Established around 1872 in a move to kotahitanga and consolidate some form of self-governance of Maori society after the devastation of the Land Wars through the creation of a Maori Paremata called “Te Runanganui o Nu Tireni”. Self Governing Maori Tribal Districts were in force with local Maori Council. These councils were created to help rebuild Maori society after the land wars as the Wakaminenga was in recess. In 1900 these councils were recognised by Queen Victoria as a limited form of self governance for Maori under the protectorate treaty with British recognition in the Kaunihera Maori (Maori Council) Act 1900. Limited because the constitution only recognises wakaminenga but due to tribal political divisions, and war, these political institutions suited the need of Maori people at the time.
Later Maori Councils formed under the defacto law of the NZ Company stripped Maori councils of their roles and sort to alienate lands for the NZ Company Government. Hence a reason for the return to the Wakaminenga structure.