The Ngāti Porou tribe derive their name from the ancestor Porourangi. According to the Ngāti Porou scholar Sir Āpirana Ngata, Porourangi and his brother Tahupōtiki inherited Toikairākau, Uenuku, Kahutiaterangi, Paikea and Ruatapu bloodlines.
Porourangi was born in the crimson red-tipped dawn: his full name is Porou-ariki Mata-tara-a-whare, te tuhimāreikura o Rauru. Tahupōtiki’s birth was in the evening flushed red with the setting sun: his added title is Te tuhi-māreikura-o-Oho, a tama-wahine.
The tribe has taken Porourangi’s name for two main reasons. First, many lines of descent converge on him from ancestors in the Pacific homeland of Hawaiki, and from Toi, one of the earliest voyagers. Secondly, his descendants produced great warriors whose conquests in battle, along with strategic marriage alliances, subdued many of the competing forces in the Gisborne and East Coast regions.