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Tukurakau was established about 1850 by Captain Thomas Bernard Collinson to relocate the Maori population inland from the coastal pa of Kenakena (Collinson also planned out the township of Hadfield now known as Otaki during the same period). This was later known as the principal kainga of the Ngati Toa/ Te Ati Awa chief Wi Parata Te Kakakura. Most of the larger buildings were later relocated to establish the emerging township of Parata (present day Waikanae) about 1884-86, although some of Wi Parata'a children still continued occupy their own houses at Tukurakau until the 1940s and 50s.