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Na ratau I korero. 

Ma tatau e tuhituhi 

Issue 2 

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,,

“He kehua!”   “A ghost” 

John replied

“kei whea?”   Where? 

“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 ghost droppings” 

Pakoroua replied,

“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 arrived home  

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.  

Story 4:

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 own language. 

“Whakatakoto. 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 of Hikurangi.  

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 entrance. 

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 cow. 

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?” 

Pakoroua replied.

“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. 

Story 5:

He korero purei kaari: “Card Game” 

E purei kaari ana a Te Iharaira me ona hoa.

Te Iharaira and his friends were playing cards (Poker) 

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 here” 

Indicating a full house. 

Story 8.

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 karaka.   

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 Pokiha Fox. 

                              -  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.

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 



                    Te Iharaira Pokiah Issue 2

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