Friday, May 1, 2009

An Island Legend

Horomaka Island, Port Levy, Banks Peninuslar, Canterbury. March 2009. Ajr
This is little Horomaka Island in Port Levy on Banks Peninsular – a place of special significance to the Maori of Koukourarata Runanga. It’s a small, pine-covered island that, according to legend provides shelter for a giant octopus that lives beneath it, guarding the coastline between Banks Peninsular and the Marlborough Sounds. Horomaka was named after the great war canoe, Makawhiua that headed a Ngai Tahu contingent into Canterbury seeking revenge against Tutekawa, who had killed the wives of Tuahuriri. The initial assault failed (horo) hence Horomaka. Today the Department of Conservation in consultation with Koukourarata Runanga, is drawing up a Restoration Plan aimed at replanting native vegetation on the island. An archaeological report has already been carried out and discussions are underway with the local community to assess the best approach.

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