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21 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Te Wahanga Tuarua: Chapter 2

Te rohe o Rongowhakaata-The tribal area of Rongowhakaata

Iwi and hapu did not of course operate like western states using straight line boundaries across land, mountain ranges, rivers and waterways. Rongowhakaata was no different. The concept of a tribal boundary is not one that sits easily with concepts of Maori customary land tenure. For Rongowhakaata, their interests within Turanganui-a-Kiwa covered an expansive area of lands and waterways that included fertile river plains, abundant forest regions and rich coastal areas. Through the ages, the hapu of Rongowhakaata have exercised rangatiratanga over an area that has included the land around Pakowhai and Muriwai in the south to Te Kuri-a-Paoa where the interests of Rongowhakaata overlap with Ngai Tamanuhiri. In the west, the interests of Rongowhakaata extend to the Tahora blocks where they overlap with Tuhoe and Te Aitanga a Mahaki. To the south-west, the associations of Rongowhakaata extend to Te Reinga and to the Ngati Ruapani region where such interests also overlap. Rongowhakaata have significant customary interests in the Patutahi region extending to Tangihanga and Repongaere through to Matawhero and linking to the Turanganui River. Rongowhakaata also assert customary interests in the

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Kaiti region extending along the coast to Te Toka a Ahuru and through historical association, whakapapa and inter-marriage, to Uawa - the birth place of Rongowhakaata. Within the overlapping areas, Rongowhakaata recognise the interests of other iwi and hapu who have a shared history of co-operation and conflict over those regions in the outlying areas on the fringes of Rongowhakaata's primary area of interest, association and settlement. The rohe of Rongowhakaata included numerous sites of historical and cultural significance to the iwi. There are many waahi-tapu, urupa, kainga, pa, marae, mahinga kai, lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, swamps and foreshore within the rohe of Rongowhakaata of importance to the iwi and hapu. Those important sites and features of the landscape include the mountains Manawaru, Titirangi and Puketapu, the rivers and streams Turanganui, Te Arai, Waipaoa, Kopututea, Taruheru, Waikanae, Whatatuna, Pipiwhakao, Waimata, Mangamoteo and Karaua, the Awapuni Moana and the forests, Pipiwhakao and Makauri. Rongowhakaata accessed the rich resources of the sea, the foreshore and Awapuni moana as well as the abundant resources of the forests in the inland areas. The rivers and streams also provided Rongowhakaata with food and other resources as well as natural transportation systems. In addition Rongowhakaata have extensively occupied and utilised areas within the region throughout the Poverty Bay and further inland. Such settlements included Pakirikiri, Oweta, Whakato, Te Arai (Manutuke), Whataupoko, Pipiwhakao, Pakowhai, Matawhero, Ngatapa, Te Ahipakura, Patutahi, Repongaere, Makaraka, Tarere, Paokahu, Awapuni and Kaiti. Rongowhakaata interests are now largely confined to the meagre remnants of those lands awarded by the Poverty Bay Commission and Native Land Court in the late nineteenth century. Rongowhakaata were awarded interests in various blocks of land including Arai, Awapuni, Matawhero, Opou, Pakowhai, Paokahu, Papatu, Rahui, Ruaohinetu, Tauowhiro, Waihau, Wairau, Whatatuna, Arai Matawai and others.

For example, the 4,000 acre Papatu block was claimed for Rongowhakaata by Hoani Ruru of Ngati Maru. He confirmed that his hapu had plantations, houses and pa over

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the block and that his occupation had been from the time of his ancestors to the present.22 He also acknowledged Ngai Te Kete and Ngai Te Aweawe also had claims, even though he did not agree with their boundaries. He stated:23

"I belong to the Rongowhakaata tribe, Ngati Maru hapu... I claim through ancestry. I claim on behalf of Ngati Maru...I claim all the land between the two rivers. Afterwards a part was sold to the Government.... The Ngai Te Awe and Ngai Te Kete have claims also.... We have never been disturbed. We are still in occupation....Ngati Maru came from Ruawhetuki. Ngati Aweawe and Ngai Te Kete have laid down their boundaries but they don't accord with our boundaries.

In the same case, Riperata Kahutia referred to the interests of Ngai Te Kete claiming that that interest had only recently been cut off the Ngati Maru interest which came from Rongomaimihiao.24 In a subsequent hearing Anaru Matete, on behalf of Ngati Maru also claimed interests in Papatu. He confirmed that his ancestors had been in occupation and had cultivated the block, including his own parents.25 Another example is the much smaller block Whatatuna. Wi Mahuika on behalf of Ngai Tawhiri laid claim to the land through descent from Ruawhetuki and the brothers Rongomaimihiao and Rongomaiwehea:26

"We have two grounds of claim through ancestry and conquest. We claim through the two Rongomais and Ruawhetuki. I will trace my genealogy down from Tutekohe ...When the conquest was over the Ruawhetuki's settled on the land, the mana went to the Rongomais. After living along time they returned to their homes and then came back bringing women and children and remained in permanent occupation. Ruawhetuki returned with them. She had no authority over the land"

In the same case, Riperata Kahutia also referred to the conquest of the two brothers but also referred to Ruawairau and Ruapani interests:27

"An old rahui called Wairea. Taumataotekai is another rahui. Hineoki is a rahui in south east corner... Ruawairau had the mana over this land. This land was still held by Ruapani who was a child of Ruahauanga...Waiamu is a lake. Rua Ika was caught there and Rongomaimihiao made a proverb. At this time the land became our property from the two Rongomais ... This block now before the court is within the boundary of Rongomaimihiao, the land has always remained in our possession... Rahui along south and west side as far as Taumataotekai belonged to Ngai Tawhiri, along the north belonged to Whanau a Kai as represented by Peka...Taharakau was from Tauatangihia. This is why Ngati Maru came to set up rahuis. When kiekie was plentiful and when Ngai Tawhiri wanted to set up the rahuis, then it was for them to invite Ngati Maru to come and help them set the rahuis up, that is why they came and we did it together. Then tribes from all sides came and made use of kiekie. Ngati Maru returned with the fruit to their own places on the other side of the river. Ngai

22 23 24 25 26 27

7 Gisborne MB, p. 347 Ibid Ibid, p. 350 10 Gisborne MB, p. 59 7 Gisborne MB, pp. 62-63 Ibid p.48

24 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report Tawhiri resided just at the skirts of the forest. My ancestors and down to ourselves have always been united. The lands were divided between the two hapus."

However, these interests determined by comission and court processes do not properly reflect the full extent of Rongowhakaata customary interests. Within the wider Turanganui-a-Kiwa region, Rongowhakaata occupied a central position between Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri. This vast area was, despite early labelling, far from a bay of poverty. It was in fact, like its more northern counterpart, a bay of plenty. Salmond in her seminal text Two Worlds drawing on a variety of sources including Court evidence and accounts by early settlers, paints a picture of a populous, well resourced and plentiful area:14

"According to early court evidence, the area was occupied at that time by four tribes ­ Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tahupo (later known as Ngai Tamanuhiri), Te Aitanga-aMahaki and elements of Te Aitanga­a-Hauiti. Inland, the bay was sheltered by ranges covered with thick forest, while the hills nearer the flats were sparsely clad in scrub, with fern and grasses on the ridges. The central plains were braided by the courses and fertile fans of three major rivers, where taro, kumara, gourds and probably yams flourished in sunlit gardens. Gardens were also cleared on frost-free hillsides near the rivers, and fernroot diggings were scattered around the bay. Grasslands, wetlands, swamps, scrub and great stands of kahikitea, pukatea and tawa trees on the flats provided a variety of foods and materials for weaving and building. Large fortified villages, or pa were built on river bends or strategic hills, protecting houses, cooking sheds and storage pits for root crops ­ up to 1,300 cubic metres of storage in some places. Pigeons, kaka, pukeko and parakeets were plentiful on plains and thousands of ducks lived by the rivers and the Awapuni Lagoon. Creeks leading into the main rivers on either side of the central plain were crossed by eel weirs with names such as Matakaroro, Te Rua-o-Mapewa and Arowhati which were built and maintained by particular families. Mullet, eels and white-bait swarmed in season in the tidal waterways. The bay was famous for its crayfish, caught off Titirangi or further north along the coast. The reefs and tidal flats harboured quantities of shellfish. Paua were plentiful off Onepoto (now Kaiti), and there were beds of white pipi off Oneroa, where the tamure (snapper) came to feed, crunching the shells in their powerful jaws. Sharks, kahawai, kingfish, flounder and many other species of fish were caught in the bay. These were a number of favourite fishing grounds, including Te Wai-o-Hii-Harore at Waikanae, where a spring seeped into the ocean, attracting kahawai, which according to one early court witness, came there to drink the fresh water. Now and then whales stranded on the beaches, to be claimed by the chiefly leaders of whichever kin-group controlled that part of the shoreline. Tribal history in the bay is well documented and extremely complex. Each of the major tribal groupings was divided into many sub-groups, or hapu linked by a maze of intermarriages and keeping in active contact with other groups both to the north and the south of the bay. People summoned distant relatives in wartime and often lived for a while in the villages of their kinsfolk on either the mother's or father's side. As Rutene Te Eke said in an 1875 hearing, "My ancestors were in the habit of going


Salmond, A. Two Worlds - First Meetings between Maori and Europeans 1642 - 1772 (Viking Press, Auckland, 1991) pp. 119 - 121

25 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report to and fro to other places, we do the same." Despite the fluidity of the local population, it is likely to have been large, for the first missionary congregrations in the bay were estimated at 2000, and recent calculation based on local volumes of crop-storage pits suggest that from 300 to 1000 people could have been fed from gardens on each of the major river fans in the bay."

Nga kainga noho o Rongowhakaata - Rongowhakaata settlement areas One of the ancient sites of occupation by Rongowhakaata was on the Te Arai block. Manutuke was at its centre. Manutuke was the name given to the "clearing" where some of the first cultivations were in Turanganui-a-Kiwa with the arrival of the Horouta and Takitimu waka. Pre-European marae, pa and cultivations were to be found in close proximity to each other here. Sited mainly along Te Arai River for protection and transport, these marae and pa fell into disuse because of the changing nature of Te Arai River. Inter-tribal and external conflict also caused marae and pa to be abandoned. All the hapu of Rongowhakaata had kainga noho and cultivation sites here. Due to the large amount of smoke coming from their fires Cook noted on his arrival a great concentration of people in this vicinity. The smoke was coming from one of the largest of the Rongowhakaata pa at the time, Orakaiapu. Availability of food and protection was a priority when siting kainga. The rivers not only provided protection but regular flooding ensured the soil produced large quantities of crops. Due to the fertility of the soil around Manutuke and the size of the blocks (which are relatively small), kainga were constructed in very close proximity to each other. There was a period where Rongowhakaata concentrated their activities near the sea on the Pakirikiri block, the advantage of this site being the proximity to the sea with access through the Waipaoa River out-let (Kopututea River) for waka. Awapuni and Wherowhero lagoons were close by along with swamps further inland. The hapu obtained food from all these places. Permanent occupation was interrupted due to flooding and then the main occupation site of Rongowhakaata was the Te Arai block, at Manutuke. New marae replaced the ancient. Maize, wheat, cattle, and sheep eventually replaced the crops of kumara. These were the early days of the European settlers. Kainga were also sited around the Awapuni lagoon with each hapu having their particular piece to live on to enable access to resources. Kopututea was the land between the Awapuni lagoon and the sea where Paokahu was located. Various rivers and streams including Te Arai, Waipaoa, Waimata, Karaua, Turanganui and Waikanae provided Rongowhakaata hapu with plentiful supplies of fish (kanae) and other bounty. It is said that fish were attracted to Waikanae because of the proximity of Te Toka a Taiau. In summary, kainga could be found throughout the Rongowhakaata rohe from the forest of the hills to Te Moananui a Kiwa.

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Mahinga kai Rongowhakaata traditions acknowledge that all hunting and fishing were carried out according to strict rules or tikanga set by the iwi and hapu. Whanau and tribal groups were careful to confine these practices within their own designated territories, otherwise there would be trouble if one was caught trespassing in the wrong area. Birds, rats and fish were jealously protected for much of the year by rahui or bans, which ensured that their taonga were not disturbed, particularly during the breeding and mating season. This also ensured that there was no depletion and that they would breed to the best conditions for continuing survival. The kai from the lands and forests included fernroot, also called rhezome/bracken, which was extensively used and grown widely. It was very productive and grew on land that had been lying fallow after being used for growing kumara. Gourds (hue) were eaten like marrow (kamokamo) during the summer. The rest were left to mature and trained into shapes to be used as calabashes or drinking vessels. Kumara was a very highly prized food plant. It was a tapering plant and its care and cultivation was meticulously attended to. Likewise, its storage in rat-proof enclosures had to be planned to ensure the availability of plants for the next season. Some say kumara are a taonga tapu. The wahine during their menstrual period are not permitted to be near the kumara at anytime, in the garden, storage places and parekereke. Kumara Tao was also a favourite with the old people along with dried fish, birds, such as pigeon (kereru) and kaka. They grew fat during the autumn and winter months on the miro berries and would get thirsty. As a consequence, they became easy to catch in hidden noose traps placed along side streams or special water troughs especially prepared whereby their necks were caught in the nooses made for this purpose. Unfortunately these traps did not work with the kaka who, with their powerful beaks and claws, were able to rip and tear the nooses. The only other course with the kaka was to use other forms of decoy and spear them. Weka were snared and hunted with dogs. Bats lived in hollow trees and dark places. A smoky fire was lit at the lower part of the tree after which the stupefied bats would drop to the ground. Kiore was a much-favoured delicacy. They lived in the forest feeding on small reptiles, young birds and eggs. They also fed on the fruit of the miro and tawa. When they sought new feeding grounds, they generally moved by night, usually in single file and along the top of ridges. The traps were then set on these rat-runs and great numbers were taken. They were plucked and singed and often preserved in their own fat. Catching fish and gathering shellfish were constant occupations. In inland water areas there was whitebait to be netted, fresh water mussels, crayfish and eels to be caught. Eels were a favourite delicacy being caught either in pots (hinaki) or by spearing. Specially built eel weirs were made in rivers, swamps or lagoons; they were guarded and rigorously defended by tribes. Nets were made from knotted flax (muka) consisting of many sections, and family groups contributed by taking a section each and when completed, were joined together. Two heavy twine ropes made from twisted cabbage tree leaves were fastened to the top and bottom of the completed net. Stone sinkers were tied to the lower rope and floats of whau, wood lighter than cork, was fastened to the upper rope. Some of these nets were estimated to be 1000 metres long by 10 metres deep. The net was owned conjointly by those who helped in its construction. There was always among them, an expert who was in charge and on his

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instructions they would take the net, place it on a platform lashed between two canoes and take it out to sea. When a shoal of fish was sighted, under directions of the expert, the order would be given to lower the net. Afterwards, it would be slowly hauled in and the catch would be suitably shared to all the owners of the net or to the tribe. Paua, pipi, kina, seaweed (karengo), were recognised as important for iron. Karengo would be steamed or baked and was used for cleansing the bowel and blood and also for treating asthma. Karengo grows at Muriwai and it would be gathered then laid out in the sun to dry. Kina was also important because of its very rich iodine content. According to Rongowhakaata kaumatua, mussels are still available and only in recent years have the abundant supplies of kina and crayfish at nearby Kaiti Beach been depleted. Across the bay, the rich fishing reef of Te Toka a Ahuru, Aerial Reef, was attainable by waka in what were described as "the Tangaroa days", those times in the Maori calendar deemed most suitable for fishing.28 The skill of hapu in mastering the art of fishing is well recognised by present day members of the iwi: 29

"Maori made a study of the sky, the earth and everything. They always said that if you go out at midnight and there was a dew, you'd always get a fine day with a sea breeze and a breeze always comes in about 11 o'clock. So you had eight to 11 to come in and when that breeze started you hoist the sail and come back in."

Although all Rongowhakaata hapu generally have a strong coastal tradition, the hapu of Ngati Maru were the definitive fisher people of the tribe. Rongowhakaata oral traditions recognise the particular skill of Ngati Maru in fishing:30

"Traditionally, in the settlement around the bay, they are found right on the sea coast. The majority of them are from Muriwai and Pakirikiri. Across the mouth of the river, to the Awapuni Lagoon, between the lagoon and the sea, that's Ngati Maru. They used to go fishing across the bay, a good five miles across to Toka a Ahuru (Ariel Reef off Sponge Bay)."

Rongowhakaata hapu also fished by the moon. The following lunar calendar was used as a guide for fishing, planting and hunting.

Hei whakamaori i tenei e mau ake nei No.1 (Whiro) Ko te rai i muri iho o ta te pakeha marama hou No.15 (Rakaunui) Ko te ra i muri iho o ta te pakeha marama hou

1. Whiro 2. Tuiwa 3. Hoata

To read this Calendar No.1 (Whiro) falls on the day after a new moon on a pakeha calendar No.15 (Rakau-nui) is the day after a full moon on a pakeha calendar

A bad day for fishing or planting A good day for planting, crayfishing and torching eels A very good day for planting kumara or any seeds, also for

He ra kino tenei mo te ono kai, me te hi ika, hoki. He po ahua pai tenei mo te hi koura, tuna, mo te ono kai. He ra tino pai tenei, mo te hi tuna, koura, ono kumara ono hoki i etahi

28 29 30

OS Ria, D. "Rukupo", TVNZ transcript, interviewer Hone Kaa (13 August 1989) p. 3; OS Kaumatua Group (Manutuke, March 8 - 9, 2000) OS Fred Jones (Tuaraki Rd, Poverty Bay, March 10, 2000) OS Kaumatua Group (Manutuke, March 8 - 9, 2000)

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4. Oue 5. Okoro 6. Tamatea-angana 7. Tamatea-aio atu kakano. He ra pai mo te ono kai, he ra pai mo te hi ika. He ra pai ano tenei mo te ono kai hi ika hoki. He ra ahua pai mo te ono kai mo te hi ika, he ra hau, he kaha te ia tera pea e marangai. He ra pai mo te hi ika, kia tupato te haere ki te hi ika i nga ngaru pua i nga kohu. He ra pai ki te ono kai. He ririki te tuna, te ika, me te kumara i tenei ra engari he nui kia tupato te Hunga ehi moana. He pai mo te ono kai i te ata ki te ratu. Whakapau Kaore i tino pai mo te hi ka pau nga Tamatea. He ra kino tenei E hara te ra pai ki te ono kai ki te hi ranei he noho mohoao te noho a te tuna a te koura. He ra tino pai tenei mo te ono kai, he nunui te kumara e ngari kaore e roa ka pirau he ra pai ki te hi ika. E hara i te ra pai, mo te ono kai mote hi ika ranei He pai tonu mo te hi ika mo te ono kai, i muri o te ra tu, ki te ra too He ra tino pai mo te ono kai, ahakoa he aha taua kai ra pai mo te hi ika Kaore e tino pai no te hi tuna He ra tino pai mo te ono kai, mo te hi ika kaore mo te tuna Takirau-maheahea, kua makoha te marama he ririki te kumara, te koura te tuna E hara i te tino ra pai, mo te ono taimo te hi ranei E hara i te ra pai mo te ono kai mo te te-whiwhia. Hi ika ranei E hara i te po pai tenei He pai tenei ra atu i te ra-tu ki te rato. Koia nei etahi ra pai ki te patu tuna, koura, ika me nga momo kai katoa He ra pai ki te ono kai ki te hi ika, koura, tuna He ra pai tenei ki te ono kai ki nga mahi hi ika koura He ra pai tenei ki te ono kai, ki nga mahi hi ika koura He ra pai tenei ki te ono kai ki te hi ika, koura, tuna He ra pai tenei mo te ono kai, mo te hi ika koura tuna He ra tino pai tenei mo te ono kai hi crayfishing or torching eels A good day for planting etc, also for fishing A good day for planting etc, also for fishing Fair for planting and fishing, windy, sea currents strong, expect change of weather A very good day for fishing, watch out for the weather. It's either a big heave or misty day. A Good cropping day Eels, fish and kumara etc, are numerous but small in sizes. When boating keep an eye to the weather Fair for planting from morning to midday only, also fair for fishing A bad day Not a good day for planting or fishing; eels and crayfish get very timid A very good day for planting but it does not keep very long, also good day for fishing etc It's not a very good day for fishing etc A fair day for fishing and planting from midday to sunset A very good day for planting etc, also for fishing and not so good for eeling A very good day for planting etc, also for fishing and not so good for eeling The moon is losing its brightness. Kumara planted on this day are small also crayfish and eels It is only another day. It's not the best for planting and fishing It's only a fair day either for planting or fishing It's not a very good day at all A very good day from midday to sunset; for planting, fishing etc. Anything planting in the Tangaroa produces size and number A very good day for planting and fishing crayfish and eels A very good day for planting and fishing crayfish and eels A very good day for planting, cropping and fishing crayfish and eels A very good day for planting and fishing crayfish and eels A very good day for planting , fishing, crayfishing and eels A very good day for planting ,

8. Tamatea 9. Tamatea-whakapau 10. Ari 11. Huna 12. Mawharu 13. Atua 14. Turei 15. Rakaunui 16. Rakau-matohi 17. Takirau 18. Oike 19. Korekore 20. Korekore 21. Korekore piri-ki-nga Tangaroa 22. Tangaroa-a-mua 23. Tangaroa-a-aroto 24. Tangaroa-Kiokio 25. Tangaroa-Whakapau 26. Otaane 27. Orongo-nui

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ika koura, tuna. He pai mo te waihanga whakaaio E hara i te ra pai tenei he oho mauri kai ka oma E hara i te ra pai tenei E hara i te ra po pai tenei kua hinapouri te ao e ai ki nga korero o neke ra fishing, crayfishing and eeling, also a good day for business Not a very good day for planting or fishing fish, eels and crayfish are very elusive It's not a good day It's not a good day at all. The world is in darkness according to Maori belief.

28. Mauri 29. Omutu 30. Mutu-

Usually, there was an exchange of food-giving between tribes living on the sea coast and inland, Those inland would share gifts of potted birds, berries and the coastal hapu would reply with seafood, usually dried hapuka, shark, snapper and moki. The bush was the food bowl for all the surrounding hapu. An abundant supply of eels in the streams and swamps, weka, pukeka, kereru, kiore and fern root, the centre bulb of the leaves of the kouka or cabbage tree. All the trees had berries and most were edible. The mahinga kai and the waterways are remembered by Rongowhakaata kaumatua:

"I must have been the last generation of kids ­ and up at Whatatuna, because it was still a swamp at the top end of Opou then Rakaukaka. The old people used that little bush. .... When the eels used to run and get the so-called big worms, we used to call them glow worms, with flax and make the (bombs) and fish all along the Arai. Te Arai was a source of food for us. We used to bucket water to a 600 gallon tank and we got all our drinking and washing water from the Arai River, it was a beautiful river. We swam in it, fished in it, eeled in it, caught herrings, only at certain times of the year especially with the mullet and the flounders we used to go right down to the mouth of the Waipaoa. I can still remember when they diverted the river and put the big cut in. I can still remember one time we went right down to the Waipaoa Bridge catching flounders... ...Pipiwhakao, we used to do a lot of eeling, and the morihana and whitebait ­ they were a little fish, we used to put in sheets of iron just to block the creek. Didn't have the proper mesh and we'd catch the young swans and young ducks."

Pipiwhakao Ngahere - Pipiwhakao Forest The forest that once covered the land from the Opou block near Manutuke and past where the present road bridge crosses the Waipaoa River and onwards to where Patutahi is today, was known to Rongowhakaata as Pipiwhakao. It was because of Paoa, who had lost his dog at the river mouth, that the forest obtained this name. "Pi Pi" was how one would call their kuri in those days. "Whakao" means to speak in a guarded manner. Thinking that his lost kuri was in this great forest, this is how Paoa called while looking for it. Pipiwhakao went right on to the hills and there were fringes of open land along Te Arai River with the forest bordering it. All of Rongowhakaata had access to this forest. It was the food bowl for all the surrounding hapu. Pipwhakao was used in common with Te Whanau a Kai hapu of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. The interests of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki overlap within Pipiwhakao. Heni Turangi of Ngati Maru in claiming interests in Whatatuna also referred to Pipiwhakao. She referred to her ancestry through Ruawhetuki. She also

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referred to Ngai Tawhiri and Ngati Hinewhanga as a section of Ruawhetuki with Ngai Te Kete being another section that lived at Ruataniwha.31 Then under crossexamination by Riperata Kahutia, Heni confirmed the name of the forest as Pipiwhakao:32

"Pipiwhakao was the name of the forest. Opou was the name of the open claim. This and other lands would be in the name of Pipiwhakao. It was so called from Pawa's dog.... I know the land belonged to Pawa descended to Ruapani and on to Tutekohi...Kiwa owned Turanga in the olden times. The Ngati Kahungunu was the tribe. Ruawhetuki remained on the land when Ngati Kahungunu were driven away."

Under cross-examination by the assessor, Heni confirmed the conquest of the area by Rongowhakaata:33

"Our ancestors lived together on Poroporo and Whatatuna as far as the ranges but the forest stand was reserved for descendants of Ruawhetuki. The land was not divided between the younger and older brother. The division was from Rongowhakaata. The land originally belonged to Ruapani. My ancestors drove them away."

During the same inqury, Hape Kiniha, under cross-examination by Peka Kerekere, refers to Rongowhakaata ancestral and customary interests in Pipiwhakao:34

"The general name of the land was Pipiwhakao. Ngati Maru and Ngai Tawhiri owned the land on the east of this block. Whanau a Kai shared with Ngati Maru. Taharakau was a descendant of Rongomaimihiao ...I have heard of a rahui named Wahaomarango belonging to grandchildren of Ruawhetuki. Our fathers had charge of these rahuis now they are all burned down. We were the last to use them..."

Hori Parahako, claimed on behalf of Ngati Maru. He also referred to the connections to Ruapani, Ruawhetuki and the expulsion of Ngati Kahungunu:35

"My hapu Ngati Maru were the only persons who interested themselves in putting out the fire in the forest during the fire years...the land around belonged to Ruapani. I don't know who lived on this land in Ruapani's time. Ruawhetuki was a grandchild of his. I can trace his descent....The land belonged to Ruapani. Ngati Kahungunu were beaten by Rongomai and fled south. Rongomai married a daughter of Whetuki. The people occupying this land committed no offence, therefore were not affected by that conquest. The names on the lands are those of the descendants of Ruawhetuki."

Hape Kiniha, when cross-examined by the assessor, expressed the opinion that Ruawhetuki is the "chief name on this land" and as a consequence all claimants secured their rights through that ancestor: "We all claim through Ruawhetuki, Riperata and all of us."

31 32 33 34 35

7 Gisborne MB pp.50-52 Ibid Ibid Ibid, pp.55-56 Ibid, pp.53-54

31 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

The most famous of the food from this forest was the kiekie (tawhara) berry which was a delicacy to everyone. Each of the hapu had a rahui or claim and were very protective of it. The trees for snaring birds were named along with the kiore traps and eel weirs. The places where fern root were dug had been given names by each hapu. All the hapu were proud of their rahui and they ensured that no one invaded or broke their rahui unless given permission. When the kiekie berry was ripe the rahui was opened by the hapu. People from all over the land came to pick the berry as noted by William Williams: "All the natives have left the school and gone to pick the Kiekie berries." In the 1800s, the early settlers started to arrive into the district. Captain Harris was the first to mill the trees. Slowly the forest was permanently eroded and lost its identity. Most of what was left of Pipiwhakao was destroyed when fire broke out. Ngati Maru tried to put the fire out, but after smouldering on and off for three years, little was left and so the taonga of Pipiwhakao was lost. The remnants of this bountiful forest is the bush reserve on the Rakaukaka block near Papatu. Kaupapa This is a site near the turn of Whakato Road joining the present main Wharerata Road. The land is called Kaupapa and the main cultivation was kumara and taro. The soil here was good for kumara and maize. There were many crops of kumara that were always successful, even when there was a bad flood.

32 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Nga Waahi Tapu me nga Waahi Tawhito o Rongowhakaata - The Historic Sites and Sacred Places of Rongowhakaata Manawaru Ko Horouta te waka, ko Paoa te tangata, ko tetahi o nga wahine i haere mai i runga i tenei waka, ko Hinehakirirangi. I u a Horouta waka ki te moana o Te Wherowhero, koira te nohanga iho o nga tangata o te waka o Horouta. Noho iho i Te Wherowhero ko Hinehakirirangi i noho ai ki Papatewhai. Ko Rihara ko tenei ko Hinehakirirangi i tohuna ki nga whakahaere katoa o te kai nei o te kumara. Ka tae ki te wa i whakaarotia nei a koia nei te wa ki te tanu i tona kumara. Ka whakaaro ia ki whea ra te wahi e tanua mana i tona kumara. I te mea e tino mohio ana ahau ki Papatewhai kei te pari e ma mai ra kei Te Kuri a Paoa ­ kei reira a Papatewhai i noho ki reira a Hinehakirirangi. Engari kahore i tanungia tana kumara ki reira. Na ko ahau tenei me oku whakaaro kei te haere i tetahi haere maua tahi ko Hinehakirirangi. Ko ahau e ki ana i hara mai a Hinehakirirangi i Papatewhai mai i te taha takutaimoana a ka tae mai ki te awa o Karaua. Ka hara mai i te awa o Karaua, ka huri ko te awa o Te Arai ka haere a au ka tiro atu ia ko te maunga nei ka kite i te rerenga mai o te ra ki te tatanga o te tonga o te ra. Ki konei pea taku kumara. Katahi ka tanungia tana kumara ki Manawaru. Te tiputanga ake o tona kumara ka hoatu e ia tera ingoa a Manawaru. Kia whakapakehangia e au a Manawaru ­ delighted, of course she would have been delighted when her kumara sprouted. Koia ra nga korero mo Manawaru me Hinehakirirangi. Manawaru is a hill feature on the Taurau Valley Road some 3 kilometres south of Manutuke Township and 17 kilometres from Gisborne City. The tale of Manawaru, well known by Rongowhakaata iwi, has its origins around Hinehakirirangi, sister of Paoa, captain of Horouta waka and the chieftainess entrusted with bringing the kumara from Hawaiki to Aotearoa.36 After the waka landed at Muriwai, Hinehakirirangi went in search of a suitable area to plant the kumara, following the Karaua Stream to where it met the Te Arai River, then leading on to Manawaru where she chose the central foot-hill portion of flat land, to start her cultivation.


A very detailed account has been published of the Horouta voyaging back to Hawaiki on the promise of returning with kumara tubers. This narrative relates strongly to Turanganui and explains how the Horouta came to capsize and lose its topside prow in the Bay of Plenty. See Kapiti, P. & Turei, M. "The History of the Horouta Canoe and the Introduction of the Kumara into New Zealand" JPS Vol 21, No 84, pp.152-163 (Reprint Corporation, New York & London, 1967, original publishing date 1912)

33 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

The hill consists of two identical spurs that run from the flats to its summit. Rongowhakaata believe these spurs are likened to the thighs of a female and where Hinehakirirangi planted her kumara can be likened to the birth canal of a woman. Hinehakirirangi may have been aware of the appropriateness of this area to begin a new cultivation in a new land. Rongowhakaata oral traditions confirm the comparison between Manawaru and the thighs of a woman:37

One of the unique things said about Manawaru is you'll notice, it is cut in two spurs and was likened to a woman lying down, the central part "paiha a tangata", where birth takes place. So that was the appropriate place to plant the kumara, because that is where the birth takes place. Two spurs, as the woman's thigh and that is the appropriate place for the kumara. The rising sun hits it right in the central part.

To this day, it is common practice for Rongowhakaata people planting kumara at Manutuke, to point the roots of the kumara plant towards Manawaru, thereby ensuring a prolific and bounteous crop. Rongowhakaata kaumatua confirm this tradition:38

"Ritual is used to plant the kumara down below there, it goes all the way back the other way. We used to get up in the morning; we know this morning that we are going to be planting kumara. Our granny would give us some kumara to plant, it was ritual. We would face and point the roots to the rising sun. Then we would turn and point the roots to Manawaru where Hinehakirirangi was so successful with the growing of kumara. Then you'd turn and start planting towards the rising sun, then you come back from the rising sun, to Manawaru. That's how you plant the kumara all the time."

Hinehakirirangi, carved representation, Te Mana o Turanga, Whakato Marae, Manutuke, Gisborne

To further acknowledge the respect and mana afforded to Manawaru, the kaumatua flats of Manutuke are also named Manawaru. The event is

37 38

OS Kaumatua Group (Manutuke, March 8 - 9, 2000) Ibid

34 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

also remembered in the famous oriori Po Po which is still heard on Rongowhakaata marae today:39 Ko Hinehakirirangi ka u kei uta Te kowhai ka ngaora ka ringitia te kete Ko Manawaru, ko Araiteuru It was Hinehakirirangi who reached the shore, And with the kowhai in flower, emptied the kit At Manawaru and Araiteuru An attempt was made in February 1988 to have Manawaru declared a waahi tapu. However, Manawaru is exempt from Maori land claims to the Waitangi Tribunal, as under the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986, section 27B (2) (b), the lessee has the right of acquiring the fee simple.40 Puketapu Ko Puketapu te maunga Ko Te Arai te awa Ko Rongowhakaata te iwi Puketapu is a famous and sacred site of Rongowhakaata iwi and as such is important to all hapu. Rongomairatahi, only son of Rongowhakaata and Turahiri, and his wife Uekanihi lived on the slopes of Puketapu hill with Uekanihi's father Tapuiparaheka. Tapuiparaheka is remembered by the naming of Tapui Pa nearby. After Rongomairatahi, his son Turourou remained at Puketapu. Considerably modified in pre-European times, the hill was converted into a fortified area by means of creating shallow terraces with sloping flanks, steep enough to repel invaders. The topmost area, at the eastern side of the generally triangular shaped hill, has been formed into a platform by artificially steepening the sides and there is a large rimmed pit beyond this. Further terracing is visible to this day. The storage pits exposed areas to show oven remains. The site is a fine example of a fortified knoll, and has further importance as a noted landmark featuring in a local legend.41 On 5 December 1870 before the Native Land Court at Gisborne, the Rongowhakaata chief Tamihana Ruatapu confirmed that Puketapu was a site of importance to the iwi. He stated "It [Puketapu] belonged to Mokaiohungia, he was of Rongowhakaata. It was formerly a dwelling place of his ancestor Tapuiparaheka... This was our place of safety at Turanga."42 The following day the Court determined that Rapata Whakapuhia and his party of Rongowhakaata had established their case through ancestry and right of conquest. The evidence of the principal counter claimant, Te

39 40 41 42

Halbert, (supra n 5) p.29 Huriwai, J. "Land known as Manawaru" (Research Officer, Turanga Ararau, Gisborne, July 1993, Appendix S) Ibid 1 Gisborne MB p.161

35 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Matenga Tukereaho of Ngai Tamanuhiri also assisted Rongowhakaata. Matenga had conceded that although Ngai Tamanuhiri were the former owners of the land, they were defeated and driven off the land by the ancestors of Rapata Whakapuhia. Since their defeat Ngai Tamanuhiri had never returned to occupy the land while Rapata's party had occupied and held possession.43 Te Arai Hoani Matiaka stated that Ngai Te Aweawe had cultivations at Kohanga Karearea, Te Kohu and Manukaimatangi which were outside the Pipiwhakao block. He referred to a quarrel between Ngai Te Aweawe and Ngai Tawhiri over fern root, but claimed when Ngati Maru were expelled, his ancestors remained in the district, two living at Repongaere. He also discussed the burning of Te Umukapua which led to Te Whaiti of Ngati Porou, who was living at Arai, requesting Te Aweawe at Repongaere, to come and help rebuild the pa at Te Umukapua. This they did, then taking up their abode on the pa so rebuilt and divided the land lying south of the Te Arai River and south west of the Kopututea River. 44 Awapuni Moana (Lagoon) Awapuni Moana is another important tribal site and resource for all Rongowhakaata hapu. It was formed by the build up of sediment deposited by waters of the Waipaoa River. This sediment eventually formed the whenua called Kopututea and Paokahu. The edges of the moana provided a ready supply of flax and raupo for building materials and provided shelter to bird life such as duck and Pukeko. This was another source of food for the hapu of Rongowhakaata. The feathers were utilised in clothing and decoration. Nothing was wasted. The lands surrounding Awapuni were divided amongst all of the hapu of Rongowhakaata giving them access to this resource. The ancestral customary rights to Awapuni Moana derived from various tipuna including Kahunoke a descendant of Ruapani. His son Tamateakuku married Ruakopito, the grand-daughter of Rongowhakaata and Moetai. At the outlet to the sea was the pa of Kahunoke which derived its name from him Pa-o-Kahu. This was an ideal location to take advantage of the kahawai, kanae (mullet), inanga (white bait), patiki (flounder) and tuna heke, as they passed through the out-let. Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae was located at the eastern end of this moana. At one time Awapuni Moana flowed past the marae to join the Waikanae stream which flowed into the Turanganui River. The Year 2000 Commemorative issue of Pipiwharauroa recorded that prior to 1928 the area known as Awapuni lagoon was held by local iwi as papatipu, or customary land through occupation and usage. At one time there were twelve kainga around the lagoon which was a major food source for the hapu who lived there. At a court hearing held in May 1928, the Crown claimed that the Awapuni lagoon was an arm of the sea and consequently belonged to the Crown. The

43 44

Ibid, pp.163-164 6 Gisborne MB p.79

36 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

witness for the Crown claimed that the water in the lagoon was salty to taste and that he had seen boats anchored in the lagoon, indicative, according to him, that the lagoon was navigable and that as he watched the tide ebbed and flowed through the opening of the lagoon to the Waipaoa River and out to sea. Although the Court expressed certain reservations it neither displaced nor confirmed the Crown's prima facie title thus leaving the way open for the lagoon to be eventually vested in Her Majesty the Queen through the Reserves and other Lands Disposal Act 1953. For Rongowhakaata this action contravened the guarantees of the Treaty of Waitangi. Awapuni Moana was drained, developed and farmed for many years by the Crown. Only after lengthy and costly legal action was the Awapuni lagoon formally returned to the descendants of hapu groups in 1998.45 Until now the owners have been deprived of any opportunity to develop an economic base and maintain a livelihood from their land as they had done for several centuries prior to the arrival of tauiwi. Pakirikiri Pakirikiri was one of the many outlets of the Waipaoa River and an important pa and community site for many generations of Rongowhakaata. The road that leads off Karaua Road onto Brown's Beach today, was opposite the old Waipaoa River mouth (Kopututea River). At the end of this road was a pine tree which still exists today. This was where the boats which came through the river mouth would be secured by their owners. Pakirikiri was one of the principal pa and kainga of Rongowhakaata. Great feasts were prepared there to cater for manuhiri who came to attend large tribal and intertribal hui. Pakirikiri was used as a gathering place of the iwi for all important hui, because of the proximity to the sea and water ways, the fertile flats and ease with which kai was obtained to support large gatherings. The river mouth provided access to and from the sea for waka. Ngati Maru and Ngati Kaipoho had fishing grounds nearby. Te Toka a Ahuru was a reef that provided Rongowhakaata with large supplies of fish, kina, paua and shark for such hui. The beach named Oneroa, running beside Pakirikiri, provided the white pipi, cockles and whetiko that were procured from the Wherowhero lagoon. The swamps that dominated the blocks closer inland provided the community with tuna and water fowl before being drained. Besides tuna, the Arai River, which once flowed close to Pakirikiri and other streams provided inanga, shrimp and kakahi. The area was thus abundant in resources and proved an ideal location for pa and kainga. The carved house Te Poho o Rukupo was resited from Pakirikiri to its present site at Manutuke Marae because of the threat of flooding. During their political careers Wi Pere and James Carroll held hui at Pakirikiri which were attended by all iwi of the Turanga and surrounding rohe. Alan Ward refers to one important occasion where Wi Pere and Carroll publicly debated yet another change to legislation affecting Maori land before a crowd estimated at over 4,000.46


142 Gisborne MB pp. 275-276. See also 143 Gisborne MB p. 211 and 134 Gisborne MB pp. 118-130 (17 December, 1992) Hall, R. & Oliver, S. in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Vol.2 The Turbulent


37 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Flooding eventually caused the abandonment of Pakirikiri settlement. Since the pa had been in that location for hundreds of years, the old people attribute the flooding to excessive de-forestation, saying that it only became a difficulty in the post-colonial period.

Pakirikiri in the late nineteenth century, William Crawford, A 308, GM

Manutuke burial house Hurimoana was the site of a famous building in which the bones of tipuna of the region were laid to rest. The structure was circular in shape, about fifty feet in circumference and was constructed with totara. The roof was made of raupo. The exterior of this unusual whare was carved. According to the account of W.J. Phillips, inside there were some thirty compartments in each of which there lay a closed chest made in the shape of a canoe.47 According to Phillips' informant, the burial chambers were of two shapes and between five and eight feet in length. Some ancestors were buried standing. In time, according to Phillips, the building gradually fell into disrepair but the koiwi were removed to other sites.


Years - 1870-1900 (Bridget Williams Books, Auckland, 1994) p. 98 Phillips, W.J Carved Houses of the Eastern Districts of the North Island (1994, Wellington).

38 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Nga Marae me nga Pa - Settlements and Meeting Places One of the most ancient whare in Turanganui-a-Kiwa was Rangihua, above Papatewhai, which was inhabited by the ancestor Tapunga prior to 1650. By the 1880s Rongowhakaata was reviving itself hapu by hapu as evidenced by the resurgence in the building of marae. Ngati Maru and Ngati Kaipoho opened TeMana-o-Turanga at Manutuke in 1883. Riperata Kahutia of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Rongowhakaata erected a complex including the house Te Poho-o-Materoa at her Awapuni land while Otene Pitau assisted in the construction of the meeting house at Pakirikiri, Te Poho-o-Rukupo, commemorating his adopted father and earlier ancestors. This house was later moved to Manutuke. 48 Tapui Wharerau o te Tahinga was a grandson of Rongomairatahi who, with the help of his son Kaipoho, built Tapui Pa on the western side of the old Te Arai river. It is situated on the down stream end of the swampy ribbon of the abandoned and dried up Te Arai river. After many floods the Waipaoa and the Te Arai river changed course and the Kopututea river, which once joined the two rivers, became a lagoon at Awapuni. Tapui pa was attacked many times, because of its resources - it was rich in eels, fresh water mussel, wild fowl, pukeko, weka, kereru (wood Pigeon), kokomako (wood hen) and the ground was also rich for its kumara and taro. The many sunken kumara pits are still visible today, along with the trenches that helped to keep the enemy out. Regrettably, today sheep and cattle are destroying the existence of these treasured sites along with the ploughing of the ground for corn, grapes, squash and other crops. Tapui is one of the first pa to be built in Manutuke and the only one with clear evidence of its existence. Kaipoho was slain in the battle of Taitimuroa, which left the pa in the hands of his son Te Aweawe and his whanau. The pa is named after Tapuiparaheka, father-in-law of Rongomairatahi.49 Orakaiapu In Manutuke, Orakaiapu Pa was situated on the bank of the Kopututea river, just below the junction of the Waipaoa and Arai rivers, the area being about 3 acres. The fire brigade and the Mormon church are on this site today. This pa was occupied by Tarake, one of the chiefs of his era. According to Williams this pa was one of the principal pa in the 1840s. In his diary he always referred to it as "the pa". It was used as a runanga for hui and special gatherings. Between 1842 and 1863, the church services at Manutuke were held in the large meeting house known as Hamokorau at Orakaiapu until the church itself was evenutally built.50

48 49 50

Ward, A. in The Turbulent Years - 1870-1900 (supra n 46) p.98 OS Kaumatua Group (Manutuke, March 8- 9, 2000) Ibid

39 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Ruataniwha Rongowhakaata traditions record that Rongoteuruora and his wife Aohuna lived at a pa called Ruataniwha situated between Te Aohuna and Opou. Rangihiria, Taringa and Manawaoterangi lived there until she died. The pa was later used as a depot for rahui. It was a double pa along with Tapatahi. On the Ruataniwha site Manawaoterangi and Maanga were the ancestors. Paokahu According to Riperata Kahutia this pa belonged to the four hapu - Ngati Kaipoho, Ngati Ruawairau, Ngai Tawhiri and Ngati Maru.51 This important pa was re-built by the Ngati Maru chiefs for the defence against the warring Waikato tribes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Those hapu lived there until the wars with Waikato ceased. Ngati Maru then went to live at Kaupapa and Ngati Kaipoho went to a place situated where the Waipaoa river emptied into the sea. The Ngati Ruawairau and Ngai Tawhiri retired to their pa in Manutuke. The land known as Paokahu comprising some 615 acres was awarded to Ngati Maru by the Native Land Court in 1880.52 Umukapua This pa was situated on the Waingake Road, near Manutuke school, about where the old Arai Riverbed crosses the road and often referred to as 'the dip'. When William Williams and his family arrived in Manutuke, it was the pa that they lived in until a temporary house was built for them at Kaupapa. Taurangakoau (Tauranga) This was situated along the river behind the Manutuke Post Office. According to Rongowhakaata oral history the ancestor Te Ikawhaingata, the grandson of Kaipoho, built this pa after the Ngati Maru came back from Waiapu. The chiefs of this district were requested to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. However, not all were in favour of putting their mark to the Treaty. The signing of the Treaty was witnessed at this pa. Taniwha This pa was more of a kainga noho attached to Taurangakoau as the family are of the same hapu as Te Ikawhaingata. The name of the land is called Taniwha. Te Ratu could have succeeded Te Ikawhaingata as there was talk of his existence about the area.

51 52

6 Gisborne MB p.236 3 Gisborne MB p.203 (31 August, 1880)

40 Rongowhakaata - Traditional History Report

Te Hue a Te Po According to Rongowhakaata chief Hirini Taiahuahu the land belonged to his hapu, Ngati Mokai. He claimed his right to this land through ancestry and occupation. He stated that the pa at the north, Te Hue a Te Po belonged to Mauhikitia and his descendants occupied and cultivated all over the land. It was a sacred cultivation where the first kumara were grown and cooked before the rest of the kumara could be used. This site is located near the old picture hall. Hirini also confirmed that Te Rae-o-Te-Whakaariki was the look-out place for the pa, that he had lived on this land from his youth and was on this land when William Williams arrived around 1840. Hoani Ruru states that the pa, Te Hue Te Po, was burnt and another pa was built to take its place. This was called Te Hue-a-Kamo. Tuta Niho Niho claims that the pa Te Hue a Te Po was named because a child of Tamarau planted hue there. Te Whakaariki was also a child of Tamarau and this was part of the ditch around the pa with long posts. Another name for the same place is Matapaea. The river bed was also known as Matapaea. Oweta According to oral traditions, Tamihana Ruatapu and many other tipuna of Rongowhakaata lived at Oweta. It was frequently used by travellers from Wairoa and Muriwai and during the New Zealand wars period. People initially sought shelter at Oweta before moving to safety at Muriwai. Te Whaiti, son of Te Aweawe I, built three pa across Te Arai stream. Tapui Pa, Raeotekahawai Pa and Raeotokorau Pa on the Hahaenga block. Te Whaiti also built Tiwhaoterangi Pa on the Te Poho block. Tapatahi This was the principal pa for all Rongowhakaata hapu on the north side of Te Arai river. Along with Ruataniwha, Manawaoterangi and Te Maanga were the tipuna of this site. There were cultivations around the pa and tradition records that canoes and waka were built there. Another whare on this pa was called Te Mira (the Mill). The waka or canoe builders were tohunga in their trade, gifted with knowledge handed down to them by their tipuna. The trees they chose were named, selected and nurtured long before they were ready to be cut down. Paratene Turangi and Pakirehe were some of the chiefs of the pa. When a war broke out between the tribes, it was this pa that was attacked by Ngati Konohi of Whangara. Tarake, another chief, escaped but many were killed there. After that attack, the people left and went to Waiapu. The early settler and trader Captain John Harris planted the first oak tree in this district at Tapatahi on the Opou Station block towards the Arai river bank.


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