History of Maori in Havelock North – Rose Mohi

Jim Watt: I’m introducing Rose Mohi. Rose is about to deliver a lecture on the Maori history of Havelock North. Her audience is the Annual General Meeting of the Duart House Society, and the day is the 12th July, 2009. Introducing Rose Mohi.

Rose Mohi: So the original people that were living here in Hawke’s Bay were descendants of Toi Whatonga, and they generally called themselves Rangitane. They were living at Otatara, that big marae over by Fernhill, Omahu. They were of course living around the coast and down at Poukawa and Roto-a-Tara. Those were the main places of occupation.

In about 1500 sometime we start to get the descendants of Kahungunu, ‘cause as you will know, we all call ourselves Kahungunu, coming from Gisborne all the way down to Wairarapa. And Kahungunu had a lot of descendants, a lot of wives, and he trips his way down the east coast, stopping at Mahia basically, with his favourite wife, Rongomaiwahine. And although Kahungunu came down here, he didn’t remain here. He had a son who married one of the chieftainess’s daughters from Otatara; but a couple of generations go by and his grandsons, Taraia and Te-Ao-Matarahi, come down here and start to do an invasion into the … what we call Hawke’s Bay. Their first attack and main attack, is they came down the coast, and they did attack at Tangoio, or round there; they got to Otatara and they had a big battle there. Now the battle at Otatara – they couldn’t take the first, or the high pa; they only took the bottom pa.

And I wonder why this is about Havelock North? Well, I’ll get there. [Chuckles]

They took the bottom pa; now the refugees from that bottom pa came out and came into Waitahora; you know Waitahora is up the Karamu Stream, around where the church site is on Te Aute Road? Well they escaped and went there; well, they did also take Taraia’s son as a captive, and so Taraia of course wasn’t very happy about this and he called in his cousin, Te-Ao-Matarahi. And they were at Te Awanga at the time, and they gathered together and followed up the Ngaruroro … we’re talking the Ngaruroro River then, as it comes up here. [Showing slide] And they got to Kotipu and they found a gentleman there and they killed him. And then they carried on and they got to Haparata, and – which has later changed its name to Wahaparata, which is a play on words because that is the placement of the first stream … of the first mill. Now Wahaparata is on St Georges Road, if you go straight where the sharp bend is – that left-hand bend – if you go straight ahead you’re on, you know, Wahaparata; so they saw a gentleman there, and they killed him. But they then came along following the river and they got to Karituwhenua. They saw a man there, and they killed him; carry on up the river. They get to Waitahora, and they sneak up to where these refugees from Otatara are hiding out. And Taraia hears his son chanting, and so he prepares for a battle.

So stories tell us that Taraia put on his two moa feathers, which he had named, so – this is quite interesting ’cause they actually tell us that moa were extinct by the time Maori got here; but if Taraia’s putting on moa feathers they must’ve been around for a while. So he puts on his feathers and the next morning they take the camp and rescue the child. So the poor Rangitane people, having been chased from Otatara and got themselves to Waitahora, escape off through Pakipaki; down into […], and they had more battles on the way down there. And that battle is stopped by the Chief, offering his daughter as the peacemaking gift. She must’ve been a very pretty girl because, although she is given to Taraia, Te-Ao-Matarahi says he saw her first, and then took her and gave him [her] to his son. So that’s the story of Taraia coming through Havelock North.

In my first talk, I talked about Rongokako, because there’s a lot of people who think Rongokako was the giant, up here on Te Mata. Well … he might be, but I don’t think he is; I think Rongokako is there, over on another hill. And we’re not going to confuse ourselves over that and I’m not going to tell that story again. The giant that we have on our range here, is Te Mata. And we’re really confusing here, because our pronunciation is confusing too; and so Maori will say ‘Te Mata’, but Waimarama people will say ‘Tamata’. And some will say the accent is short, but the Waimarama people make it longer anyway, and it’s really hard to understand which one’s right. And they have a different story to what might be said over this side. Anyway, Waimarama certainly had the story of there being … he was a leader of Waimarama tribes who was living over at Waimarama. And he fell in love with the daughter of a Heretaunga chief, and he set out to do his best to woo her. However, the lady was quite stern with this poor giant, and said to him that he had to do some tasks before she would let him get married and things. So his last task was to eat his way through the hill separating the people. And he set about to do it; and he got tired and he opened the gap and lay down to sleep; and so we have our hill and our mountain and our gap. And she, apparently, was so upset at not having been very nice to poor Te Mata, she then jumped over one of the cliffs and killed herself. That’s the end of that poor woman. [Chuckles]

The other place to talk about, of course, is the Hikanui pa site, in the Tainui Reserve, and I presume all of you know that site; it’s really good to walk through. Because it’s a small group, I can show you this. But this is the archaeological notification of this site, and it’s really interesting – I mean this was done when there was a fence through there which doesn’t exist now; but you can see all these terraces here and all the escarpments, and it’s really interesting to walk through here and count the terraces as you go down. You can get down; I think there’s about seven or nine of them, so it’s pretty good to walk through and have a look down there. Now this place has its own history, and it’s really [chuckle] quite funny – it’s naming is one of the hardest things to try and follow. Nobody could really kind of work it out, and everyone’s had a go at naming them. But I would give you all the names that I came across. We can’t tell how old this pa is, but it would be fairly obvious that even the original inhabitants of this area would’ve lived on that pa site, because it has a spectacular view – well, if the trees weren’t there – you would look all the way over the plains; you would see to the ranges; you could see if Tuwharetoa are coming over; you could see a fleet invasion if it was coming by the coast. You might not see from the south, but you could see … people of Waimarama could warn you from there too.

But we do know that it was occupied by a man called [?Tuika?] … Tuika Whareopoko, and I bring him into the story because I’m descended from him on my father’s side, so I always feel I’ve got a right to talk about Tuika. But he had some cousins who he was battling with over land – I mean just like families do. There was a chief called Te Rehunga, who had two wives; the first wife was Rahunga, and she produced three girls. The second wife is Mihiroa, and she produced boys. But in Maoridom there’s a whole accent on first-born, even though they’re girls. The second wife’s got the boy, and you can see, obviously there’s going to be trouble in there somewhere. [Chuckles] And Mihiroa, the second wife, was also a sister of Manawakawa; you might have heard of the famous chief; big descent line. So you’ve got people who are obviously going to have a little bit of argument about who controlled which part; who lived where.

[Showing slides] And to just point out these pa sites to you … this isn’t very easy to see, but these are the Archaeological Association notifications. For this one here, this is Havelock; Te Mata Peak is up here, but most of the pa sites and archaeological sites are actually sitting over the other side, because of the control of the river. The river is of huge interest. And here we’re following the river, and here’s Te Mata Peak; and this is the other side. So there was big earthwork pa sites over the other side.

I forgot to mention that Taraia and Te-Ao-Matarahi separated the area between them, Taraia taking this side of the Tukituk; [Tukituki River] Te-Ao-Matarahi took the other side, and so you can see we’ve got potential for a few squabbles. So we know battles were held up here; we know that they weren’t very nice, and there was a large war party went there and they were attacked by the descendants of the first wife and virtually wiped out – in fact there was a lot of blood loss.

And I want to tell you a story there; [it’s] been recorded by Buchanan, who went to have a chat to Mason Chambers one day. And Mason said that Pukepuke Tangiora, who’s my great-grandmother, and her husband, Mohi Te Atahikoia, used to come and have cups of tea with him at Tauroa … the house; probably not the first house, I take it to be the second house. And they’re probably showing off their new house, and out comes Granny and her husband, come for a cup of tea. And Mason, not quite realising what he’s saying … not this Mason, another one … says, “Would you like to come and see my pa site?” [Laughter] To which they say, “Not today, thank you”, and they put down their teacups and never go back. [Laughter] It’s the scene of a great battle.

Comment: Mmmm.

Rose: [Chuckles] Not one of the great things to talk about.

Comment: They’re like the Scotch colonials …

Rose: Yeah. [Chuckle] And he was told afterwards, but it’s quite funny.

So these are just incidents that happened here. But the things that that – because it’s the site here – is recorded, but we don’t know a lot about it; I mean these things occurred a long time ago.

But another battle that happened in Hawke’s Bay is the battle of Pakeke. Pakeke was an island on the inner harbour where Kahungunu are under huge threat. They’re lining up … the guns are lining up against us – Waikato, Tuwharetoa, Raukawa – and a whole lot of those tribes were coming here to try and take the land. We got into a bit of bother, but lined up with a man called Te Wera [Hauraki], who was Ngapuhi. And we hadn’t really liked Ngapuhi, but we were desperate for help. This is in about 1827 … is the date that’s generally put down for this. And so Paraihe was the great chief of the area at the time, and he decided with Te Wera that they would evacuate Hawke’s Bay; they would empty the Heretaunga Plains and they would move to Mahia and stay at Mahia, to keep the people safe. However, at Pakeke it was decided for those chiefs who were the big strong fellows and the people who would stay and defend the land. So they lined up on this island and Waikato and Tuwharetoa came down; and they had four hundred muskets, and we had none. ‘Cause they’d been trading, and got the muskets. Three hundred men, or warriors and chiefs, and two hundred women were killed that day; the slaughter was appalling, apparently. And those four chiefs you see carved as you go into the Napier Museum, are the four chiefs who stayed to try and defend their land. But their saying was, they would rather die on their land than be taken away.

So the people have escaped. A few were left behind here and were taken prisoner, and one of the women who was taken prisoner was a woman called Winipere, and on my mother’s side she’s my great, great grandmother, as she is for the Tomoana family, the Apatu family and the Otene family. We descend from her. She was taken prisoner; she asked to go up to the top of Te Mata and say farewell to the land, and her words were: “Take my land, take my life. You can take me, but my blood will remain on this land”. And she found flint in the gap and she and her handmaidens cut themselves and spilt blood there, to remain. They were taken prisoner; it’s recorded they were taken to Tuwharetoa, and they didn’t come back for quite some years.  The people up in Mahia stayed up there and they returned in 1833. Sixty-nine wakas came back in one day; and they all sailed down from Mahia, and the people spread out back to the areas they’d come from.  In actual fact, they didn’t all go back to exactly where they came from, because previously Maori had lived on the hills; but they were fairly devastated from those battles, and they didn’t bother living on the hills. They were still having to build up their numbers, ’cause of course, not everyone came back.

So they then started what became more well-known now – on the flat pās. They started like places like … along the coast … Te Awapuni, Waitangi, Haumoana, and all the beach suburbs; they were round Fernhill, Waipatu, Pakipaki, and those areas became the areas they lived in from then on. So they’re back here, but remember these people have been devastated. I mean to build up their numbers … and people were coming back from Raukawa, too; some people fled south. And Bishop Williams comes here in 1840, and the chiefs here say, “Can you please bring us some nice pakehas; we don’t like the ones that are here.” They were whalers and sealers, and Ahuriri wasn’t a great place; they asked for better ones. [Chuckles] Williams goes away [chuckles] – understandably, yeah. Williams goes away, and he comes back and he brings Colenso. Colenso on his first visit back says to them: “I have seen Renata Kawepo – he’s up north.” And they haven’t heard of him, and they said, “Please bring Renata back”, and Colenso brings him back on his second visit. And Renata Kawepo comes back and then he goes down and collects his people that have fled to the south, and brings those back too.  So these people here – they’re just trying to gather themselves together; and I mean, you know, I think that probably accounts for why Maori jumped into land selling, because there was no way they could fight any more. They’d been devastated by the guns and things; they couldn’t keep up with it.

So along comes our friend, Donald McLean. [Chuckles] And Donald McLean, of course, comes with the intention of buying as much land as cheaply as possible, wherever he can get it. I haven’t mentioned the Rhodes Brothers, but actually they bought half the island, or a million acres or … something strange; anyway, they weren’t allowed to keep that, ’cause the Treaty wiped that out. But McLean comes along and of course, he buys the Waipukurau purchases – it’s his first purchase. £800 he paid in 1851, and three-hundred and seventy-six people signed the deed. I don’t think they had a clue what they were signing, of course, but that’s the way it happened.

One of the next big sales near here is the Kahuranaki sale; that sold in 1854, and £1,100 was paid. Only four people signed that. McLean’s got a bit cleverer now, and he’s worked out you don’t have to get all those signatures; you can get just a few and put something in your pocket.

The fifteenth deed that was passed was in 1856 when Te Mata sold. Reserved out of the Te Mata deed was what was called Karanema’s Block, and it was actually Hapuku who decided to reserve out approximately four-thousand acres for the descendants of Heipora. Now Heipora was Hapuku’s first wife, and she was the important woman. She had actually already died; she’d died up at Mahia when they were up there, but her son was called Karanema; hence we get Karanema Road [Drive] and Karanema Reserve. Unfortunately, nobody’s remembered poor Heipora; well, we should remember her, because she was obviously an important woman – she’s the first wife. So anyway, that goes in 1856.

Now in 1858, the Te Mata block sells again; and then it sells again … something called an enclosure. And this is an interesting little thing, because down there on the Plains has been the battle of Pakiaka, and the chiefs had got very cross with Hapuku’s selling; I mean some blocks of land he’d sold when he was in Auckland – he didn’t even talk up here. And McLean was busily having a good time building him up, and saying, “What a good fellow you are!” You know, “Sign this.” And he was signing it away, the land was disappearing. And the chiefs decided, “We’re stopping this. We’re just putting a stop to it.” The only way could stop him was to take him to battle, so the last Maori-Maori battle that was fought was down there at Pakiaka near Mangateretere … down that area; and they fought him and blood was shed. Puhara, one of the great chiefs who was living at Pakowhai, was killed; Hapuku was forced to withdraw. He wouldn’t withdraw, of course, he wasn’t going to go in a hurry, and he was going to burn his pa – it was at Whakatu. So he was burning his pa; and in the end they had to get Donald McLean around to come and get Hapuku off the land and sort him out. And I suspect the Te Mata block selling three times ties up with the removal of Hapuku off the Plains. It’s just coincidental that the dates happen to fit with the day Hapuku was seen burning his pa at Whakatu and going down the road with all his cattle and all his sheep, and all his household equipment, was the day he received the last £400 from McLean.

McLean’s deeds are quite hard to follow because he seemed to walk round with a big bag, and he’d just put them all in his bag like this. [Chuckle] And then when he got to Wellington he’d give them to poor Turton, who had to try and sort out in what order these sales took place; and they don’t make a lot of sense. And then certainly the enclosure – Te Mata having sold at Number 15 [the fifteenth deed] – poor Turton doesn’t reach … it’s already written out … he doesn’t reach it ‘til he’s got to [Number] 25, so there’s been a little bit of something going on, and who knows what McLean got up to.

So those are all of the things that happened before pakeha got there. ‘Cause outside the library there’s a nice sign that says ‘The history of Havelock North starts with John Chambers’;  and I don’t think John Chambers or any of his descendants would say that they were the first people here. But it sent me down this road, that I did a little bit of investigation. So if anyone’s got any questions about anything?

Question: That story, Rose, about the young woman up at Te Mata, she was then taken away, you say, and came back?

Rose: She was taken up to Tuwharetoa, and they write about her quite a lot. Her name was Winipere, and she appears to have been a great weaver. Maori had had a lot of contact with pakeha here, ‘cause of the whalers, the sealers; gold had been discovered in Australia by 1844, something like that, so there’s ships coming backwards and forwards. And we wouldn’t’ve had the timber – I don’t think they were taking it from here – but certainly the flax, the dressed flax, they would‘ve been looking for.

So the people here were doing all that flax working. The account I read in the book of Tuwharetoa is Winipere was kept in Tuwharetoa, but longer than some of the others, and she was taken up into Waikato to show the people how to weave; and then she is brought back. When she comes back her husband has died, and she marries again and produces Henare Tomoana. And on my mother’s side I come from the first husband, Karaitiana Takamoana; and so we have the chiefs of Heretaunga. And she’s buried at Pakowhai, and we think she died about 1878.

Question: Just a question – there’s really two parts to it: that Hikanui pa site there, can you put any kind of pakeha date on when that might’ve been occupied? What sort of century are we, even?

Rose: Well if we, I tried doing generations back on that ‘cause that’s the easiest way to go, and I think I got to ten generations from me … about then.

Questioner: Yes, well three hundred years? Did they not think of a gen… [generation as] … thirty years generally?

Rose: No, I think it’d be faster. That’d be its last occupation; I would imagine given it’s site it would’ve been used previously, probably by Rangitane too. Certainly, Pukepuke Tangiora claims to’ve been Rangitane too, so they were probably holding it.

Questioner: The other part of my question about that area is: why has it got the name Tainui Reserve? Because Tainui did not belong in here?

Rose: Well this is one of these things; and I went to a talk at the library recently when Jerry Hapuku talked about his great, great grandfather and the naming of the street. And I think that is something that I will get onto sometime, is to talk to the Hastings Council about its street names. And I realise that the names … I mean the other [?] have been acknowledged in Havelock, ‘cause we’ve got an Aotea Street, and Tainui; but why the park ever became Tainui, I can’t imagine. And in my thinking Heipora deserves her place here.

Comment: It should be Heipora Reserve.

Rose: Heipora’s Reserve, which is a lovely name. [General agreement] It’s not too difficult to pronounce. And she was meant to be here.

And I did some extra reading today, ‘cause I’ve always thought that that site where Tauroa is – because it’s actually strangely named – because the Tauroa Ridge is the ridge you see running from Kohinurakau down towards the Peak. I think if you were here during the snow, you could see that ridge with snow all the way along it – I don’t know if anyone noticed – but that ridge that had the snow on it from Kohinurakau, was actually the Tauroa Ridge. So the house is actually quite a long way away from the ridge.

But I’ve always thought that probably that house is on a kainga site. I think that when settlers came here, they built on those sites for very safe reasons; but no, it was obviously not a battle site, it’s just a kainga site. And I think Kopanga is another one, for the very same reasons. They probably had access to water too, which is the same reason as you would do anywhere.

Question: Rose, something that has always … I suppose it’s my interest in wood turning that makes me fascinated by this … but do you have any idea what, originally, what sort of vegetation there was in this area; I mean was it tree or was it scrub?

Rose: Yes. No, it’s tree.

Questioner: What sorts of trees?

Rose: Kahikatea. There’s totara; there’s not much in the way of totara or all that type of stuff. I hear of that in the Seventy Mile Bush … that sort of area where you get those big trees coming out. No, I think there are some totara in the Mohi Bush. I think one of my aunties said there about five in there; five or ten trees. They keep track of them anyway – the aunties know! [Laughter] We know there’s trees there; we’ll want them one day for the waka. [Laughter]

Questioner: So kahikatea would not be as durable as matai or totara, which I think the reason we don’t see so much of the remnants of them.

Rose: And of course they were burnt out. But there was wood down at … Pakiaka was forest; I mean that was the straw that broke the camel’s back in that fight, was that Hapuku went in to take trees when he shouldn’t have. Told he could only take them for firewood, and he took them, chopping down trees. And he started to build palisades … real threatening. So that is actually the straw that broke the camel’s back, but they were ready to fight him anyway.

Question: Is that the same area that was called the Big Bush at Whakatu?

Rose: Yes, yeah. Absolutely, that area.

Question: And Otatara is where EIT [Eastern Institute of Technology] is; is that the Otatara you’re talking about?

Rose: Yes. [Speaking together, audience comments] You know you drive on past and you walk up past straight into that pa site? Well there’s quite a nice noticeboard there; I haven’t been there for ages. And you can walk up; and it’s one of the largest pa sites in New Zealand, that pa site. It’s over a hundred …

Comment: Captain Cook saw it … [speaking together]

Rose: … acres.

Comment: … didn’t he?  He noted it.

Rose: Yeah. It’s over a hundred acres; it’s huge. It’s a huge site. So there was a lot of people living there. I can remember the Inner Harbour came almost up to there; and all that fabulous shellfish and …

Question: Now there were a number of islands, of course, weren’t there? In the old harbour? So the one we’re you were talking about – I mean where ..?

Rose: Pakeke – you know, that’s near where the railway station was. You know, on the … not the railway station, but on the side, round the back.

Questioner: Quite close to what is now Napier?

Rose: Yeah, on that side of – I think it’s near … Williams and Kettle had a building there; and near the old railway crossings. [Several people speaking together at high volume]

Rose: Near Pandora.

Comment: [?] … were a bit concerned weren’t they, by the fact that – I think the early settlers did a lot of taking of material from there. And that might have been one of the reason[s] for it, because that was a …

Rose: Huge battle. Apparently Tareha, who was a young chief at the time of that battle – he was out at sea, fishing, when the battle took place. But they obviously knew it was going on – I don’t know why he went off fishing. [Laughter and comments, inaudible] He came back – and he was in Mohaka or something – when he came down he could see the fighting, and the sea was running red. And he came in and saw it, and actually Tiakitai, the great chief from Waimarama – he and one other [?] remained, and they stayed to bury the dead. And then they were split; Hapuku was taken prisoner during that. They were supposed to go up and be prisoners, but they decided they didn’t want to do that [laughter] … things like that.

And apparently, Te Heu Heu, after the battle when they got back with all their goodies and with all their captives, Te Heu Heu was appalled at the number of chiefs he saw coming in, and an account of the battle; and apparently he wept; he knew he’d wiped out Ngati Kahungunu. So people were allowed to escape, and they came back.

But I think it accounts for what’s happened since in this area; that we’ve been so different to other parts of New Zealand. ‘Cause I had a little fight with my friend, Marama, the other day; she said we’ve never shed any blood over the land.

Audience: Oh! [Chuckles]

Rose: No, we did fight for the land, but we had to fight our own.

Comment: Think she was talking all about the land wars.

Rose: Yes. We had to fight our own …

Question: Does it perhaps explain why during the land wars, Ngati Kahungunu actually were on the side of the settlers?

Rose: We had to; we had no fighting strength left. I’ve had long talks to Pat Parsons about this, and he totally agrees – there was no strength left. There was nothing left to do.

Comment: Apart from the lack of strength, the land wars were between people who’d done you over.

Rose: Yes – karma. There were no women – the people who came back didn’t … I mean we then had to set about building up our numbers … there were no women. Karaitiana went up to Tauranga area and brought six women back to reproduce. You know, the people had had a bad time; you’ve got to build your numbers up.

Comment: You’ve done pretty well now, of course – you’re the largest iwi, aren’t you? Population-wise?

Rose: Yeah, but that goes all the way you see … [Inaudible, several speaking at once] … because this is taking in a large area. But you see, of course everyone wanted to come here, for the very reasons we all live there – the best food, the best this … climate; it was easy living.

Question: Rose, the people at Waimarama – are they still descendants of the Rangitane?

Rose: Yes, a lot of us are, yes; can still claim to. Yeah. Well, I mean I’ve been involved with some of the Treaty stuff that’s going on here, [chuckle] and that’s got really difficult because as Hawke’s Bay – well we call ourselves Hawke’s Bay Tamatea district, because we have seventy hapu here. And trying to make sense of seventy hapu if we all sit down and deal with the Crown, because we’re very inter-married so everyone would be ‘this one, this one, that one.’ And a whole lot of those hapu have died out, and so people have taken other hapu as they go under. A lot of them are Rangitane.

But Rangitane were chased out of Waimarama. At Hakukino … you know that new pā site that’s [a] tourist thing? That was some of the clearances of Te-Ao-Matarahi clearing out Rangitane and sending the people south. So a lot of those people live around Marlborough now; those are the people that went down there … went to Marlborough. They call themselves Rangitane. Blenheim.

Question: The Hakukino was sort of the last stand?

Rose: One of the last stands, yes. If they cleared down on the coast.

Questioner: Fought back to that point?

Rose: Mmm. Whereas Taraia is coming through here.

Some of this is quite interesting, and you get yourself [chuckle] … I go to bed reading Maori Land Court records. [Laughter] So in 1866 at the setting up of the Maori Land Court, those chiefs that are around, get up and tell the stories. Of course it gets boring, ‘cause everyone wants to know the boundaries. The judges are only interested in “What’s the boundary of this?” So who’s going to get this bit; who’s going to get that bit. But actually they do tell their stories, some of them, around it, and they vary a little bit. The story of Taraia – I’ve read three accounts of it, so that’s quite interesting; and that’s probably true – if there’s three of them [cough] sitting round doing that.

But we’re very lucky with those Maori Land Court records, but we don’t know what happened before, so we don’t know about John Chambers and his arrangement, before. He did have something called a ‘Right to Occupy’. He seems to be a very thorough man, [cough] Chambers – he went to Wellington and got this little map drawn up in 1858, about how much land here he wanted, and that he was going to have. And he got a license to occupy, and I think he got it from Pukepuke Tangiora, her mother. But these maps really hard to follow, because he’s called the area ‘the river’; the Herehere Creek [Stream]. Well the Herehere’s further down, and its … I think he meant that to be the Ngaruroro. Everyone changes the names of things. I mean the Ngaruroro became the Plassey; became the … something else; and now it’s the Karamu and … it’s quite hard to follow that through. Yeah, so who meant what at that time? What are they talking about? And I tried walking down there and having a look; I probably did funny things, walking through people’s orchards and things.

[Showing slides of old maps] Skeet was the first man who came here and drew up this map, and he did this in [?] 1852, and these red ones are the Maori walking tracks. Then Nicholson and Anderson come and do another map, and it’s done four years later, and they don’t quite add up. [Of] course the rivers were moving a bit too, of course.

Comment: Yeah, we do do lovely stop banks [?] … [Audience discussion deleted, inaudible] Well, we did originally; well I don’t know if during that period they did, but they certainly had moved, and that’s probably why people called them different things.

Rose: And the river’s coming out up here.

Question: What was the river that flowed through Flaxmere?

Rose: That’s the Ngaruroro.

Comment: Very shingly.

Rose: [There’re] some extraordinary stories of the floods there; and I read one account – and I can’t remember now where I read it; I’m really cross about this – ‘cause 1882, ‘86 are the two big floods. Somebody had a farm there; put some posts in the ground … something like fifteen-foot posts in the ground. After the floods you couldn’t see those posts.

Jim: Rose, it’s difficult to stop you [laughter]we don’t really want to, [chuckles] but I think we deserve a cup of tea, and you do too, especially. Thank you for sharing something of the Maori in our area.

Rose: Thank you. [Applause] It’s a pleasure.

So thank you very, very much, Rose, that was wonderful. Lovely stories.

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Duart House Talk 12 July 2009


  • Rose Mohi

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