Māori place names
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Māori place names Selwyn Muru.
- Kaikoura : Kai/food, koura/crayfish. Proper name Te Ahi Kaikoura aTamakiTe Rangi.
- Rangitoto : Rangi/sky/day, toto/blood."Nga rangi i toto ai a Tamatekapua". It is
said that Tama Tekapua was wounded and bleed at Rangitoto hence the name.
However according to a Ngāti Whatua elder that is not so, he claims that when
the island erupted the entire heavens took on a blood red colouration. Rangitoto is
a prominent land mark in the Waitemata Harbour.
- Arahura : ara/path, hura/discover. The name is closely associated with Kupe and
Ngahue who discovered Aotearoa whilst traversing the great ocean of Kiwa, the
Pacific Ocean. There are also connection here with the Cook Islands.
- Rakiura = Raki /sky, ura/glowing, is the Māori name for Stewart Island. The full
name is Te Ura o te Rakitamau. "The blushing of the Rakitamau.
- Paraparaumu :parapara/scraps or left overs, umu/earth oven/hangi.
- The majority of Māori place names have come about beacuse of some human
action that took place on the land. A name could arise out of a simple deed or
from the ashes of a major enter tribal battle.
- Hataitai : is the name of a suburb in Wellington. It was originally refered to as
Whataitai .According to legend Whataitai and Te Ngake were two taniwha that
lived in a lake that is now Wellington Harbour. They attempted to force their way
out, Te Ngake succeeded, Whataitai failed changed into a bird and flew screamimg
to the top of Mt. Victoria "Tangi te keo" . Ha /breath, taitai /lapping of the tide or
the breath of the ocean.
Hauturu : Hau/wind turu/post. The winds resting post.Little Barrier Island, according
to legend it is the centre post for the great net of Taramainuku. "Te kupenga a Taramainuku" o formidable chief.
- Ko Tongariro te Maunga, ko Taupo to moana, ko Tuwharetoa te iwi ho Te Heuheu
te tangata.(self explanatory).
- Te Hapua : originally it was Te Hopua. The cove the sheltering place of canoes.
the tribe is Ngāti Kuri a section of Te Aupouri. One the main centre's for gum digging.
- Putiki : Full name Putiki wharanui a Tamateapokaiwhenua. The place where Tama
tea the navigator tied his Top-not with flax.
- Moehau : Moe/ sleep, hau/wind. Windy sleeping place. Proper name Moehau o
- Ohinemutu.: O/the place of, hine/ the girl, mutu/cut off. The place where the girl was
- Te Oneroa a Tohe : Ninety mile beach. The long beach of Tohe.
- Kau ara pawa : Kau/swim ara/path pawa/route. The route by which Pawa swam across
- Kaitaia : Kaitataia. kai/food, tataia/to throw about. Ngapuhi there are two legends.
- Horokowau : Horo/swallow kowau/shag. It is believed that Mt.Tasman was
originally called Horokowau, apparently when looked on from a great distance the
mount resembles the swellig on the long neck of a shag when it is swallowimng a fish.
Himatangi : Hi/fish, matangi/name of a chief. Matangis fishing. Two stories pertaing
to this name.
Hokianga : It was from here that Kupe returned to Hawaiiki. this particular area in the North is embuded with stories of Kupe.
Horohoro : full name/Te Horohoringa o nga ringaringa o Tia/the place where Tia's hands were ceremoniously washed. This was necessary to remove the tapu after handling the dead. Tia was the Arawa explorer who named Lake Taupo/Taupo- nui-a Tia.
Hui Te Rangiora : Hui Te Rangiora is reputed to have been a great explorer and navigator of the seventh century.
Kaiapoi : Once the major pa of the Ngai Tahu, the main tribe of the South Island.
Kaihu : full name, Kaihu a Ihenga. Kai/food, hu/secret. Ihenga was the grandson of Tamatekapua.
Kahutara : This was one of the names of the canoes that the Māori came to New Zealand. The Ngai Tahu came from the North Island in a canoe with the same name.
Kahurangi Kahu/blue Rangi/sky =Blue sky.Kia horo te marino, kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te karohirohi. May the calm be wide spread may the sea glisten like greenstone, and may the shimmer of summer dance across your pathway.
- Tolaga : When Captain Cook recorded the name he pointed north west to the main
land and asked what the place was called, the Māori thought he was
asking the name of the wind and replied "tarakaka" south west wind,
the general name of Tolaga is "Uawa".
- Tongariro : Tonga/south wind, riro/carried away. (sisters).Ngauruahoe,Ruapehu.
Reference number 44709
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Murupaenga, Herewini, 1937- (b.1937)