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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



During a meeting of the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute on 10 October, 1881, Samuel Locke exhibited some relics, which had been dug out of some Maori graves in Poverty Bay. They included several large sky blue globular glass beads, which were believed to have been left by Cook. All of them were in an excellent state of preservation. An illustration of a mounted blue bead appeared in the Journal of the Polynesian Society for 1930. It was then in the possession of Mrs. C. C. McKay, of Opoutama (Mahia), who was a granddaughter of “Happy Jack” Greening. This bead, it was claimed, had been given to the Wairoa chief Apatu whilst he was on a visit to Tolaga Bay by a descendant of the original recipient.

When Cook visited Endeavour Inlet (Queen Charlotte Sound), he nailed to a tree a copper plate bearing the date and other matter. In 1859, Dr. Hochstetter arrived in Marlborough on a geological survey for the Austrian Government, and, according to an old whaler named Thoms (now dead), he carried the plate away. Inquiries should be made from the Austrian Government as to its whereabouts.”—Marlborough Herald (September, 1909).

With reference to Gable End Foreland, Banks says: “This same cliff we had seen when first we made the land.” Nearly a fortnight had passed since land had first been sighted. During the period whilst the ship was plying off and on before Poverty Bay could be entered, she must have sailed north to a point from which Gable End Foreland came into view.

William Lockwood, senior, of Anaura Bay, informed the writer that the channel between Motu-o-Roi and the mainland is winding and that rocks abound in it. To-day, it is about 12 feet deep at high water. He was of the opinion that it must have been much deeper in Cook's day.

The name “Tegadoo,” which Cook gave to Anaura, is rendered “Te Karu” by Parkinson and “Tegadu” by Banks. Its source was “Te Ngaru” (breakers), and the word must have been used by the natives to describe the heavy surf which was breaking on the shore. They could not have intended it to be taken as the name of the place.

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“Tolaga” must also be classed as an erroneous form of a descriptive word and not as the Maori place-name for Tolaga Bay. Carrington (Life of Captain Cook, p. 109) suggests that “Tolaga” was Cook's rendering of “turunga, a landing place” [? “turanga, a halting place”], a word which is likely to have been used when the spot to which Cook was being directed was pointed out to him. Smith (Maori Wars of the Nineteenth Century, p. 279) says that Mokena Romio, of Tokomaru Bay, suggested to him that, when Cook enquired the name of the land, he was misunderstood by his informant, who thought that he desired to learn the name of the wind which, at that time, must have been blowing from the northwest, and that he was told “teraki” [W. Williams (1844): “tuaraki”], which Cook perverted to Tologa [Tolaga].

Cook calls this place Tolaga Bay, which is evidently a misnomer, as the word is unpronounceable by many of the New Zealanders; the place is termed by the natives Ou Auwoa or Uwoua.”—Polack (New Zealand: Travels and Adventures, Vol. 2, p. 131).