Wednesday, June 30, 2010
One Mokau Morning
I almost sailed right by Maniaroa Marae on my drive from New Plymouth to Hamilton a couple of weeks ago. It was a cold, wet Sunday morning just after 9am and I was deep in thought - thinking about the little village of Mokau that I had passed through a few minutes before.
But just as I was about to swerve around a corner, I caught a glimpse of the deep red-brown carvings on the hillside to my right. I ground to a stop, reversed and took these photographs from the roadside. They're not as clear as I would have liked because they were taken long-distance, but they do give an idea of what a handsome set of buildings they are.
Maniaroa sits within the Ngati Maniapoto Rohe, just north of Mokau and just south of Awakino in the Waitomo District. It's a wild, windswept coastline with big seas that reminded me very much of the South Island's West Coast. I have read since, that some of the Tainui crew disembarked at Mokau and found shelter in a cave. Just south of that point, at Maniaroa Marae, the canoe's anchor stone is now embedded in concrete.