Monday, August 9, 2010
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.