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Life in Early Poverty Bay

How Whataupoko Came to Be Occupied

How Whataupoko Came to Be Occupied

“In 1864 some of the Poverty Bay Maoris awakened to the fact that far too much of the land in their district was lying idle. Three of them, representing most of the principal owners of Whataupoko, came to Napier in search of Europeans inclined to take up land in Poverty Bay. They were Henare Ruru, Pitau and another half-caste named Tom Jones. Pitau was the elder brother of Wi Pere, and Jones represented people who then lived on the southern side of the Bay, of whom old Raharuhi Rukupo (Lazarus) was the principal man. These men got into touch with my father and uncle, with the result that they were induced to occupy Whataupoko. My uncle came with sheep, which were brought by sea and landed at The Point—just where it is proproposed to have a swimming bath for Gisborne. The sheep had a very rough time within 24 hours after being put ashore, many being worried to death by Maoris dogs, which swam across from the Kaiti side and elsewhere. Kaiti was, so to speak, swarming with Maoris at that time. This unexpected knock annoyed my uncle, who sought satisfaction by poisoning as many dogs page 98 around Turanganui as he could, seventeen taking the bait and being stiffened outright. The Maoris were much upset at their loss and were inclined to vent their wrath on my uncle, who thought it best to leave the Bay and he never returned.

Mr. Wm. Parker, of Mangapapa.

Mr. Wm. Parker, of Mangapapa.

“In Dec., 1867, we left for Poverty Bay in the ‘Cleopatra,’ a small paddle steamer, and, as it was daylight most of the way, we passed between Portland Island and the mainland. The following morning the little craft went up the Waipaoa river, pulling into the bank near where Captain (afterwards Major) Charles Westrupp was living. From there we made our way across the Flats to Makaraka, the location of our new residence.