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The Old Frontier : Te Awamutu, the story of the Waipa Valley : the missionary, the soldier, the pioneer farmer, early colonization, the war in Waikato, life on the Maori border and later-day settlement

Appendices — Some Maori Place Names.

page 101


Some Maori Place Names.

The following are the meanings of a number of native place-names in the Te Awamutu district; some of these names are now for the first time placed on record:—
  • Te Awamutu: The end of the river; i.e., the head of canoe navigation.

  • Rangiaowhia: Beclouded sky.

  • Kihikihi: Cicada, tree-locust.

  • Orakau: The place of trees.

  • Paterangi: Fort of heaven; i.e., the pa on the high part of the ridge, the skyline.

  • Waiari: Clear water.

  • Mangapiko: Crooked creek.

  • Te Rore: The snare.

  • Mangatea (on the Manga-o-Hoi, where the mill stood): White stream.

  • Matariki (a short distance above the bridge at Te Awamutu, right bank of river: The Pleiades constellation; also reeds used for lining the interior of a house.

  • Te Reinga (old village site behind R.C. Church, Rangiaowhia): Leaping, rushing; thus the place of leaping, the final departing place of spirits of the dead.

  • Hikurangi (the Rangiaowhia heights above the Manga-o-Hoi; Clifford's Hill; also place on Pirongia-Kawhia Road): Skyline; horizon.

  • Pekapeka-rau (swamp between Hairini and Rangiaowhia): Place where the nativebat was numerous.

  • Tioriori (native village, near where the Hairini cheese factory now stands) A kind of kite, made of raupo.

  • Tau-ki-tua (the site of the English Church at Rangiaowhia): The farther ridge.

  • Te Rahu: Basket made of undressed flax.

  • Te Rua-Kotare (Taylor's Hill, or Green Hill, north of Te Awamutu): The kingfisher's nest (in hollow tree).

  • Tauwhare (ancient pa on cliffy right bank of Mangapiko River, above Walart):Overhanging.

  • Tokanui: Great Rock.

  • Waikeria: Dug-out waterway, or watercourse gouged out.

  • Otorohanga: O, food carried for a journey; torohanga, stretched out. According to a Ngati-Maniapoto tradition, a certain warrior chief who set out from this spot for Taupo with only a very small quantity of food caused it by supernatural means to “stretch out” and to last until he had reached his destination. Hence the name.