Eke = to embark upon, run aground. Tahuna = gravel bank, boulders or stones. Eketahuna is part of the district known as Te Taperenui a Whatonga (the great playground of Whatonga)
The last known village (or camping ground, as some people say) was Te Waiwaka at the southern end of Eketahuna. It was from there that the people travelled on to southern Wairarapa.
And from there to Ihuraua to join with the, then, main highway from Wairarapa to Heretaunga, Mahia and Nukutaurua, the landing place of Kurahaupo and Takitimu canoes. From Ihuraua the people could get to Te Oreore and then to the lakes and Cape Palliser (Matakitaki-a Kupe) and the eastern and southern coastal areas by the river Ruamahanga.
From Ihuraura they could go to Patitapu Nga Puka, Waitawhiti then east to Heretaunga or down to the Alfredton area (Maroa) and to the three or four pa, one of these being Te Hoi Tangihia, the name of the Maroa stream, now in it’s new version, Te Hoe.
From Te Hoi Tangiha they could travel to Tiraumea and Rongomai, to the Kainga of Tu-tae-kara and Te Hawera, now called Hamua.If they went upstream from there along the Makakahi River they would come to O-tu-kirihau at the northern end of Eketahuna. The area between the old bridge and the Newman Reserve was the best place to gather kakahi (fresh water mussels) right up until the 1970’s and 80’s – if you could beat the pukeko!
Following the Makakahi further south from here you would end up again at Te Waiwaka.
However the sweetest eels were in the Nga-taka-he River.
The Eketahuna Information Centre has more Maori History on display