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Landmarks of Porahu
As the first generation
of the Porahu whanau begins to thin-out, valuable information on our
papa-kaenga need to be passed down the line.
Hence I have provided an
overview of key Porahu land marks and their significants.
This information is for
the next generation and generations to follow.
- Taumata-whakanga (This high point is where Dad would
rest his horse and dogs when he went mustering. He grew some pine
trees here to mark the point. Those pine trees are still visible today.
Taapu a Karuwai: A
deep papa-rock water fall where Karuwai (grandson of Tu Whakairiora)
would retire to and cleans himself after venturing from his comfort
zone of the Porahu to hunt for human to consume. Generally he would
target those who resided in and around Rangitukia.
- Puke-panana: name given by Te Iharaira Pokiha (Pa
Koroua) due to the growth of ‘Te Ure’ Maori banana in the area.
(The only child of Te Iharaira and Te Waimatao who died soon after birth
was buried at a secret location of Puke-panana. Aunty Mate Huatahi Kaiwai
was named after this only child)
- Waitaha: Well known area for eeling expedition.
Like Te Taapu a Karuwai it has a deep papa-rock pool.
- Tauhongia: This steep cliff pathway is a thoroughfare
use by warriors travelling overland to attend battles. As the weary
warriors returned from battle, they would ascend this steep cliff face
in close formation. At this point the women folks who travelled with
the war party would be place in a man, woman, man woman formation. Hence
the nose of each warrior were so close to the buttocks of the woman
folks they could actually smell their bottoms. Hence the name Tauhongia.
Kauere: These ancient
kauere trees are at lease a thousand years old. Kauere is another word
given to ancient puriri trees. It is said that when Uenuku-tewhana departed
his pa at Hicks Bay (Cir. 1575) he came to live here. Maiden fern arrangements
and land formation in and around the area indicates some form of early
human occupation. During the 1940’s our dad did try to grow grapes
here. This is still evident by the No.8 wire nailed onto the old trees.
This area was well known to us during our up-bring at Porahu as when
we went out looking for our horses, 9 time out of 10 they would be resting
here under the cool shade of these monstrous trees.
Tariana: ‘Ram paddock’
This was a fenced in enclosure where dad would keep his prized rams.
Its land marks were a cluster of old manuka tree which grew conspicuously
on the centre ridge.
Urupa (Family grave
yards) many stories have already been written of this very special location.
- Whare-runga: House on the higher level of land)
This is the location of the old house. Cr. 1946 the old house was abandon
for the new (current) house. A picture of the old house was draw
by brother Joe Joe. This is also where our main orchard was situated.
Plums, apples, peaches, pear, oranges, cherries, figs and quince.
- Whare-raro (House in the lower vicinity of the
farm) Kawhia Milner son of Te Waimatao by a pakeha ‘Hillman’ lived
in this single room batch. Our stock yards (Sheep and Cattle) were situated
in this area.
Pramu a hopa: Hopa
Hemara Tukairangi’s hut was situated here next to his plum tree.
Waerenga: A plum tree
grew in the paddock on the flat close to the makawakawa steam.
puna o te ngahere:
A common water hold. The icy cold spring was sort after. The Porahu
homestead had three main water supplies all underground springs. According
to Tohunga Whare Clarke, in the mist of time an old tohunga lived in
the forest undergrowth next to the spring…People would bring the sacred
man food…They would place the food by the spring and walk away…
The tapu of the tohunga was such that those who turned back to take
a curious peep at the old man eating died soon after. Also Whare also
claimed that the two large boulders to the base of the spring were place
there to protect old whakapapa ‘genealogy’ documents from those
Maunga a Hatana (The
hill of Satan) Named by Dad appropriately as many accidents occurred
in and around its very steep and treacherous tracks during mustering
skyline ridge: The
skyline ridge which forms the boundary of the Porahu to the East are
the locations of many old Maori pas. To the north of Taumata whakanga
is the Huriwai’s farm ‘Te Arawhata’. The Eastern boundary
ridge backs onto Te Awakari and its water-falls. To the southern boundary
is ‘Hikareti and ipuarongo
- Puke-rangiora: A well know ridge where the great chief
Tu Terangi-huaki died in his old age after returning from battle. There
is also a baby buried in a lone grave on the mount of Pukerangiora.
okiokinga o Karuwai :
The location where Karuwai lived. The actual location had been swept
away over many years by the flooding of the Maraehara creek. The pine
tree on the banks of the Maraehara are indicators where Karuwai resided.
Kaukau: (Our favourite
swimming hole in the Maraehara) Where William Fox (Son of Hune almost
- Ngangarapapa: Favourite pig hunting grounds. Steep
and impenetrable ridges. (Please refer to more information in photograph
piki a hopa (Hopa’s
John and Hune claims
that deep within the ravine of Ngangarapapa is a massive tree felled
many years ago by old Maori. It had been hewed out for the purpose of
a war canoe. But because of the difficulties of transporting the finish
product from its impenetrable location, the project was disbanded, half
by Uncle Bino
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