Polynesian people first arrived in New Zealand in about 1250AD.
With so many natural benefits, and being near to the sites of first arrivals, it’s likely Waiheke – and Matiatia – were settled soon after.
Charcoal found in garden soil at Rocky Bay has been carbon-dated to 1540 AD.
But, says historian Paul Monin, “There is good reason to expect this date to be pushed back significantly further should a site such as Owhiti Bay [on the north-eastern coast of Waiheke], known from surface collections to be an early settlement site, be investigated (excavated) at some future time.”
Shell found in midden at Wharetana (near Te Whau point) was carbon-dated to the range 1381-1584 AD. The 14th century is the likely time of earliest settlement.