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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Maketu History


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Maketu History

Maketu history begins with the first human settlers arriving in New Zealand (Aotearoa) round 1350a.d. when the Te Arawa canoe landed many Maori settled in Maketu while some continued their journey inland using the Kaituna River as far as Rotorua. In 1769 the Britsh explorer Caption James Cook sailed passed Maketu shortly following Cook’s arrival in New Zealand, whalers, trader , and missionaries began to arrive. And the prosperous Maori settlement of maketu was in their sight. The abundant fishing grounds, easy access to timber and flax, and rich in agricultural land made Maketu a prime location.


Maketu is named after the ancient kumera (sweet potato) pit in Hawaiki, the mythical place where, according to Maori oral tradition, the M?ori sailed from.


History of Papamoa Hills


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History of Papamoa Hills

Papamoa Hills Regional Park was New Zealand’s first regional park opened outside of wellington and Auckland, the attraction is the seven historic pa sites that dot the hills. Known as Te Rae o Papamoa to the Maori translated to ‘the forehead of the woman who is the hills’ with the peak of the hills reaching 224 metres above sea level offering good views in all directions making this area strategically important to the local tribes, making it possible to control the south-eastern access to Tauranga Moana and the coastal strip down to Maketu.


Karangaumu Pa, at the summit of the hills, was a defensive pa. "In times of attack and battles when it used to be heavily occupied and there'd be over 2000 warriors here." One of the other pas, Patangata (towards the ocean from the summit), was where the women and children would head in times of battle.


With the Western Bay of Plenty being a food basket, Maori settlement began in Papamoa around the 1400s, where for the next 300 years the people prospered, harvesting their crops and fisheries, occupying and abandoning sites in accordance with the kumara cycle and soil fertility.


Today Papamoa Hills has over 80,000 visitors every year with the walking track passing through pine forest up to the open ridge. 


The Legend of Mauao


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The Legend of Mauao 

 

There was once a hill with no name who lived on the edge of the Hautere forest. This nameless was a pononga (slave) to the great chiefly mountain, Otanewainuku. To the southwest was the shapely form of Puwhenua, a beautiful hill, clothed in all the fine greens of the ferns and shrubs and trees of the forest of Tane.


The nameless one was desperately in love with Puwhenua. However, her heart already belonged to Otanewainuku. There seemed like no hope for the lowly slave. In despair the nameless one decided to end it all by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean, Te Moananui a Kiwa. Calling on the patupaiarehe, the people with magical powers who dwelled in the forests of Hautere, pononga asked them to plait the ropes with their magic and then haul him down towards the ocean. Chanting their song they began to haul the nameless one slowly towards the water, gouging out the valley where the river Waimapu now flows. They followed the channel past Hairini, past Maungatapu and Matapihi and finally past Te Papa to the water's edge.


By this time it was very close to day break. The sun rose fixing the nameless one to that place. Being people of the night, the patupaiarehe fled back to the shady depths of the Hautere forests, before the light of the sun descended upon them.


The patupaiarehe gave the name Mauao to this mountain which marks the entrance of Tauranga Moana. This means caught by the morning sun. In time, he has assumed greater mana than his rival Otanewainuku. Today he is known by many as Mount Maunganui, however to the Maori people he is still known as Mauao. 


The Story of Mount Tarawera


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The Story of Mount Tarawera

Before 10 June Eruption

Humans from all around the world would come in crowds to see the legendary Pink and White Terraces – once named the 8th wonder of the world. Although it was a long journey, they couldn’t get enough of what they saw making this area a tourism “hot spot” so, in 1873, hotels were built to house the visitors coming near and far, it has been estimated that the annual income for village residents reached £4000 each during these times.

The Eruption

In the early hours of 10 June, people awoke to earthquakes, lighting, and fountains of molten lava and columns of smoke and ash that rose as high as 10 km. The eruption lasted six hours and caused enormous destruction with approximately 120 people losing their life. 17 km - long rift split Mt Tarawera continued as far as Waimangu, covering the land with millions of tonnes of ash and debris, an entire village was buried known today as the buried village which is a popular tourist attraction. Lakes were changed, bushes were crushed and a new geothermal valley was created with the eruption of Mt Tarawera being recorded the largest in New Zealand where the roar of the eruption could be heard as far as Christchurch!


The legend of Mt Tarawera – The Phantom Canoe

The story begins in the eerie shadow of Mt Tarawera, with its “burnt peak” where the mountain casts a ghostly shadow in the wintry sun. Despite the eeriness of that morning, the accounts from eyewitnesses aboard the tourist vessel were all clear and consistent.


"The watchers had no difficulty in discerning the phantom craft's double row of occupants, one row paddling and the other standing wrapped in flax robes, their heads bowed and, according to Maori eyewitnesses, their hair plumed as for death with the feathers of the huia and the white heron. To the terrified Maori aboard the tourist vessel, these were the souls of the departed being ferried to the mountain of the dead. But all local Maori knew there was no war canoe on the lake, and no such craft, ever existed.
If not for multiple eyewitness accounts and evidence, the story of the phantom canoe would have remained just another story of embellishment or legend." --- Ronald Jones 

 

Tarawera Today

Today, Lake Tarawera is oneof 18 clean and pristine lakes in the Rotorua region among charming scenery and lies underneath the remarkable Mount Tarawera itself. Several walking tracks surround lake Tarawera, including the spectacular Tarawera Falls, plunging 65 meters down the cliff face that was believed to be shaped from the poring larva of the Tarawera eruption. 

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