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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)

Buller at Tangi-te-roria

Buller at Tangi-te-roria.

Mr. Wallis was the first to camp at the station established at Tangi-teroria, that beautiful spot with a name of music on the Northern Wairoa River. But he was soon sent south to Whaingaroa, now Raglan, and in 1839 James Buller was sent from Mangungu to become the permanent minister on the Wairoa among the tribes living along that great inland waterway.

For fourteen years Buller and his wife lived there and reared their family in the heart of the great forest. Buller had learned Maori well, and he was a right proper stalwart for the pioneering of the wilds. The river was the only road, and up and down this tidal highway this missionary travelled with his Maori crew. It was the most lonely of places for a white woman. There a boy was born who became celebrated as Sir Walter Buller, the great authority on New Zealand birds. It was in the bird-teeming bush of the Northern Wairoa that he learned the ways of the wild and acquired with the Maori tongue his Maori-like knowledge of the country's forest life. The Rev. James Buller's book “Forty Years in New Zealand,” tells of those times of pioneering in the most isolated part of the North Country.

He was a mighty tramper in his prime was “Te Pura.” In 1840 he travelled from the Kaipara to Wellington, mostly on foot, by way of Kawhia, Taupo, and the Wanganui River. His business was to arrange for the establishment of his church in the just founded New Zealand Company's settlement, and foot and canoe were the only means of travel. Everywhere the Maoris were most friendly and hospitable. Buller found that even in those places where the people had never seen a missionary there was some knowledge of pakeha prayers and Scriptures, the Rongo Pai had been spread by Maoris from tribe to tribe.