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Tolaga Bay is both a bay and small town on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island located 45 kilometres northeast of Gisborne and 30 kilometres south of Tokomaru Bay.It was named Tolaga Bay by Lt. James Cook, In 1769, but the original Māori name is Uawa Nui A Ruamatua, and some local residents now refer to the area as Hauiti, and themselves as Hauitians from the local iwi Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti.At the time of Cook's visit, according to Anne Salmond, here "a famous school of learning that specialized in tribal lore and carving was sited..." Tupaia, the Raiatean navigator accompanying Cook since Tahiti, met with the tohunga, priest, of this whare wananga. Tupaia exchanged news of the "Māori island homelands, known to Māori as 'Rangiatea', 'Hawaiki', and 'Tawhiti' ." The Māori viewed Tupaia as a tohunga, and many children born during his visit bore his name. Additionally, Tupaia made a sketch within the rock shelter of Opoutama, according to Joel Polack.Plan your trip to Tolaga Bay and other New Zealand destinations using our handy New Zealand trip builder site .
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