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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 2 (May 1, 1939)

At the Canoe-Head

At the Canoe-Head.

“We had a strong pull up the river; and about two o'clock in the afternoon entered the branch called the Manganui-a-te-Ao, where the rapids are very numerous and difficult to ascend. Our natives fought the rapids admirably; and as evening was setting in, we got to Te Arero, a fort on a high hill. The numerous canoes on the river, the white foam on the rapids; the industrious groups of men, women, and children, with dogs, pigs, and cats made up the motley crowd that were passing to Pehi's meeting; discussing religion, feasting, politics, land; and for all a little change and excitement.

“About 100 canoes are hauled up at this place. The owners are scattered in happy groups, like so many gipsies, around the pa. The landing of the canoes, the passing of natives in the shallows of the river, with their long poles over their shoulders, and happy greetings, though shivering at the time with cold, was a picture of great interest to us, who viewed them to great advantage in the deep glen where we were camped.

“We slept at Te Arero, where Pehi's lands commence, and where he is considered to be a large claimant of a country in which he is not likely to be disturbed during the present generation.