Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Lore and history of the South Island Maori

Maori Associations of Banks Peninsula

page 123

Maori Associations of Banks Peninsula

The large area of Canterbury called Banks Peninsula, named after Doctor Banks of Captain Cook's explorations, is rich in its Maori associations. Practically every bay and inlet produces evidence of native occupation. Owing to the several waves of conquest that have swept over the area, the very earliest history has been lost. Through the efforts of the late Canon J. W. Stack, some of the later history was verbally obtained from the Maoris who knew it, and the foundation stone laid for future historians.

The South Island, principally south of the Clarence River in Marlborough, has been occupied by the following people: Waitaha, (first tribe of that name), who arrived by the Uruao Canoe under Rakaihautu about 850 A.D., Hawea, Rapuwai, Waitaha, (second tribe of that name), Ngati Mamoe, and finally Ngai Tahu, (the present tribe). Even earlier than the first Waitaha tribe, about 750 A.D., Mam, an explorer, arrived with people in the Mahunui Canoe. Places on the coastline down to Southland bear his name. The isolated rock off the Banks Peninsula coast, known as Pompey's Pillar, bears the name Omaui. The name Mahunui, which belonged to Maui's canoe, was bestowed in modern times on the Land District lying between the Clarence and Waitaki Rivers, and also on the Runanga Hall of the Tuahiwi Maoris of Kaiapoi.

South Island tradition has made it clear that Banks Peninsula was a favourite abode of the Waitaha tribe of Rakaihautu's time. Indeed, Rakaihautu is supposed to have died and been buried near Akaroa.

War between the present Ngai Tahu Tribe and the Ngati Mamoe Tribe commenced about 1700 A.D., after the former had for a space been domiciled on the south side of Cook Strait. Though gradually retreating to the south, the Ngati Mamoe, especially in Otago and Southland, put up many a fight to their credit. The last two battles told against them however, and they now form a hapu of the Ngai Tahu Tribe (particularly numerous south of the Clutha River).

Most of the history of Banks Peninsula circles around Moki, a younger son of Tuahuriri of the Ngai Tahu Tribe, who in his war canoe, Makawhiu, subdued the Ngati Mamoe Tribe on Banks Peninsula. The Ngai Tahu chiefs, Kaiapu, Te Makino and Waitai, had journeyed from Wairau to Southland. page 124From the former chiefs Moki learnt that a Ngai Tahu chief named Tutekawa, was living within Ngati Mamoe country at Waikakahi, near Lake Ellesmere. As revenge was sought against Tutekawa for slaying Tuahuriri's wives, Hinekaitaki and Tuaruwhati, during an inter-tribal fight in the Wellington district, a reason for fighting the Ngati Mamoe was furnished. Moki's first landing was made at Little Okain's Bay. Waikerikikari Bay, Goughs Bay (Okaruru) and Long Bay (No. 1) where the main Ngati Mamoe stronghold of Parakakariki stood, all figure in Moki's advance on Waikakahi where Tuekawa dwelt.

Port Levy or Koukourarata, the large bay south of Port Cooper is still a centre of Maori life. The first of the Ngai Tahu Tribe to settle at Port Levy was Huikai, and his son Tautahi was responsible for the formation of one of the pas, namely Otautahi, which stood amid the swamps on the area now known as the City of Chrischurch. Moki, who conquered Banks Peninsula for the Ngai Tahu Tribe from the Ngati Mamoe, made use of Port Levy as a place to keep his prisoners, prior to their use as slaves or to supplement the food supply. Port Levy, like other places on Banks Peninsula, suffered at the hands of Te Rauparaha after the fall of Onawe in Akaroa Harbour in 1831. It was also attacked previously, during the Kai Huanga Feud of the Ngai Tahu Tribe, when one of its aged chiefs named Te-hanui-orangi was slain. However, Port Levy was one of the first places in Canterbury to receive the message of the Prince of Peace, for Christianity was introduced to the natives from their former enemies of the North Island.

Taawao, a Maori of the Nga Puhi Tribe, and a Wesleyan, brought the faith to Banks Peninsula in 1841. A year later, after his baptism by the Rev. J. Watkin, of Old Waikouaiti, in conjunction with Hohepa Korehi, a Wesleyan from Cloudy Bay, he used Port Levy as a base. In 1843, Tamihana Te Rauparaha and his cousin Whiwhi (Henare Matene) came to Port Levy in the interests of the Anglican Church. Bishop Selwyn followed on February 17th, 1844. By the close of 1844, both the Wesleyans and Anglicans had erected Maori churches. The positions of the two churches are clearly marked on the original map of the Koukaurarata Reserve drawn by surveyor O. Carrington, in 1849, the Anglican Church being at the eastern side of the reserve and the Wesleyan Church at the western side.

On November 21st, 1853, over one hundred and sixty Maoris of North Canterbury visited the Anglican Church, among whom was Hakopa Te Ata o Tu, who, while a prisoner of Te Rauparaha, came under the influence of Bishop Hadfield at Otaki. At this Maori gathering 1 ton of flour, 1 ton of page 125sugar, 3 calabashes of soup, 400 birds, 5 pigs and eels were devoured.

When the Rev. Canon J. W. Stack visited Port Levy in 1859, the Anglican Church was in bad repair and worship almost extinct, because its leader Te Koro Maitai had given up this work through what he considered his own unworthiness. Canon Stack and Hakopa Te Ata o Tu persuaded Te Koro to take over this Christian service again. The church was immediately repaired and put to use. In 1860, a Maori named Paora was catechist for Port Levy and Pigeon Bay. Four years later the Anglican Maoris raised £100, and with a Provincial Government grant made further improvements to the Church. In 1877 all the pas of Canterbury, with the exception of Rapaki and Tuahiwi, had reverted to tohungaism as taught by Te Maiharoa of Arawhenua. Bishop Harper and Canon Stack, however, brought them back to the fold and the church was once more repaired.

At present by culpable neglect the old historic Anglican Church stands derelict. Even its bell is missing. Only about ten years ago Bishops West-Watson and Bennett preached within its walls, which in earlier days vibrated to the voices of Bishops Selwyn and Harper. Now in 1944 the Maoris when in the mood attend a Ratana service at the hall. The Red Rock about 350 yards up a valley from the derelict Anglican Church, was where the tohungas of old had addressed the people. It is a very tapu place and also an ancient burial-ground.

The Native Reserve, consisting of about 1,350 acres, was set aside in 1848. In 1849, this settlement had twelve houses and the pa was called Puari. The name Pauri was applied about the same time to a pa at Christchurch.

Prior to 1848, the population of Port Levy was 260, but the majority of these natives dwelt on the north side of the Harbour at Kaitara near the north head. The islet near Kaitara, which is called Pukerarauke (isle of ferns) or Devils Island, was frequented by the Maoris for shellfish. Horomanga Island, near Puari, was a shelter in olden days for canoes. On March 3rd, 1933, a claim by Apera Pukenui and twenty-four other natives, for possession of Horomonga was not entertained by the Natives Affairs Committee of Parliament.

Port Levy (Koukourarata) is officially the reserve of the Ngai Tutehuarewa hapu of the Ngai Tahu Tribe. The Maoris of Port Levy had no sympathy with the Maori King Movement, and on November 25th, 1863, they imprisoned for disloyalty a North Island Maori named Te Koko.

During December 1886, the Port Levy Native Reserve was re-surveyed on request of Mr Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner. The main road from Port Levy to Little River is formed on the line of the old Maori track recommended by J. W. Hamilton on April 6th, 1858. The earliest settlers page 126recount tales of the heavy loads carried by the Maoris on their backs. Shark from Port Levy was bartered for the eels of Wairewa.

Mrs Repeka Horomona, who lived to more than 110 years of age and who was present at a huia at Tuahiwi in February 1925, often in her girlhood visited what is now Sumner, travelling by canoe from Port Levy, (crossing the Sumner Bar). She was the mother of 16 children, had 50 grandchildren, and at the time of her death, many great-grandchildren.

In 1857, over a dozen Maoris of the Tuahuriri hapu were dwelling at Pigeon Bay (Wakaroi). The whares were situated at four sites—on the flat near the wharf, at the head of the bay, at Holmes Bay and lastly at Hakukaka valley. During the sixties Te Rangipupu owned a good house surrounded by extensive cultivations at Pigeon Bay.

Macintosh Bay, now known as Menzies Bay, shows the remains of a Maori pa, as does an indent between Little Pigeon Bay and Blind Bay. The pa site at Decanter Bay is close to the beach. This pa furnished Maori guides for the early settlers.

Little Akaroa had its main settlement on Look Out Point (Panau). The ruins of the pa on Long Look Out Point are situated at the furthest end of the promontory. The grass-covered ramparts enclose an oblong space. One side is protected by a precipice, another part by a watercourse, the crown of the promontory overlooks the outer ramparts. The Maoris of the Panau pa used to obtain food largely by fishing and by eeling in the two creeks which enter Raupo Bay.

The population of Panau was augumented by refugees during the Kai Huanga feud. Unfortunately some of the Panau natives broke the rules of tapu by wearing at Kaiapoi the mats belonging to two slain chiefs Hape and Te Puhirere. Retribution then fell on the settlement from the paramount chief of the Ngai Tahu Tribe, the cruel and cowardly Te Maiharanui. Later Te Rauparaha's warriors, after fighting at Onawe, came and wiped out the settlement.

A traditional burial casket was discoverd at Raupo Bay, on May 17th, 1935, and by order of the Native Land Court is deposited in trust at the Canterbury Museum. Lavericks Bay south of Okains Bay has also furnished much material to the Museum. Okains Bay has every indication of having in the days gone by carried a large Maori population. At Little Okains Bay the famous Moki made his memorable landing on Banks Peninsula, when he was charmed with the karaka groves there. Kawatea is the Maori name for Little Okains Bay. Poaiiha is the original name applied to Okains Bay by Moki, as he observed the seals there at mating time. In the main Okains Bay Valley there is a flat piece of land severed by the Okains River, which from settlement of long ago derives its page 127name of Pa. On it numerous curios have been discovered. Also in the neighbourhood are a burial-ground and a spring. The hillsides in this portion of the Okains Valley show signs of ancient cultivations, each marked with ovens and boundary stones. In the sawmilling days about half-a-dozen Europeans were living with their Maori wives and half-caste offspring in the vicinity of the area called the Pa.

In June 1899, Messrs Christopher and J. Thacker discovered in a cave on the point near the island, which was once a burial-ground, between Big and Little Okains Bays, perhaps one of the greatest assortments of Maori objects ever found in one place on Banks Peninsula. On East Head of Okains Bay, ruins of an old pa stood as late as 1900, but in 1935 very little evidence remained. Lying off East Head is the three-acre Pa Island, which is very much a natural fortification. The native name assigned to it is Te Puke-ki-Waitaha, probably derived from its use by the old Waitaha Tribe.

Under the south head of Waikerikikari Bay, called Otu tahu ao by Moki, there is a cave called Te Ana Kai Nehu. Here Moki's warriors set to to eat a meal of dried barracouta presented by a chief Hikatutu. Whakuku, also a chief, received the scraps, but so disgusted was he that he turned to his friends and exclaimed, "Hold tight to the fish dust!" and so originated the name of the cave. It was at this bay that the chief Mahi-Ao-Tea observed enchanted black pine trees (Te-Aita-Nga-A-Hine-Mate-Roa), enchanted ti trees (Te-Ti-A-Tau-Whete-Kui) and enchanted broadleaf trees (Te Papa-To-A-Mauheke) dancing and embracing each other. Was it the effects that the fishbone dust caused to Mahi-Ao-Tea?

Okaruru or Goughs Bay shows the ruins of an extensive pa over which Hereford cattle now wander. The bay is, very tapu and the Maoris prefer not to live there. Goughs Bay Maoris were affected by the Kai Huanga Feud, and later by Te Rauparaha's raids. Two lots of treasure are traditionally buried in the creek covered by the tapu laid by respective tohungas. "But safe as the Holy Grail from the eyes of the base and guilty—Lie, the buried wakas of Hiwi, the treasures of the fallen Ngai Tahu".—by H. C. Jacobsen, 1893.

At Paua Bay, south of Goughs Bay, overlooking Fisherman's Bay, can be seen the ruins of the ancient pa of Nga Toko Ono.

Tradition preserved by the Morioris of the Chatham Islands records that a people from Banks Peninsula came in their midst, and were welcomed by Marupo, the Moriori chief. The new arrivals were prevailed upon to give over cannibalism. Certainly coastal features of Banks Peninsula were known by name when the Rev. Te Kooti Te Rato of Rapaki visited the Chathams. The former occupants of Nga Toko Ono are said to have arrived at Wharekauri (Chathams) as the result of an inter-tribal quarrel, in which their chief Tira had been slain. page 128They were no doubt Maoris of the Ngati Mamoe Tribe. Some accounts say they belonged to the Manuka Pa at Halswell, near Christchurch, prior to going to dwell at Nga Toko Ono, but it does appear they were the section of the Ngati Mamoe ousted from Manuka by the sons of the Ngai Tahu chief, Te Rangi Whakaputa, or we may have had more definite knowledge of Nga Toko Ono pa. According to the late Tame Green of Tuahiwi, a section of the natives living near Akaroa slew a woman named Hinerau of the Waitaha Tribe, and as a result of that deed, were forced to migrate to the Chatham Islands by a canoe named Matokoke.

At Long Bay No 1, over the hills from Akaroa, stood Parakakariki Pa, the principal stronghold of the Ngati Mamoe on Banks Peninsula. Parakakariki is situated on the south side of the bay on the spur above the Narbey homestead. It is only two miles away from Nga Toko Ono, which is further north. As Parakarariki was captured from the Ngati Mamoe for the Ngai Tahu Tribe by Moki in his campaign on Banks Peninsula, it is remarkable that no reference has been handed down of Nga Toko Ono at the same period. When the Ngai Tahu warriors were approaching Parakaraiki by land from Gough's Bay, several canoes of Ngati Mamoe were observed fishing off Fisherman's Bay. Moki dangled his white mere over the cliffs, but the action of the Ngai Tahu chief was not observed by the fishermen, and Whakuku was sent ahead to reconnoitre. He signalled back his observations, and Parakakariki was captured at dawn with great slaughter. Many prisoners were taken. The chief of the Ngati Mamoe, Te Ao Tu Tahi, was slain by Mahi Ao Tea and his son Uruhanga was speared by Whakuku.

Sleepy Cove, Stony Bay and Flea Bay have yielded many curios. At Flea Bay can be seen the ruins of an old Ngati Mamoe Pa called Pae Karoro, which was captured for the Ngai Tahu by Tutakakahihura, one of Moki's warriors. This pa is also known as Pohatu Pa. Stone which figured strongly in the ramparts can be plainly observed at the present time. The site is on the hillside overlooking the beach on its south side.

The small bay, known as Damons Bay, to the north of the North Head of Akaroa Harbour, gives evidence of visits by Maori fishermen. Te Ruahine Point at Akaroa Head has been corrupted to Truini Point. The South Head of Akaroa Harbour is named Timu Timu. Te Ruahikihiki pa standing inside Whakamoa Bay, was occupied by that famous chief prior to his moving on to Orariki Pa at the outlet of Lake Waihora (Ellesmere). Heavy inter-tribal fighting took place around Island Bay (Whakaki). The island which gives the bay its name is Motu-ngarara. An old Ngati Mamoe pa once existed at Island Bay. Between Island Bay and Long Bay No. 2, on a wind-swept point, there is a cave named Te Ana page break
Otago Heads from the North Spit Looking Towards Taiaroa Head. The Maori Kaingas of the Whaling Days (collectively) since known as Otakau, situated on the sand covered hill in the immediate right distance of the picture.

Otago Heads from the North Spit Looking Towards Taiaroa Head. The Maori Kaingas of the Whaling Days (collectively) since known as Otakau, situated on the sand covered hill in the immediate right distance of the picture.

page 129 Tukete—one of the few places where Maori dead received water-burial in the South Island. Tukete was a celebrated explorer of the Rapuwai Tribe.

Peraki, the site of Captain George Hempelman's whaling activities in 1835, despite the fact that it is the best harbour on the south-western part of Banks Peninsula, for some reason which we know not, was not much frequented by the Maoris. The next bay, Robinhood, known to the Maoris as Maherua, was used extensively by the Maoris when catching shark and hapuka. The creek and raupo swamp abounded with eels. The extent of the area on which Maori ovens can be seen is surprising, as in olden times this bay must have been difficult of access.

At Magnet Bay was situated an old pa called Makara, and at Tumbledown Bay (Te Ngaio) an old burial-ground. Te Ngaio was thoroughly searched for relics by Sir Julius Von Haast and his assistant Mr Fuller, and has been a happy hunting-ground for collectors of curios ever since.

Ikoraki (Hikurangi) Bay (the whaling station of Captain Price of 1840) once possessed a pa called Ka-te-raki, practically all traces of which have disappeared through the activities of curio hunters with their spades and shovels. When Europeans first came to the bay, only one Maori with his wife and children were dwelling there. Tokoroa Bay has several caves which gave temporary shelter to Maori fishermen. Oauhau Bay was the site of a whaling station started by Phillip Ryan in 1839. When Europeans gave over whaling at Oauhau Bay, known also as Goashore, the Maoris took over and worked in a desultory fashion until comparatively modern times. The spring up the valley is named after the Ngai Tahu warrior, Moki. The correct name of Price's Head at Oauhau is Moki Point, also known as Nga Roimata o rehua. Nga pua is the fishing ground near Oauhau Bay.

Phillip Ryan of Oauhau, married Mary, the daughter of George Tuwhia (Big Fellow) of Port. Levy. She escaped at the fall of Kaiapohia; fleeing to Taumutu. Mrs Phillip Ryan used to grind wheat for other Maoris on a small mill, the gift of Mr Deans of Riccarton. Her descendants are still to be found in the several native settlements of Canterbury.