Parihaka Whanau is named after Mt Parihaka. Overlooking Whangārei, Mt Parihaka is an iconic landmark for Northland. Once an ancient volcano, Parihaka was a powerful and important pā site for pre-european Māori. Its position, with a view of surrounding land as well as the harbour, meant local iwi and hapū were able to see any approaching groups who may have intended to attack. Parihaka is considered to be the largest known pā in New Zealand, comprising of 3 smaller pā. Many large battles took place here in the 1700s. Hapū and iwi from the Northern tribes would gather at the base of Parihaka before setting off for war. The sound of haka would echo through this area as chiefs talked of their war plans.
According to traditional stories, the tribe was under siege by their enemies and their ancestor Para performed a haka on the steep cliffs of the maunga to rally his people to victory. Pari- cliffs, haka- war dance. This is how Parihaka got its name.
In recent years, it has become a popular spot for recreation, hiking, trail runs and even exploring glow worm caves, however, its history remains. To this day we can still see the kumara pits and other remnants of traditional Māori life.