Ngaruawahia

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Ngāruawāhia (pop. 4000) is a town located within the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 20 km north west of Hamilton. The town is situated at the confluence of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.

Waikato River, passing through Ngaruawahia
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Waikato River, passing through Ngaruawahia

Ngaruawahia is home to the Maori Kingitanga or King Movement. The official residence of the current Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, is located at Turangawaewae Marae on the eastern bank of the Waikato River in the town.

Despite the repeated claims that the name means The two rivers, Ngaruawahia (Wāhia-Ngā-Rua) means break open the food pits in the Maori language, a name which is connected with the breaking open of covered food-pits during ceremonial visits.

After the Invasion of the Waikato in 1863 by British imperial forces the town was re-named as Newcastle, but reverted back to Ngaruawahia soon after.

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