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Lore and history of the South Island Maori

Port Cooper or Whangaraupo — (Bay of the Raupo Reeds)

page 57

Port Cooper or Whangaraupo
(Bay of the Raupo Reeds).

Port Cooper or Lyttelton Harbour, the spacious inlet some eight miles in length, was known to the Maoris as Whangaraupo. Prior to the raids of Te Rauparaha and his warriors from Kapiti Island, near the beginning of last century, its shores carried a fair Maori population.

The northern headland at the entrance to Port Cooper called by Europeans, Godley Head, on which the lighthouse, built in 1865 stands, bore the Maori name of Awaroa. The range of hills extending from Godley Head to Evan's Pass, where the Lyttelton to Sumner Road passes, bore the name Mahoenui.

Gollan's Bay lies below Evan's Pass. Gollan's Bay is named after Donald Gollan, overseer for Captain Thomas who was the real founder of the Canterbury Settlement, an honour commonly but erroneously given to John Robert Godley. East of Gollan's Bay and overlooking Fern Bay can easily be seen the ramparts of an old Ngai Tahu pa called Otokitoki (place of the axes). This pa derived its water supply from a spring on the slopes of a hill on its western side. The spring still functions and benefits European cattle. From Otokitoki pa can be seen practically the whole of Pegasus Bay to the north, and the coastline south towards the Long Look Point (Panau). This, together with its proximity to the Harbour, would account for its situation.

About half-a-mile west of Otokitoki near Evans Pass can be seen an outpost trench, no doubt to check an assault from the west or by way of Sumner. Otokitoki was claimed for the Ngai Tahu Tribe by Te Koromata and others at the sitting of the Native Land Court before Chief Judge F. D. Fenton at Christchurch on April 28th, 1868, (unsuccessfully, because a plan was not furnished as required by the Court).

Te Awa Parahi is the original name of Gollon's Bay, and the hill above it is Manuka piri (close clinging tree). The site of the now disused Zig Zag of the Lyttelton to Sumner road was called Tapuwae haruru. Te Awatoetoe is the bay at the Military Barracks below the road.

Urumau is the name of the cave at Sticking Point. In his reports Captain Thomas gives Ohinehou as the Maori name of Lyttelton, and to the hills overlooking Lyttelton he gives the names of Okete upoko (place of the basket of heads). page 58Ohinehou probably, however, only applied to Salts Gully and its stream.

When Te Rangi whakaputa and his warriors of the Ngai Tahu Tribe captured the locality of Lyttelton from the Ngati Mamoe, he adorned the hill points behind the present town with enemy heads. That is the origin of the name Oketeupoko. Te Ana o Huikai is the locality near Naval Point, and is named after Huikai, a Ngai Tahu chief who occasionally rested there when journeying from his own pa to Port Levy to see his son Tautahi. Tautahi dwelt at a pa which was situated at the junction of Free's Creek and the Avon River, opposite the Bricks Monument at Christchurch. Erskine Point on the west side bears the name of Tapoa.

Mount Pleasant the trig-station hill at the rear of Lyttelton bears the Maori name of Tauhinu-Korokio. On this hill near the present tea house stood the old Ngati Mamoe Pa called Tauhinu Korokio. When the early settlers came in the fifties of last century the posts of its stockades were still visible.

Corsair Bay is Motu Kauti iti and Cass Bay is Motu Kauati rahi—both names derived from the kaikomako trees.

Just as Captain Thomas saved from oblivion the Maori place names around Lyttelton, we must give credit for the knowledge of the others around Port Cooper to the late Canon J. W. Stack.

The Maoris found Ohinehou or Lyttelton a convenient place to trade with the Pilgrim Settlers, and built for themselves whares on the Custom House Reserve. On March 8th, 1858, Mr J. W. Hamilton who at that period was Customs Officer, requested the Provincial Government to have the structures removed to the foreshore near Erskine Point in the vicinity of St. David Street. On August 23rd, 1858, a commencement was made with the removal. The completed whares at St. David Street on December 22nd, 1858 were the subject of a forcible letter from Messrs Cookson Bowler and Company. The firm objected to inflammable structures so near their stores.

Finding that the Maori camping site interfered with the Lyttelton Tunnel Works, Mr T. W. Maude, Provincial Government Secretary, on February 22nd, 1861, gave the Maoris notice to quit. The notification was delivered to Paori Taki and Wiremu Te Uki, but the Maoris removed the whares on March 14th, 1861, only at the earnest pleading of their friend the Rev. James Buller, Wesleyan minister.

On July 8th, 1861, Mr Walter Buller of the Native Department approached the Provincial Government for grants of land at Lyttelton and Christchurch on which to build Maori Hostels. Mr Buller found some opposition from the Provincial Governmen on the grounds of some Maoris using their former camping ground for immoral purposes. Mr Buller writing on July 15th page 591861, suggested a reserve on the little promontory near Dampier Bay as a hostel there would be away from European evil influence.

On August 20th, 1861, Mr Buller again drew the attention of the Provincial Government to the fact that a Maori hostel was very necessary at Lyttelton, and pointed out that the Wellington, Nelson and Otago Governments had acted in their districts.

J. Hanmer purchased land at Erskine Bay, Lyttelton from the Canterbury Association for £14. The Provincial Government purchased this land for the purposes of a Maori Hostel Reserve for £250 and it was duly proclaimed as Native Reserve 232 on July 16th, 1863.

Tenders for the erection of the Lyttelton Maori Hostel were called for during February 1865. The plan was prepared by Mr Igglesden of Lyttelton. The tenders received were Salkeld £290, Weastell £286, Buist £257 and England Bros £219, the last mentioned being accepted.

On March 3rd, 1865, J. W. Hamilton, General Government Native Commissioner notified the Provincial Government that the hostel was in course of erection and requested pressure on the Lyttelton Municipal Council as the rats from the Lyttelton Slaughterhouse were causing damage. On March 7th, 1865, a letter was served on the Lyttelton Municipal Council.

The Hostel was completed, and furnished in June 1865, at a cost of £500. With the advent of better roading and railway facilities the necessity for a Maori Hostel at Lyttelton vanished. With the consent of the General Government and at the valuation set down by Mr J. W. Hamilton namely £380 the land and buildings were purchased by the Canterbury Provincial Government. The money was paid over to the Maori agent Rev. J. W. Stack on July 18th, 1876, and he wisely bought lands for the Maoris concerned. Sections 25633, 25634, and 25635 at Waipuna Springs, Little River were purchased for the Rapaki and Port Levy Maoris, while land elsewhere was obtained for the Kaiapoi natives.

As a result of the removal of all restrictions on the sale of Native Lands by the Native Lands Act of 1909, reiterated in subsequent Acts, these reserves at Waipuna have passed for ever into European hands. These are not the only reserves that have disappeared. All the efforts of the Hon. William Rolleston, Canon Stack, and Native Ministers up to the time of the Hon. R. J. Seddon have gone by the board, and the Maoris are fast becoming a landless people.

The late James Cowan put the matter tersely in the columns of the Christchurch "Star-Sun" of October 4th, 1940; "Maori reserves have a way of dwindling, or disappearing in a perfectly legal manner. With the law-abiding pakeha all things are possible."

Rapaki has a chapter to itself, and to the west of that place is Taukahara. The site of the disused old Governor's page 60Bay wharf is Pukekaroro, and the locality of the present wharf is Otomiro and south thereof is Te Awa Whakataka. Over two hundred years ago between Governor's Bay and Allandale stood a palisaded pa with ramparts belonging to the Ngati Mamoe. It was captured and occupied by the Ngai Tahu Tribe under Manuwhiri, a son of Te Rangi Whakaputa.

Manuwhiri had many sons but only one daughter, so he called the fort Ohinetahi (place of the one daughter). A prophecy said history would be repeated. T. H. Potts the naturalist occupied the locality in Early Canterbury days. T. Potts senior had many sons including T. H. Potts but only one daughter. A memorial window in St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church, Governor's Bay is in memory of the only sister of T. H. Potts.

At the time the Maori kainga of Ohinetahi was established a semi-fortified post was constructed on the site of the present Governors Bay School high above the bay. Its `name was Whakataka, a name that also appears at Stewart Island.

Cass Peak to the rear of Ohinetahi is Orongomai (the place of the voices). Ngati Mamoe refugees were discovered there by the sound of their voices and slaughtered. Cooper's Knob is called Omawete because Mawete, the Ngati Mamoe chief, was killed there. Otuhokai is the Senecio Cliff near Coopers Knob. Somewhere nearby a valued greenstone heirloom was hidden by a Rapaki native when fleeing from Te Rauparaha's scouts in 1831. This prize awaits discovery.

Te Tara o te Rakitiaia is the Conical Hill near Gebbies Pass. The summit of Gebbies Pass which leads over from the Head of the Bay to Lake Waihora (Ellesmere) is Kawa taua. At Kawa taua a rite was practised by warriors proceeding to battle.

Te Rapu (searching) is the main valley at Teddington and Wai aki (dashing water) is the name of the secondary valley which has the bold cliff face of Parimata looking down upon it. Otarahaka is the Devils Staircase, a double wall of step-like rocks running over the summit of Dyke Hill.

The Peninsula between Allandale and Teddington is Kaitangata and the Peninsula separating the Head of the Bay from Charteris Bay is Moe puku. The Maori name of Charteris Bay is Te Wharau and Mount Herbert is Te Ahu Patild. On Mount Herbert once stood a Ngati Mamoe Pa, with its outpost near to the Kaituna Pass.

Church Bay almost opposite to Lyttelton is Kai-o-ruru. The next bay is Diamond Harbour and then comes Purau at one time a native reserve and settlement of the Te Rangi Whakaputa hapu of Ngai Tahu. In 1857 the population was twelve. The majority of the Maoris of Whangaraupo are down in the census as either Wesleyan or Anglican, with the former page 61in the majority. Purau Maoris were all Roman Catholic.

The Purau Reserve was crown granted to Wikitoria Nohomutu on April 18th, 1868. The Purau Native Reserve was set aside in the terms of the Port Cooper Purchase, and it was surveyed by Mr O. Carrington assisted by Tiemi Nohomutu, Aptera Kautuanui, Tami Tukutuku, Tiemi Kohorau in the presence of Captain Joseph Thomas on July 25th, 1849. The reserve was abolished in the nineties.

In the fifties the Maori shearers Teone Watene, Pukenui Wekipiri were in the employ of the Messrs Rhodes of Purau. The name Purau would indicate usually in Maori translation a two barbed spear or fork, but there is some reason to believe it refers to a traditional mussel basket. According to the late Paori Taki (native assessor of Rapaki), Purau was the abode of a monstrous taniwha whose name was Tuna Tuoro.

Three streams enter Purau Bay, on the west is the Purau, in the centre the Waituturi and on the east the Te Wairou. Traces of the old Purau pa can still be seen on the west side of the bay near the larger stream. The grave of a chief is visible with railings around and a small memorial erected by pakehas. The memorial bears the. inscription He Whakama-Mo Rangatiroa-Te Whakaraupo-I Mate I Tetau 1850. The old time cultivations of the pa were situated on section 2156 near the division of the Purau Stream. The Pa covered 10 acres and its owners in 1867 were Kapetara, Te Wakeua, Pita, Paora, Paure, Totiui, Epapara, Peue, Paoraki, and Te Oti.

The road bordering on the east and south sides of the Purau Reserve (alongside the creek, section 35) was abandoned on December 6th, 1866. That meant that 3 roods of ground was available for general use. Mount Evans overlooks Purau on the east; Rhodes Monument, a hill of the fairies on the south; and on the west towers Mount Herbert (Te Ahu Patiki).

The rocky knob above where the original Greenwood Homestead stood was called Kokokonui. The east head of Purau Bay is Ohape and the west head is Te Ano o Kura. The island situated off the east headland of Paurau Bay is named Ripapa. The original name is lost in the mists of antiquity. It was a fort of the Ngai Tahu Tribe before the pakeha made similar use of it.

Before the Ngai Tahu possessed Ripapa it was the site of a pa of the Ngati Mamoe Tribe. Ripapa Island figures in the story of the Kai Huanga feud (Eat Relation), as the stronghold of Tau Nunu. The. Kaiapoi Maoris captured it, despite a warning given to its defenders by Matenga Taiaroa. This chief mercifully allowed many of the defenders to escape through his ranks.

Mr F. Strouts visited Ripapa Island in 1870 and made a plan of the Ripapa Island Maori fortress. This sketch now in the Canterbury Museum, shows that the pa had bastions placed page 62for flank defence, an escarpment was on the north-west side, as well as inner earthworks.

When the workmen were excavating for the pakeha forti-fications in 1888 an exceptionally beautiful greenstone axe was discovered. Two greenstone fish hooks (hei matau) were found at Ripapa and presented to the Canterbury Museum on May 6th, 1890.

The following persons of rank were slain at the fall of Ripapa Pa:—Pikoro, Tauakina, Kaihaere, Te Ata kahua kini, and the sisters of Te Maiharanui.

The high-handed action of the Hon. John Bryce and his coercive measures with the Maoris of Parihaka resulted in a large batch of native prisoners under the custody of Inspector Coleman of the Armed Constabulary being conveyed by the Government Steamer Hinemoa to Ripapa Island and imprisoned on September 28th, 1880. They were released by the Hon. W. Rolleston the next Native Minister in March 1881.

On his return to power the Hon. John Bryce a few months later brought Te Whiti, Tohu and others south and imprisoned them. Whakarukeruke and the warriors of Ripapa were the first of the Banks Peninsula Maoris to join up with Taiaroa's force which went in to assist the defenders of old Kaiapohia in 1831 against Te Rauparaha's men. Hatera Kotutekorinuku on October 8th, 1879, claimed to be the last descendant of the original Ngai Tahu owners of Ripapa Island.

Quarantine Island also known as Quail Island was known to the Maoris as Te Kawa kawa. A more modern Maori name is Otamahua. On March 20th, 1852, two Maoris, Tame and Petera claimed Quail Island on the grounds that it was not part of the Port Cooper Purchase. Wikitoria Nohomutu made a similar claim on her own behalf. Little Quail or Sandstone Island lying west of Quail Island was frequented by the Maoris for stone used in grinding.

The Shag Reef lying north-east of Quail Island is Kaimatarua. Little Port Cooper near the south head of Port Cooper bears the Maori name of Waitata. The cave on the east side of Little Port Cooper now used by pakeha fishermen was called Papa Koiro. The fissured cave on the west side of the bay is named Te Ana Ngati Mamoe as a party of that tribe were slain there by the Ngai Tahu Tribe. Purekerake is the blowhole. Adderley Head at the entrance of Whanga raupo on the south side bears the Maori name of Te Piaka.

When Captain Joseph Thomas was making the preparations for European settlement as on January 10th, 1850, he was employing 71 Maori labourers on the formation of the Lyttelton to Sumner Road. Some 33 hailed from the North Island, the rest belonged to local pas. Only once did the Maori workers go on strike, and that was because Mr Baker Polhill the foreman had sworn at them. Matters however were promptly and page 63amicably settled by Mr Donald Gollan, the superintendent of works.

The Maoris gave an enthusiastic welcome to Governor Gore-Browne when he arrived at Lyttelton on August 29th, 1860. The principal native speaker was Pita Te Hori of Kaiapoi, who, in addition to the usual speech of welcome, affirmed the loyalty of the Ngai Tahu Tribe and opposition to the strife occurring in the Taranaki. Sir George Grey as Governor was likewise welcomed at Lyttelton by the Maoris during January 1867, again Pita Te Hori was in the leading role. Sir George Grey had several native grievances placed before him in the form of petitions.

Governor Sir George Bowen was welcomed at Lyttelton by the Maoris on January 11th, 1869. The Maoris were led by Pita Te Hori of Tuahiwi. H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh was greeted on his arrival by H.M.S. Galatea on April 22nd; 1869. Pita Te Hori again occupied the leadership of the Maoris, and was supported by Matiaha Tiramorehu, Paori Taki, Ihaia Tainui and Ira Tihau in the speeches.

Governor Sir William Jervois was enthusiastically received by the Maoris led by Paori Taki on February 29th, 1883. Since that time many receptions have been held at Lyttelton (Ohinehou) and the Maoris domiciled along the shores of Whangaraupo have always been in the forefront in extending courtesy to distinguished visitors.