Na ratau I korero.
Ma tatau e tuhituhi
Te Iharaira Pokiha
Like his wife Waimatao, Te Iharaira was
a devoted Ringatu.(Religion began by Te Kooti Rikirangi)
Both our tipuna’s were spiritual people
in the true sense. Sister Mary and brothers June and John often talk
about our Pa Koroua and his exceptional sense and link to ‘Te ao
wairua’ spiritual realm’
Te Iharaira’s memoirs and character
were often recited by uncle Tipene Ngata.
“Tera tangata a Te Iharaira he tangata
pono. He tangata koi ki te whaka maori i nga haerengatanga o
te ao wairua”
“Te Iharaira was a religious individual
who demonstrated exceptional skills in interpreting the messages passed
on by those of the spiritual realm”
Story No. 1
He korero kehua
(A ghost story)
Brother John often talk about a time
when he and Pakoroua were riding home. Turning the ‘Huritanga’
their horse suddenly stopped. John turned to Pakoroua and asked.
He aha tena? “What is that?
Promptly that old koroua replied,,
“Ara e noho mai ra i roto
i nga whiro i ra wahi ra. Raua ko tana pipi kehua
“There sitting in that cluster of willow
trees across the river. He and his baby Ghost”.
- 2 -
Pakoroua egged their horse along.
As they made their way across the maraehara
creek , just below the Porahu homestead Pakoroua’s horse stopped.
Just in front of them were two ‘tutae-kehua’
‘Ghost droppings’ still fresh and smouldering.
One large and the other very small. John
wanted to disturb the ghost droppings.
“Ho mai to rakau hau hoihi, ki aua.
Maku e koroiroi nga tutae kehua ra”
“Give me your stick so I can stir the
“Auaatu kei haere mai raua i te
po nei kite natinati ia koe”
“Never mind, they might come at night
to choke you”
Pakoroua egged their horse until they
Story No. 2
He korero Kehua
(A ghost story)
Then there was the time, late in the
evening, Pakoroua went into the paddock near the ‘Waerenga’
to catch his horse. He had planned to ride and meet his drinking mates
at the Tikitiki pub that evening.
As he walked towards his horse, Pakoroua
noticed a person standing there, right next to his horse, one arm straddled
over the horses neck. The person gazed at Pakoroua.
Pakoroua noticed that the person’s
feet were not firm on the ground, they were floating in mid air.
Pa koroua realised it was a person not
of this world.
Calm as he always was Pakoroua said to
him “A kati kia koe to taua hoiho”
“Not a problem! you can have our horse”
Poor old fellow did not get to the pub
to see his mates that night.
- 3 -
Story No. 3
He korero Numia
(Story of Giants)
On another occasion he warned his mokopuna’s
of ‘Numia’ (Giant) danger.
“Te rongo koutou i te wheo a te
Numia, kia tere tonu ta koutou hoki mai ki te kaenga. Kore ka pou koutou
i te Numia i te kai”
“When you hear the whistle of the
Numia you must hurry home. otherwise he will consume you all.
“Kare ngaro ia koutou tona wheo.
He wheo roroa”
“You will not mistake his whistle.
It’s a long drawn-out whistle”
As his mokopunas (June, John, Rua and
Douglas) departed on their eeling escapade along the maraehara creek
they were very mind-full of the Numia.
As they left, Pa koroua secretly climbed
the hill above the home-stead and hid in the thick undergrowth overlooking
the maraehara creek near the large rocks known to the whanau as (Nga
toka i uta)
There Pakorou would let go with a loud
drawn-out whistle. Rua with his sharp senses would hear the first blast.
The second long blast was heard by all.
John call out, “He Numia! He Numia!
kia tere to tatau hoki kite kaenga.
Kore ka pou tatau i aia ki te kai!”
A Numia! A Numia! Quick we must
hurry on home. Else he will consume us!
Immediately there was a stampede. John,
Hune and Doug in front. Poor Rua was far at the rear.
Running through the swamp below the homestead,
John called out to June.
“Me tatari tatau kia Rua.
Kore ka mau aiai i te Numia”
“Let’s wait for Rua! In case the
Numia catches him.”
June called out, “Auaatu, waiho
aia he kai ma te Numia!”
“ Never mind! leave him behind for
the Numia to consume”
As they entered the house yelling and
creaming, Pa Koroua, who had just returned, called out.
- 4 -
“He aha tena!?
“What is the problem!?
He Numia! He Numia!
Rongo matau i tona wheo!”
“A Numia! A Numia! We heard his whistle!”
Rua was the last to arrive sobbing and
shivering. Pakoroua picked him up and comfort him.
Little did Rua know, the person who was
comforting him was in fact the Numia himself.
He Korero Turehu.
Turehu were a mystic race of people who
existed at the dawn of time. They were of human form with lower torso
of a cow.
They lived in the damp/dense undergrowth
of virgin forest which was rarely ventured by human.
Under the cover of heavy forest mist
they would venture out of their comfort zone to explore the forest floor.
They were rather shy and spoke their
Kite wao tu. Ko te tauri, ta roa tangengo, tae o tu, e kore rari”
’Reo turehu’ Turehu language
, The meaning has been lost in the mist of time’
Pakoroua and his two companions were
working on a boundary fence line deep in the Raukumara Ranges boarder
The forest mist was extremely thick in
the evening as they sat down in their make-shift nikau hut to play cards.
Each took their place around the table
when suddenly a stranger walked in. He sat at the table, close to the
Pa Koroua thought, this was so convenient.
Now we can play partners.
As the card game progressed, Pakoroua
accidentally dropped one of his cards to the floor.
- 5 -
Retrieving his card, Pakoroua peered
under the table towards his partner.
He immediately noticed something odd.
His partner lower torso was that of a
As the game progressed, Pakoroua’s
partner knew by the inquisitive expression on Pakoroua’s face that
he had been detected.
Gently he placed his cards face down
onto the table, arose, slowly exited the hut and disappeared into the
misty forest undergrowth.
The others asked Te Iharaira.
“He aha te mate a to hoa?”
“What is the problem with your partner?”
“Na te me ko mohio aia, kei te mohio
au, he aha aia.
Na reira aia e haere ai.”
It’s because he realised that I had
found out what he is. That is why he decided to leave”
“He hara aia i te tangata. He waewae
kau ke ona.”
“He is not human. He has the lower
torso of a cow.”
It was then they realised their encounter
with a turehu.
He korero purei kaari:
E purei kaari ana a Te Iharaira me
Te Iharaira and his friends were playing
Ka ki atu
a Te iharaira ki tetahi ona hoa.
Te Iharaira asked one of the players..
A kaati, he aha taahau?
And what do you have?
Ka whakahoki tera
Looking at his cards, he replied.
- 6 -
„Kei konei nga rangatira o ngatiporou.
Engari tetahi kei te ngaro.“
“I have the chiefs of Ngatiporou.
However, one is missing.”
Indicating 3 aces.
Engari pehea taahau?
And what do you have?
Te Iharaira replied,
“Kei konei nga tumou,
Engari, kei konei katoa ratau“
“I have the cooks. And they are all
Indicating a full house.
Ensuring his mokopuna’s becomes
of his own genes.
As we all know, my father Hoterene Karaka
(The whaangai of Te Iharaira and Waimatao) was in fact a grandson
of Waimatao from her daughter Mere Arihi. (Laid to rest at Te Aowera
cemetery. Base of Hikurangi. Whakapourangi road)
Te Iharaira was a very clever individual.
When their whaangai (Hoterene karaka)
became of age ’18 years’ he went to his mother (Makarita Jose
Pokiha’s) sister Peti Jose Lima and ask that she offer
her mokopuna (Edith May Hovell) as a wife for their whangai Hoterene
This, Te Iharaira knew would ensure the
mokopuna’s from the union (Through the Manuel Jose line) would
be of his own making. Peti and Makarita were the daughters of Manuel
Jose and his first wife Herekaipuke (Tapita)
Thirteen children were born of this union.
The naming of each one are interesting.
First Born was Joe Joe. Te Iharaira insisted
that the first born was named after him. Hence his name became Te Iharaira
- 7 -
The next to be born was a boy. He was
named Hune Poi Fox after mum’s step father Hune Poi. As a baby he
was referred to as Guy. Guy died during infancy. Mum claims that Guy
was real Pakeha with blue eyes.
Next was a girl. She was named Mere Arihi
after dad’s mother who died rather young giving birth to her baby
Mahue (Dads half brother) die
during infancy as a result of birth difficulties. He was the first to
be buried at the Porahu whanau cemetery.
After Mary a boy was born. He was named
Hune Poi Fox (See above).
Following Hune was another boy he was
named John Anderson. This was the name use by our grandmother (Mere
Arihi’s) brother Himiona Tinotahi when he joined the pioneer Maori
Battalion which went to Gallipolli.
Following John, another boy, he was named
‘Rua Huihui te mauhue’ This name came from our father’s half-brother
‘Mahue’ who died as a result of birth difficulties. (See above)
Following Rua another boy, he had red
hair, he was named Douglas Michael. The name was given to mum by two
religious visitors who visited her in hospital while she was giving
birth to Douglas.
Following Douglas was another boy. He
was named Berlin. The name was given by dad’s half brothers who were
members of the 28 Maori battalion during World war 2. (Watene Pahau,
Whare-raima Pahau and George Pahau)
Berlin unfortunately died during infancy.
Following Berlin was a girl. She was
named Derna, after a small Mediterranean town in Libya, North Africa.
Again a name from the war era and given by dads half brothers.
Following Derna a boy was born. He was
named ‘Kaura kite pakanga’
This in translation means ‘Kaura who
went to war’ Old Kaura (uncle Tricks) was the husband of our
Aunty Mate Kaiwai. Unfortunately little Kaura died during infancy.
Following Kaura, another boy was born.
He was given the name Kaura kite pakanga. (Brother’s John
and June has always maintained that the best Kaura died. I don’t believe
them. I don’t think the first Kaura would have looked after
the Porahu like the present Kaura)
- 8 -
After Kaura another boy ‘Me’’.(George
Kelly) Dad named me Houkamou Fox (After -
Te Iharaira Houkamou), The name remains on all my Maori land documents.
Dad also wanted to name me ‘Henry’ after his very close friend Nati
(Henry) Manuel. However, mum did the right thing by me and gave
me the name George Kelly. The name came from ‘Bobby’ or in Maori
‘Paapi’ whose real name was (George Kelly) He was the son
of Emma (Merearihi’s sister and her pakeha husband old George Kelly
an American fellow) Young George Kelly lived a the Porahu all his life.
The last of the whanau to be born was
a boy. He was named Mahiti Kinnaird. The name Mahiti is from the marae
at Maraehara. Mahiti was warrior companion of the formidable Karuwai
during the late 1600’s early 1700’s
The name Kinnaird is from mum’s father
Harry Kinnaird Hovell.
Kinnaird was the name of the ship our
grandfather was born on during his parents (Lieutenant Colonel
Dr Henry Charles Hovell and his wife Sarah) journey
from England to New Zealand. Cir. 1860’s