Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Northern Stop.

It was a quiet Saturday morning in May when I happened upon a sunny valley at Oue, on State Highway 12 between Waimamaku and Omapere in the Southern Hokianga in the Far North of the North Island. I was on my way to Herekino when I spied this small marae on the side of the road.
It’s Whakamaharatanga Marae, home to the Ngati Hine, Patu Pinake, Kainga Mataa, Parewhero hapu of the Te Rarawa iwi. I sat on the grassy verge for some time, soaking up the sun and listening to sounds and voices coming from the cluster of little houses that snuggle up beside the marae. I was hoping someone would come out for a chat but in the end, I never saw a soul. That was so often the case on my travels around New Zealand in April and May. I guess I was always on the road too early for most people; but I always enjoyed my stops nonetheless – brief glimpses into little communities that in many cases, seemed forgotten by time.

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