Waimarama today appears a tranquil coastal community of approximately one thousand permanent residents, twenty minutes east of Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. However the history of Waimarama’s milieu and its people endured many changes and dramas through the second millennium AD. The conceptual boundaries that constituted the original Waimarama environs have shifted over time, and these will be addressed within the content of this thesis, according to the era in discussion.
The above recitation by eminent nineteenth Whig historian, Lord Acton, has been appropriated to best encapsulate the essence and embodiment of this thesis. The Waimarama story will constitute a unique grain of contributory sand to feed into the stream of knowledge that builds to shape the landscape of New Zealand’s historiography.
It is the aspiration of this thesis to portray an extended micro-history of Waimarama appreciating and interpreting the evolutionary process of its people, their culture of the time, and the land that accommodated them, from time immemorial to the present. It is intended that the ‘Waves of Occupation’ be an important contribution to the localised and microhistories that feed into the tapestry of New Zealand’s history - to sit alongside, and within, a grand narrative of Aotearoa, and to be regarded as indispensible to the wider context of not just New Zealand’s history, but a world view of history, with all its multicultural accompaniments.