The Takitimu waka is known as Te Waka Tapu O Takitimu, the sacred canoe Takitimu. It was captained on its journey from Hawaiki by Tamatea-Ariki-Nui, high chief and priest, and carried a number of tohunga or priests. After its arrival in Aotearoa it made many travels. At about 1350AD it called at Waimarama, a coastal settlement in Hawke's Bay, and it was there that it left two rollers and two anchors, called Mahuaka and Taupunga. The present marae (sacred meeting place) at Waimarama is called Taupunga after the anchor.
Four of the tohunga stayed at Waimarama. Their names were Taewa, Tuterangiwetewetea, Tuaitehe and Tunui, and they set up two whare wananga (houses of learning) for the teaching of the ancient and traditional knowledge. The houses were at Maungawharau and Rangiteauira.
The story of Tunui is told by Bradford Haami in his book "Dr. Golan Maaka" (1995, Tandem, Auckland).
"The great tohunga Tunui built his whare and named it Tauirakarapa, the door to the whare being made of pounamu (greenstone). Tunui's paepae (threshold) named Ramaapakura, was also made of pounamu. Ramaapakura was taken when Ngati Kahungunu [tribe] under Rakaihikuroa, Aomatarahi and Taraia invaded the district, returning the pieces to Nuhaka [in northern Hawke's Bay]. A great many fighting patu and mere (short clubs) were made from Tunui's paepae, namely Ramaapakura, Kahawai, Kaiarero, Rito-o-te-rangi, Inumangawai and the sacred mere Pahikaure, now owned by the Te Heu Heu family. Pahikaure was fashioned against the grindstone rock called Te Umurangi which stood at Te Aratipi, at Waimarama, and was said to become invisible to the wrong holders of this weapon.
"Before coming into the hands of the Te Heu Heu family it had been buried five times with ancestors. The doorway to Tunui's whare was never taken away from Waimarama but was buried between the mountains Rangitoto and Matanginui. The name Waimarama was given by Tunui after seeing the reflection of an approaching war party, who were walking along the Kaiwhakapiri ridge, in the pool known as Te Puna Whakaaata. Tunui and his people boarded their canoes and rowed to their island refuge, Motukura. Tunui named the pool Waimarama, 'the explaining waters', after this event.
"It was during the time of Tunui's descendant, Kopare, that Ngati Kahungunu from Turanganui (Gisborne), under the great warriors Taraia and Te Aomatarahi, defeated the Ngati Ira people of Waimarama. Kopare, chief of the great fighting pa [fortress] Hakikino, sent the women, children and old people into the hills to hide in a cave, under the mana (influence) of his sister, Hinengatiira. Kopare and his warriors fought hard to keep their homes and mana intact but were finally overthrown by the might of these Ngati Kahungunu warriors. Te Aomatarahi sent his son Rongomairaukura to find the women, children and old people. When he found them hiding in a cave they were brought back to the pa. Peace was made with the Kahungunu warriors, with Kopare gifting his sister Hinengatiira to Te Aomatarahi's youngest son, Rongomaipureora, as a wife, sealing the peace treaty between these two factions."
During the time of Tamariki, great grandson of Te Aomatarahi, most of the people migrated from Waimarama to the Wairarapa region, except for Tamariki and his two sisters, Poua and Huiariki. Tumapuhi-a-rangi, a descendant of Tunui, and a grandson of the peace treaty liaison of Hinengatiira and Rongomaipureora, became the eponymous ancestor of the Ngai Tumapuhi-a-rangi tribe of Wairarapa.