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Early inhabitants of New Zealand's South Island, predating Maori by some 1,200 years. Waitaha also had a presence in the North Island.

Waitaha comprised three different peoples: The Moriori, who at the time were giants, over 1.8m and superb gardeners, able to grow the kumara 1000km further south than in its South American homeland; the Urukehu, a fair-skinned people also known as the Starwalkers who were skilled at reading the geometry of the stars and were the navigators guiding the people to this land; and the Kiritea or Stone people, who came from Asian lands and who carried the greenstone over mountain passes.

Maori gave Waitaha the name "Tangata Whenua" or "People of the Land" before supplanting them and taking the name and title for themselves.
Waitaha are a non-Maori people who predated Maori occupation in New Zealand, particularly in the South Island.
by Flash the Squirrel August 24, 2010
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