|Great M?ori migration waka|
|Commander||Tamatea Arikinui, Kahukura, Arutanga, Tangiia|
|Iwi||Ng?ti Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-a-M?haki, Ng?ti Ranginui, Ngati Kahungunu|
T?kitimu was a waka (canoe) with whakapapa throughout the Pacific particularly with Samoa, the Cook Islands, and New Zealand in ancient times. In several M?ori traditions, the T?kitimu was one of the great M?ori migration ships that brought Polynesian migrants to New Zealand from Hawaiki. The canoe was said to be captained by Tamatea.
The T?kitumu (sic) was an important waka in the Cook Islands with one of the districts on the main island of Rarotonga consequently named after it. Sir Tom Davis, Pa Tuterangi Ariki, KFE, wrote in the form of a novel, an account of 300 years of voyaging of the T?kitumu (sic) by his own forebears as told in their traditions.
The T?kitimu appears in many traditions around New Zealand. Most accounts agree that the T?kitimu was a sacred canoe. Many also give the name of the captain as "Tamatea", although in different forms. (He is not to be confused with Tama-te-kapua, who sailed the Arawa to New Zealand.)
The Takitimu waka landed at Whanga?kena (East Cape), ?awa (Tolaga Bay), T?ranganui (Gisborne), Nukutaurua (on Mahia Peninsula) and other points further south along the East Coast.
Accounts from the northern East Coast indicate that the T?kitimu left Hawaiki after two brothers, Ruawharo and T?pai, took the canoe from their enemies and escaped to New Zealand. The vessel landed on the Mahia Peninsula (Te M?hia) and the crew dispersed: Ruawharo stayed at Te M?hia, a man named Puhiariki went to Muriwhenua in present-day Northland, while others moved to Tauranga.
According to Ng?ti Kahungunu, the T?kitimu was captained by Tamatea Arikinui, who landed and settled in the Tauranga area. Some of his descendants gave rise to Ng?ti Kahungunu. Others journeyed along the east coast, including two tohunga (priests): Ruawharo, who settled at Te M?hia; and T?pai, who settled in the Wairarapa. Command of the vessel was given to Tahu P?tiki, who travelled up the Wairoa River, and later to the South Island, where he became the founding ancestor of Ng?i Tahu.
The tribes of the Tauranga region refer to the canoe as Takitimu. Some traditions say that the Takitimu was captained by Tamatea, father of Ranginui, and Kahungunu the founding ancestor of Ng?ti Ranginui. Ng?ti Kahungunu recognise this "Tamatea" as the grandson of Tamatea Arikinui, and refer to him as "Tamatea-pokaiwhenua-pokaimoana". However, accounts in Northland and Tauranga do not indicate the existence of more than one "Tamatea" from the Takitimu.
South Island traditions indicate that Tamatea explored the western and southern coastlines of the South Island. The T?kitimu is said to have been turned to stone at Murihiku. From there, Tamatea is said to have built another canoe, the K?raerae, to return to the North Island.