The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10 (February 1, 1930)
Race of Sailors
Race of Sailors.
This, above all other parts of New Zealand, has for a hundred years been a land of sailors, Maori, pakeha-Maori, and all the numerous sub-degrees and shades of a half-caste ancestry. Stewart Island, with its so broken coastline, its many coves and bays and island-sprinkled harbours and coasts, is a natural nursery for seamen. The absence of roads, except for a very few miles around Half-Moon Bay, compels sea travel. There are many motor launches nowadays, but the fine art of seamanship is fostered in the numerous small sailing vessels— schooners, ketches and cutters, most of them with auxiliary engines of one sort and another. Old whalers, old sealers are here, with endless tales of adventure in stormy seas and on rock-bound coasts. Some of the younger men have seen service in the Norwegian whaleships of the most modern type that make Paterson Inlet their winter headquarters between cruises to the far-south Ross Sea.
Many have served in the Government steamers, and no better crews can be found for the rough surf-boat work at the lighthouses around the coast. The native settlement at The Neck, near the entrance to Paterson Inlet, is an all-sailor community. The historic Maori name of this half-caste village, by the way, is Te Wehi a Te Wera, which holds a story. A chief named Te Wera many generations ago came here from page 29 northern parts. When he was exploring this beach he came suddenly on a huge whakahau, or sea-lion, which reared itself up and roared at him. It so startled him, old warrior though he was, that he turned and ran, and the beach to this day is known by the name he gave it in memory of the fright (wehi) he suffered.