Monday, August 30, 2010

Maori Place Names - 73

Main Highway, Turakina
Near Whanganui
North Island
May 2010, Ajr

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Village Whare

Ohinemutu Maori Village on Rotorua's steaming lakefront, is one of my favourite places. I love wandering about the skinny streets, watching natural geothermal steaqm hissing up through gardens and gutters, the mud bubbling in nearby pools, the marae and the magnificent St Faith's Church. In among it all is this cute-as-a-button carved whare (house). I've always assumed it was part of one of the marae but on a recent visit, talking with one of the locals, they told me it is a private house that has been lovingly restored with a carved front and that someone does in fact live in it. It's such a lovely visual surprise, snuggled there among all the modern Western-stye housing. Wouldn't it be nice if more modern Maori considered doing this? How much more interesting our modern streets would look.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Portrait - 21

Tamaki Maori Village
June 2010, Ajr

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Maori Potatoes
On Sale
Taupo Market
June 2010. Ajr

Friday, August 13, 2010

To Market, To Market

The Rotorua Farmers' Market at Kuirau Park in Rotorua is somehow 'quintessential Rotorua.' Get down there early on a Saturday morning (in winter in this case) and the geothermal mist is rising, the smell of sulphur hangs in the air and an early guitar is strumming a few warm-up chords.

It's not a Maori market per se, but you'll find a wide range of traditional Maori kai favourites - puha, Rewena bread, steamed puddings, fresh kina, whitebait fritters, mussel patties and watercress bundled into big leafy bunches.

There are stalls selling Maori handcrafts (and a few imitations) and on the morning I went, back in June, there was a woman making korowai (cloaks), her fingers seemingly impervious to the cold as she wove feathers into her garment. The market has a wide range of fresh vegetables and a great atmosphere - definitely a must-visit if you're in town on a Saturday morning.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Entering Taranaki

As I left Whanganui recently, driving northwest to New Plymouth on the Surf Highway, I came upon this unusually picket-fenced marae down a side road. It's Waiokura Marae, located on Winks Road, just south of the small town of Manaia, which was settled in the 1880s and named after Chief Manaia Hukunui. The whare here - Paraukau - was built in his honour. It's home to the people of Ngati Tu, a hapu of Nga Ruahine. All was quiet the morning I arrived - but for the early chattering and tinkering at the nearby Kohaga Reo - a peaceful scene, with the metal road snaking away into the rolling green and Mt Taranaki looming protectively on the horizon.

It was a different story a short distance away on the main highway opposite the Manaia Golf Course, where these signs indicate Ngati Tu dissatisfaction over their unresolved land claims.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Portrait - 20

Young Girl in the Sand
Feb 2010. Ajr

Friday, August 6, 2010

Maori Place Names - 72

Moeraki, South of Oamaru
South Island
May 2010, Ajr

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Exploring the Horowhenua

Back in May, when I was edging my way north from Wellington, I was determined to stop at least one of the sign-posted marae. I had been unable to last year because of the large traffic volumes and my own time constraints. So this time, when I saw the sign pointing to Kikopiri Marae at the little Horowhenua settlement of Ohau, I turned off the highway and followed a narrow country road for a few kilometres.

It was a drizzly but sunny day and the short road leading to the marae on a small hill was muddy so I didn't even get out of the car. But I was taken with the prettiness of the scene - the little old marae peeping out from behind giant harakeke (flax) and what looked to be small kauri or totara trees. I haven't been able to find out a lot about the marae but it does appear to be an important centre for Ngati Kikopiri people and I was able to trace some lovely old photographs in Alexander Turnbull Library files, showing the marae between 1895-1906 - recognisable by the building's distinctive carved amo (the upright carvings on the front gable). According to my other readings, I think there may be a connection to Ngati Raukawa - some of whom migrated to Horowhenua in the early 1820s, to this area....though I can't be sure of that and am open to reader suggestions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Bay of Plenty Discovery

The day I left Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty on my recent travels around New Zealand, I took my time, dawdling first in the lovely, little seaside village of Maketu before carrying on to sunny Te Puke.

I was so distracted by my thoughts about Maketu - and how much I loved the place - that as I drove out of Te Puke I almost missed this marae - Tuhourangi Marae. If it hasn't been for the bright school gateway on this Te Kura Kaupapa Maori, I would have sailed straight past.
The gate is a memorial, unveiled in 1948, to Maori soldiers killed in battle. It was when I was walking back to my car after photographing the gate that I looked up and saw the marae in straight in front of me across the busy highway. I took these shots from there. I haven't hadd time to find out anything about the marae, other than it sits in the Rohe of Waiariki/Te Arawa. If any readers can enlighten me further please leave a comment.


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