History of the Porahu
The Porahu is a ragged farm-let situated approximately 5 miles north of the small settlement of Rangitukia. It comprises of about 1200 acres and boarders the meandering Maraehara stream to the West.
The farm-lets of Te Arawhata and Waitaiko are to the north, and the rugged hills and waterfalls of Te Awakari are to the East.
This isolated, lonely, yet tranquil land which can only be accessed by farm bikes and horses during winter months, is part of the “Whenua a Ruawaipu” (Land of Ruawaipu).
Our ancestor Ruawaipu is a direct descendent of the Seafarer “Toi-Kai-Rakau” who arrived on our shores from motherland ‘Hawaiiki” during 1150AD.
For many years Ruawaipu and her husband Whatiua-Kaitangata, occupied the land mass which incorporates the area between the Waiapu River to the South and Cape Runaway to the North.
The Earliest known occupant/s of the Porahu were ‘Uenuku Tewhana’, his younger brother Hirau and sister Ruaoterau, siblings of Tuiti Matua.
The period of occupancy is yet unknown, however it would have been during the period when:
A The Ngaoho tribe were driven out of Kawakawa-mai-tawhiti and Whare kahika by the forces of Ngaituere. They were returning from Uawa on a mission to reclaim the land of their ancestor Tamatea Upoko.
B The murder of Poroumata at the hands of Ngati-Ruanuku in the area of whareponga/Tuparoa, whereby forcing the parents of the Great warrior Tu Whakairiora to flee to Opotiki.
C The might of Hauiti ruled over the area of Uawa and Whangara-mai-tawhiti.
It is believed that the Pa of Uenuku Tewhana was in and around the area known as Nga Kauere.
The next recorded occupation of the Porahu was by our tipuna ‘Karuwai” or ‘Karuai’,
Karuwai was the youngest son of Tuterangiwhiu (First son of the great warrior Tuwhakairiora and the celebrated Ruataupare).
Like his father Tuterangiwhiu, Karuwai was a great warrior in his own right and furthermore a huge man, well over 8 feet tall. Some say 10 feet is more realistic.
Owing to ongoing family disputes, in particular with his older brothers Tamakautuku and Kopuni, Karuwai decided to leave their family settlement in Horoera and traveled overland to waiomatatini. On his overland trek he arrived at the Porahu and decided to call it home for a very long time.
The ‘Taapu a Karuwai’ wash tub of Karuwai can be found deep in the hills of the Porahu where the north branch of the Makawakawa stream begins.
Karuwai’s “okiokinga” ‘private settlement’ was said to have been on the banks of the Maraehara stream, approximately 100 meters north of the mouth of the Makawakawa stream. (A present large pine tree grows nearby)
The era of Karuwai would have been Pre-Pakeha days, probably circum. early or mid 1700 AD.
Under the auspice of Paratene Ngata, (Father of Sir Apirana) at the turn of the century, the land mass East of the Maraehara stream was sub-divided into small farm-lets. Paa Korou (Old Joe Fox - Te Iharaira Pokiha) and Totorewa Green were instrumental in surveying these farm-lets.
Paa Korua was rightfully offered the Porahu, and humbly he accepted (Paa Koroua’s whakapapa directs back to the first known occupant’s Uenuku Tehwana.)
Paa Koroua and his wife Te Waimatao ‘Heneriette Karaka’ toiled, cultivated and farmed this rugged land.
It was here at the Porahu that both pioneers were eventually laid to rest.
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