Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporation was incorporated under
the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 on the 19th of December
1988 as Te Runanganui o Ngāti Kahungunu Incorporated.
Six years later the authority, although financially
strong, experienced political challenges that its governing
body was unable to overcome on its own. After a short
period, the organization was reborn
on 9 December 1996 under the name Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi
Incorporated. A newly elected Board resumed control
of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi affairs in May 1997. In 1998
the Board commissioned a team, comprising of Moana Jackson,
Mereana Pitman and Mere Ruru assisted by Taanga Lawrence
to undertake a constitutional review of Ngāti Kahungunu
Iwi Incorporated. Their report, "Ma Te Rango Te Waka
Ka Rere" is available at most libraries in New Zealand
or on request from Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, with the mandate to represent the people of Ngāti Kahungunu, is the Governing body for all aspects of Iwi development.
Kahungunu has the third largest Iwi population, The 2006 NZ Census and Local Government statistics show that 59,946 people or 12 percent of the Maori population, belong to Ngāti Kahungunu. This was 8394 more than at the 2001 Census. A large percentage of Kahungunu people reside outside the traditional
iwi boundaries. Many more, not included in the census
count, reside overseas. Geographically, Ngāti Kahungunu
has the second largest tribal rohe in the country, from
the Wharerata ranges in the Wairoa District extending
to Cape Palliser in South Wairarapa. The coastal boundaries
are Paritu in the North to Turakirae in the South.