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History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840

Waiana cave

Waiana cave.

Just inside the mouth of the Mohaka-tino river, on the south bank, inside a little island, there formerly existed a cave in the cliffs called Waiana, which has now disappeared owing to the erosion of the cliffs by the sea and the river.

"Many years ago, but sometime after the death of Whiti, a party of Ngati-Mania-poto came across the debatable land between there and Mokau and camped in this cave. It was a time of peace—if it were possible for such a thing to exist—between the two tribes. But Ngati-Tama at once decided to entrap and kill the party in order to equalize some of the utu owing. Accordingly, a great show of friendship was made and preparations undertaken for a feast of pipis and other Maori delicacies. The Ngati-Tama, whilst the food was preparing, and apparently unarmed, approached and intermingled with the visitors. But they had concealed weapons about them. A tangi was now held, and mutual good wishes and satisfaction expressed at the state of peace which now obtained. All this time Ngati-Tama had been gradually page 255encircling and mixing up with Ngati-Mania-poto according to a prearranged plan. At a given signal they fell among the visitors and killed nearly the whole of the party, including an important chief named Niwha. This man was an ancestor of Niwha who now (1894) lives at Te Kauri village, Mokau Heads."