The name Ngati Awataha was given to Awataha hau kainga by visiting Te Arawa Kaumatua Joe Malcom during Matariki 2008. At a pre dawn Karakia ceremony attended by over 100 people.
Sadly Ngati Awa/Tuhoe Tohunga Te Hau (Ching) Tutua passed away that week. He was also supposed to officiate the Karakia.
Matua Joe referred to us as Ngati Awataha because we are remnant descendants of the Matatua, Tainui and Te Arawa waka. He was present to bless three carvings established at Awataha for its Matariki festival. The carvings were completed by trainee carvers under the tutelage of Anthony Wilson.
The carvings depicted Hoturoa (Tainui), Ngatoro I Rangi (Te Arawa) and Te Tahinga O Te Rangi (Matatua). At a special ceremony Anthony (Paetawa) was given the permission to name his son Ngatoro I Rangi by Matua Joe to mark the passing of his late uncle Te Hau Tutua.
Right up until this day the hau kainga refer to themselves as Ngati Awataha in memory of that auspicious day.