Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 35, September 1991

The re-enactment on Saturday 10 November 1990 of the first visit by Rev Samuel Marsden to Hauraki in June 1820, proved to be a highlight of the 1990 celebrations for the district.

The sight of the two waka, in full regalia, made a most impressive sight as they came up the Ohinemuri River just before midday bringing the Rev. Samuel Marsden and his party. The day commenced with an official welcome onto Te Pai-o-Hauraki Marae of the official party and other visitors. This was a moving ceremony which opened the day's proceedings on a very high note.

In this party were the Hauraki District Mayor Basil Morrison and his wife; the chairman of the Hauraki 1990 Committee Neil Clarke and his wife; Coromandel MP Hon. Graeme Lee and his wife; all Hauraki and visiting culture groups, other invited groups including the Paeroa and District Historical Society, Historic Places Trust, Paeroa District Citizens Association.

The welcome was led by Dick Rakena, chairman of the re-enactment celebration committee and Messrs Lee, Morrison and Clarke replied. With the completion of the opening ceremony the official party was entertained to morning tea while the marae was opened to the public, who supported the many stalls.

While this ceremony was taking place Ngati Paoa's wakataua Te Kouiti Tuarua with 60 paddlers included in the crew plus Rev. Samuel Marsden's party and the representatives of the Ngati Whanaunga and Ngati Maru and Te Pai-o-Hauraki's wakatete, Te Awe Kotuku, with 30 paddlers, were launched at the Ngahina Bridge and were making their way up the Ohinemuri River. When they reached the site of the historic Raupa Pa, on the left bank of the Ohinemuri River and opposite the end of Junction Road, a halt was made. Here there was a short commemorative service held to honour Marsden's first Christian service in Hauraki, on Sunday June 18, 1820.

Excitement ran high through the large crowd gathered at the stopbank behind the marae to watch the first waka, Te Awe Kotuku, with its local crew, appear around the bend in the river. A few minutes later Waka Te Kouiti Tuarua, with its 60 paddlers and the official Marsden party, was most impressive as it cruised up the river.

The crews and the officials disembarked and moved up to the river berm where after a welcome haka, the group led by Rev. Samuel Marsden (Colin Sutherland) and his two escorting chiefs, Te Horeta Te Taniwha, Ngati Whanaunga (Hector Conner) and Te Puhi, Ngati Maru (Jim Nicholls) went into Papaturoa Avenue. They were welcomed onto the marae with the wero (challenge), which was made by Larne Wilkinson. Once seated the mihi continued with Rev Samuel Marsden being introduced by Te Horete Te Taniwha, then Rev Marsden spoke and finally Te Puhi.

The Ngati Tamatera supporting chiefs Te Hikamate (John Te Moananui), Tanumeha Te Moananui (Robert Te Moananui), Taraia (Fred Paraku), Tukukino (Huhurere Tukukino) all spoke.

Attending the Rev. Samuel Marsden were the ship's surgeon Nigel Pickett, ship's clerk Tom Carden and the ship's carpenter Ron Tyrell. They were in period costume and all spoke. The official ceremony came to a close with a short service conducted by Rev. Gordon Kaa and Rev. Florence Chambers. There were items by the Waka Te Kouiti Tuarua crew and the Paeroa College Cultural Group and the official party and visitors were entertained to lunch. This was followed by a programme of continuous entertainment into the evening.

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Samuel Marsden (Colin Sutherland) and Te Puhi (Jim Nicholls) (Gazette photo)

Piripi Munroe, M.C. leads the Paeroa Historical Society group in song. (Gazette photo)

Ngati Paoa waka TeKouiti Tuarua salute as they proceed up the Ohinemuri River. (Gazette Photo)









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