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Ngāti Te Ata occupied Waiuku and the Awhitū Peninsula on the southern shores of Manukau Harbour. Chiefs from this iwi signed the Treaty of Waitangi, probably at Awhitu. Farming locality and fishing resort on south-western shore of Manukay Harbour. Just south of the town is the 110ha Awhitu Regional Park opened in 1975 as a farm park and public reserve incorporating the Brook family estate and homestead settled in the 1860s.

Meaning of place name
Translates as 'Longing to return'