Wairere was the son of Tamainupoo and Tukotuku. Tamainupoo was the son of Kookako a chief from Mataatua waka and Whaeatapoko of Tainui waka. Tukotuku was the daughter of Maahanga a descendant of Hoturoa, captain of the Tainui waka.

Prior to the birth of Wairere, Kookako and Maahanga had been adversaries as it was believed that Kookako was responsible for the death by drowning of Maahanga’s father Tuuheitia.

It is believed that when Wairere was born sometime in the 16th century a truce was had between Maahanga and Kookako. The birth of Wairere was so significant that peace was made between the two at Puurakau Paa the kainga of Maahanga, located at the confluence of the Waipa River and Kaniwhaniwha stream.

Wairere was baptised in Te Awanui o Taikehu, the original name for the Waikato river. The name was changed to Waikato after his baptism. The name Waikato means to ‘pluck water’ which was in reference to the motion of the Tohi (baptismal ritual). Wairere was baptised near Huntly at Taipouri Island.

Wairere was more a peacemaker than he was a warrior. He is said to have had many wives. His descendants include the people of Ngaati Wairere and the paramount chiefs of Ngaati Tuuwharetoa.

Some Tainui hapuu which descend from Wairere include:

Ngaati Iranui
Ngaati Parekirangi
Ngaati Haanui
Ngaati Waikai
Ngaati Te Hiko
Ngaati Ruru
Ngaati Waenganui
Ngaati Tahunaraukawa
Ngaati Koura
Ngaati Huakatoa