about 400 people.

The chief Moki named the bay Koukourārata it is named after a stream in Wellington that recalls the birth of Tūāhuriri, Moki’s father and a principal leader of Canterbury Ngāi Tahu.

koukourarata1It was once the home of Tautahi the chief after whom the swampland area we know today as Ōtautahi (Christchurch) was named.

Koukourārata was traditionally occupied in three main areas: Koukourārata, Puari and Kai-Tara. After the fall of Kaiapoi pā, Koukourārata and Puari became the main centres of Ngāi Tahu activity in Canterbury. The pā was primarily occupied by Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the marae which stands today is called Tūtehuarewa, after a local ancestress.

Koukourārata was also the site of the first Māori Anglican church. Today the church no longer stands, however a stone memorial on the site recalls its past significance to Māori of the area.

Rūnanga Office Contact Details:

Koukourārata Marae
Representative: Elizabeth Hera Cunningham
Postal address: PO Box 3187, Christchurch 8140
Phone: (03) 365 3281
Email: koukourarata@ngaitahu.iwi.nz