The earliest settlers of New Zealand are thought to have originated from eastern Polynesia, around the turn of the first millennium though some estimates suggest as early as AD 650 or as late as 1400. Maori oral traditions point to discovery of the country by Kupe, who gave New Zealand its first name, Aotearoa, or ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. Oral tradition also refers to seven waka leaving a homeland known as Hawaiiki in a Great Fleet. The waka are still remembered in the names of significant tribal groupings and descent lines: Aotea, Kurahaupo, Mataatua, Tainui, Takitimu, Te Arawa, and Tokomaru.
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