Kaikohe History

Kaikohe has a rich history, figuring in many significant events from the late 1700’s.  Kaikohe is the heartland of Ngapuhi, the largest iwi in New Zealand.  It figures significantly in pre-European history.  As more information is collected it will be added to this historic account of Kaikohe.

Kaikohe also has an interesting geological history which saw significant and still occurring geothermal activity.

European settlement occurred more slowly than would be expected given the natural potential of Kaikohe’s rich soils and the early settlement of New Zealand from the North.  The lands centred on Kaikohe were the stronghold of Ngapuhi.  Kaikohe of today is largely shaped by its Ngapuhi history (see Heart of Ngapuhi).
An early Description of Kaikohe from the Cyclopedia of New Zealand published in 1907:

“Kaikohe is situated in the Bay of Islands County and on the coach road from Kawakawa to Taheke (Hokianga). The journey is a very interesting one, as the traveller passes through Pakaraka and Ohaeawai en route, and, besides, Kaikohe itself is one of the finest settlements in the north of Auckland. The land is first class, and consists in beautiful level country to the extent of about 100,000 acres, but its being locked up by the natives is a bar to the progress of one of the finest inland towns in New Zealand. Kaikohe is about 135 miles from Auckland. It has a telephone office and mails twice a week, a European school, a native school, and a first-class hotel. It is surrounded by gum fields, and the gum industry is its principal trade. The population consists of about 100 whites and 300 Maoris.”

Source : New Zealand Electronic Text Centre of Victoria University.


Even today Kaikohe’s natural resources remain largely untapped.


The detail in these history pages comes largely from the booklets written by Rayma Ritchie, a local historian. These booklets are available for purchase.

Some quotes come from New Zealand Electronic Text Centre of Victoria University

The material was collated by John Vujcich.