Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

Puke-Ariki Pa

Puke-Ariki Pa.

The name of the marae of this pa was Para-huka, and the following story gives the origin of it:—"Takarangi and Raumahora—whose history was related in Chapter X.—had a daughter named Rongo-ua-roa, who was married to Te Whiti, and they had a son named Aniwaniwa (the ancestor of Te Puni family of Wellington, and Te Kepa family of Mangaone, Wai-whakaiho). By his second marriage, Te Whiti (see above) had a son called Ruaroa (the ancestor of the Poharama people —Ngati-Te-Whiti of Moturoa—and Te Whiti, the so-called prophet of Parihaka).

These two half-brothers—Aniwaniwa and Ruaroa—were of quite opposite dispositions. The former was a talker, a boaster, and a loafer, spending most of his time in visiting distant relatives and people, journeying as far as the Bay of Islands on these holiday tours. When addressing these distant people he used to boast of the great fruitfulness of his own soil and the abundance that always reigned at Puke-ariki, and would give pressing invitations to visit his home and partake of the abundance that was there to be found. As a consequence visitors were always arriving at the pa, and in accord with ancient Maori custom hospitality had to be given to those visitors, resulting oftentimes in its inmates having to undergo great privation owing to lack of food, for come what may, rigid custom laid down that the visitors were to be fully and abundantly fed, whether or not the hosts had to go without, page 484their meal or on short commons for the balance of the season until the now crops wore gathered in. But this did not trouble Aniwaniwa; he acted the lordly host and bade welcome to the visitors, come they many or few. The brunt fell on Ruaroa, the stay-at-home worker and provider. So in derision Ruaroa named (or re-named) the marae of the pa Para-huka—spital, the frothing of the mouth—as it was here his bombastic brother used to speak empty, frothy words; and that name remained down to the time of the desertion of this great stronghold about the year 1830.

The site of the marae, or square, of the old pa is marked by that of the Union S.S. Company's and New Zealand Express Company's offices, and the part of St. Aubyn Street in front of the same.