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The Great Journey: an expedition to explore the interior of the Middle Island, New Zealand, 1846-8


page 51

July 1st. Made an early start for Mawera1 this morning, which we reached about midday, and found the chief Te Uru2 there with a lot of natives. Te Uru is the father of Tairoa, and the acknowledged head of the Ngatau tribe. Had a long cry, with much rubbing of noses, which ended in a feast of potatoes. I found some fresh arrivals of natives here since my last visit, who had walked over from the East Coast.

3rd. Staying at Mawera. A thunder storm. 4th. A fine but cold day. 5th. A dirty rainy day. 6th. A cold day, accompanied with thunder. 7th. A fine day, but very cold; all the surrounding country covered with snow. 8th. Still at Mawera.

9th. Started with a large number of natives, twenty-eight in all, for Taramakau, which we reached in the evening, and were received with the hearty welcome usually given to strangers.

10th. At Taramakau, feasting on potatoes. From Taramakau, on a clear day, seen bearing S.E., is a lofty-capped mountain3, which is considerably higher than the mean range of which it forms part. This peak is called by the natives Kai Mataiu, and is seen from the eastern coast, at Port Cooper. The river Taramakau, and also the branch of the river Mawera called Potikahauhau, take their rise from this mountain. 11th. A fine day.

Sunday, 12th. Attended native service and school in the evening. The natives here are members of the Church of England and attend service regularly; but they appear to me very ignorant of its nature of meaning.

page 52

13th. I wished the Maories to proceed with me to the southward but they refused, and those living here told me I could not go during the winter: so I found myself fixed here for an indefinite length of time.

1 Now Greymouth.

2 Tuhuru, Ngai-tahu, chief of Westland.

3 Perhaps Mount Rolleston, 7,453 feet. cf S. A. Wiren, N.Z. Alpine Journal No. 15, p. 306, article on Waimakariri head waters ‘Kaimatau’.