Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, May 1970

Te Rauparaha

page 18

Te Rauparaha

About this time Te Rauparaha was engaged in his conquest of Cook Strait. In Whareatea Bay, where Captain Cook had seen remains of Maori huts, settlements by the natives had been made at different times. On the hillsides may still be found primitive adzeheads, which must have been made a long time ago. There were remains of fires, Maori ovens, and other signs of occupancy. The most interesting feature, however, is the look-out rock two hundred yards or so above the beach. It sticks out of the slope like a stone tooth, and from the foot of it one looks up an almost vertical face. On climbing up the hill, alongside the rock, however, one comes to the upper side of the "tooth", and there in the rock, cut by some long-dead hand, are foot-holds that make it easy to climb to the top. There it is possible to sit safely, and look out over the Strait. On a clear day Kapiti Island is easily seen, a blue, shapely shadow in the far distance. Even when this slope was covered with tall trees, the look-out post would enable a sentry to see out over the treetops.

One day a warrior posted there must have seen the war canoes of Te Rauparaha coming swiftly across the water. He would rush down the hill with his warning, and the tribe would prepare for battle. But it was useless. Te Rauparaha, already well known and feared as a great fighter, and aided by a tribe from Rotorua, swept all before him, slaughtered many of the inhabitants of the Island, and made slaves of the rest. Some members of his own tribe later settled there. Then away he went to the Croisilles, and repeated the performance. In later years Te Rauparaha sold D'Urville Island to the Government agents.