Tuahiwi is the home of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and has played a vital role in Ngāi Tahu history. The takiwā (district) of Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga centres on Tuahiwi and extends from the Hurunui to the Hakatere river and inland to the Main Divide. Nearby the famous Kaiapoi Pā was established by the first Ngāi Tahu ancestors when they settled Te Wai Pounamu. Kaiapoi Pā was the major capital, trading centre and point from which further penetration of the South Island occurred so the area is a genealogical centre for all Ngāi Tahu whānui (descendants). Kaiapoi Pā was established by Moki’s elder brother Tūrākautahi who was the second son of Tūāhuriri, hence “Ngai Tūāhuriri” is the name of the hapū of this area.
“E rite ana mātou ki te kauwau e noho ana ki runga i te toka; ka pari te tai ka ngaro te kōhatu, ka rere te manu. Mau anō matou e whakanoho ki te wāhi maroke ki a ora ai mātou.”
“We are like unto a Cormorant sitting on a rock. The tide rises, it flows over the rock, and the bird is compelled to fly. Do thou provide a dry resting place for us that we may prosper.”