Whawhakia was born in 1640 at Te Rape, in the Whatawhata region. She was one of the daughters of Ruateatea and Hinekino (Parekino).
Whawhakia married Pakaraka, a Chief of Ngati Naho and Ngati Hine. His pa was called ' Paanawaka', which once stood next to Lake Waikare.
Pakaraka was a man of great mana which impressed the father of Whawhakia, Ruateatea. It was said that when Ruateatea took his daughter to Waikato and left her with Pakaraka the brothers of Whawhakia got angry with their father so Ruateatea came back to Waikato to fetch his daughter and her new husband Pakaraka.
Before they returned back with Ruateatea they were both married at 'Rauwhitu', the original name of land now known as Rangiriri and lived out their lives at Purakau where all of their children were born in the 1670's. Both Whawhakia and Pakaraka died at a place called Whakataki and were buried in a urupa called Te Kakau.
Below Mt Pirongia is the Kaniwhaniwha stream, it was said by Kaumatua that a 'puna' or spring along this stream had been named in honour of our tupuna the puna is called Te Puna o Whawhakia. Close to this site was another sacred place in memory of the father of Whawhakia this place was called 'Te Taukaka o Ruateatea.'