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Taranaki Stories

These stories capture the very essence of Taranaki – the people and the landscape.
They record the achievements of those who live here, the struggles of the first settlers, the determination to overcome challenges, those who have made their mark on not only their own, but also future generations.
But the stories are not just about hardship – they are also inspiring, thrilling, mystifying, enlightening and entertaining.
 
 

 

Taranaki Stories

Showing stories tagged as Maori.

Before Sir Maui

by Virginia Winder on 16 December 2009

Sleek as a seal, Kahe Te Rau-o-te-Rangi slips into the sea at the northern end of Kapiti Island and stretches out for the mainland. On her back is a tiny raft, where baby Makere lies warm and dry, rocked to sleep by the rhythm of her mother's muscled arms. As Kahe powers for shore, her mind is focused – she must get there to save the Te Rauparaha-led Ngati Toa people on Kapiti. They are soon...

Ngāmotu – more than just a beach

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

If the black grains of sand on New Plymouth's Ngāmotu Beach could talk they would tell tales of tragedy and triumph, of pounding warriors' feet, the crack of cannon fire, the creaking of oars from boats and the steady development of a village turned town, turned city. Once a large sprawling beach, Ngāmotu has played an important part in both Māori and European history.   Close your eyes and...

Account of von Tempsky’s death by Takiora

by Rhonda Bartle on 09 December 2009

Lucy Takiora Lord worked for von Tempsky as a guide and interpreter.  This is her account of his death from Puke Ariki archives. Ref: 2002-530   'They took the pa from the left. Von Tempsky and the others killed two chiefs and stepped over them and went straight into the pa and drove the Maoris out, set fire to the pa and looted everything and got a pet kaka.  They burnt the Wharekuri, still...

Pukerangiora – where ghosts walk

by Rhonda Bartle on 09 December 2009

Ghosts walk at Pukerangiora.  They whisper as you move your feet.  Brush your elbow as you bend through the trees.  Watch you step close to the cliff-face to watch the Waitara River wind far below you…   To get to Pukerangiora, take the Waitara Road that follows the right bank of the Waitara River, heading east from the coast.  Soon you'll find the remains of Te Arei Pa.   Te Arei means 'the...

Murder at Pukearuhe

by Sorrel Hoskin on 07 December 2009

A lone monument stands in a Pukearuhe paddock. It overlooks the ocean, where white tipped waves crash against crumbling cliffs. At its back grass covered hills disappear into the distance.    This is the memorial to Reverend John Whiteley, the pioneer missionary killed on this spot on 13 February 1869.   In the 1860s this paddock above the White Cliffs was home to the Pukearuhe redoubt, manned...

Tohu Kākahi of Parihaka

by Virginia Winder on 07 December 2009

An ancient prophecy received by Aotearoa's first Maori king foretold the appearance of two spiritual birds of knowledge on the peak of Mount Taranaki. Immediately before his coronation at Ngaruawahia, Potatau Wherowhero had a dream.   His descendents remember it like this: ‘Towards the south there is a sacred mountain; below the shadow of the mountain there is a tree with a...

The Buried Boat of Ōhawe

by Rhonda Bartle on 07 December 2009

Back in 1927, members of the Ohaku hapū of Ōhawe dreamed of building a motorised fishing boat so they could make fishing trips off the South Taranaki coast.   Though the hapū were almost self-sufficient, with good gardens producing excellent crops, it was decided a good seaworthy boat would keep them supplied with kai moana throughout the year.   They were particularly fond of shark, which...

Te Ua Haumene – Story of a Religion

by Virginia Winder on 03 December 2009

The reverberating rhythm of unified voices rumbles from virgin bush. ‘Koterani, teihana! Karaiti titi Kai. Kopere, teihana! Rire, rire, hau!’ In a clearing, Maori warriors are chanting around a niu or prayer stick. They raise their right hands above their heads and the earth-thumping beat of their feet causes nearby ferns to quiver. A cone-shaped mountain watches. ‘Koterani,...

Te Rangi Hīroa – The Life of Sir Peter Buck

by Virginia Winder on 03 December 2009

The prow of a giant canoe thrusts from a wild tumble of New Zealand bush high on a hillside above Urenui. For Taranaki people heading home from the north, this is a sign they have made it safely through the winding, gear-grinding gorges and can swoosh south on easier roads. Some see the landmark as a farewell sign and a more difficult journey northwards. Others see the prow for what it is...

Project Pride: Francis Douglas students’ presentation to Puke Ariki

by Sorrel Hoskin on 03 December 2009

Stone, flax, a broom handle and plenty of balsa wood came in handy when a Francis Douglas Memorial College year nine Social Studies class were asked to build objects from Pre-European history.   The school group presented their projects at Puke Ariki, under the guidance of teacher and deputy principal Chris Moller. "It was a study of local pre European history," he said. "How people live within...

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