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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. 

    1. 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.
    1. Te 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.
    1. 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)
    1. Waitaha: Well known area for eeling expedition. Like Te Taapu a Karuwai it has a deep papa-rock pool.
    1. 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.
    1. Nga 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.
    1. Taiapa 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.
    1. Whanau Urupa (Family grave yards) many stories have already been written of this very special location.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
    1. Te Pramu a hopa: Hopa Hemara Tukairangi’s hut was situated here next to his plum tree.
    1. Te Waerenga: A plum tree grew in the paddock on the flat close to the makawakawa steam.
    1. Te 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 bygone eras.  
    1. Te 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 time.
    1. The 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
    1. 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.
    1. Te 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.
    1. Wahi Kaukau: (Our favourite swimming hole in the Maraehara) Where William Fox (Son of Hune almost drowned)
    1. Ngangarapapa: Favourite pig hunting grounds. Steep and impenetrable ridges. (Please refer to more information in photograph No.2.)

    1. Nga piki a hopa (Hopa’s fig trees)

      These old fig trees were grown by old Hopa Hemara 

    1. Totaranui

      Grassy flats above the maraehara creek.

      Massive totara trees once grew in this area hence the name Totaranui. 

    1. Huritanga

      A very important land mark during our up-bringing at Porahu. When mum or anyone for that matter left home for short or long term ventures, (for the day for shopping or away on a long holiday) it was at this point they would be seen last when departing of seen first upon their return.

      Returning from shopping was exciting, the thoughts of lollies and other items purchased from the shop.

      When departing, it left a sense of emptiness deep within. The isolation of our homestead added to the situation.

      The ‘huritanga’ was especially exiting during Christmas time when the family returned in droves for a well earned holiday with many goodies. 

    1. Ngangarapapa

      A favourite pig-hunting location. Its name derives from the many types of insects encountered when we ventured deep within its rough terrain.

      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 completed. 

    1. Pukerangiora

      The hill/ridge which runs from the creek of Mangarangiora to Nga-kauere. (Please refer to information under photograph No.1) 

    1. Mangarangiora

      The small creek to the base of Ipuarongo. 

     7       Ipuarongo

          The hill facing porahu 

  1.    Taumata-whakanga:

      (Please refer to information for Photograph No.1)

by Uncle Bino

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