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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (November 1, 1928)

Historic Isles of Horowhenua

Historic Isles of Horowhenua.

As the train speeds into Levin a glimmering water-sheet is seen on the seaward side of the town. This is Lake Horowhenua, a shallow islet-dotted freshwater lagoon, two miles and a quarter long and a mile wide. Most of the small islands which it contains are artificial—the work of members of the Muaupoko tribe a century ago. Here they had hoped to be safe from the famous warrior Rauparaha (the “Maori Napoleon”) and his musketeers; but those little places of refuge proved to be isles of death. After his conquest of Horowhenua the fierce Rauparaha shut up scores of captives on the islet of Namu-iti, near the north end of the lake, and killed some from day to day, as required for food. To the old-time settlers that islet was known as “Ruaparaha's stockyard.”

(To Be Continued)