In pre-European times, the Ngati Hinewaka people were primarily coastal in orientation, although they also utilised lands in the interior.

They inhabited the region now known as the southern part of Wairarapa East Coast. The boundary of their Waitangi Tribunal Claim WAI-959 starts at Lake Onoke and goes north along the Ruamahanga River until it reaches the Huangarua River.

From here it goes north east to about the headwaters of the Pahaoa River to the Paehuia and Oruatamore Reserves and then east to Te Unuunu/Flat Point on the coast and along the coast back to Lake Onoke.