Monday, October 19, 2009

A Northern Discovery

My time in the Far North (April-May this year) was a busy blur of hotel and travel guide business, photographs and unscheduled side-tracks down dusty, gravel roads leading to who-knows-where. I discovered all sorts of things that way - places I'd never been to before, places I knew nothing about. Sometimes I didn't even have to veer off the main roads; I just came upon new surprises quite by chance.
This was one of them - the delightful Te Kaiwaha Marae at Waiwhatawhata. I would have whizzed right by it had my attention not been caught by the yellow roadsign marking the Waiwhatawhata Stream. That was a lovely long name I HAD to have for my Maori Place Names Series, so I pulled up in a hurry - and found myself right outside the gates to pretty Te Kaiwaha Marae, tucked away, hidden from road view by thickets of harakeke (flax) and native trees. All I have been able to establish about the marae is that it is home to the Ngapuhi hapu (sub-tribe) Ngati Korokoro/Ngati Wharara of the Hokianga.

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