Thursday, 18 January 2018

Whangamata Area on Coromandel's Eastern Seaboard

South Beach  looking to Hauturu , Whenuakura and Maukaha Rocks  2010 - photo courtesy Chris Ball

If I move to a new town or new place one of the first things I do is look up the meaning of the Maori word for that town or place. This gives a great understanding of why a town or place is called that. The indigenous names for New Zealand locations and place reflect a rich history of the past and people.

No less so the Whangamata Area on Coromandel's Eastern Seaboard. The name of Whangamatā comes from the Māori words 'whanga', which means bay, and 'matā', to the obsidian  ( a hard stone) which washes up on the beach. The name "Opoutere" means "place of floating posts".  Onemana  one -  beach, sand, mana - authority over

The Whangamata Area is a stunning kaleidoscope of beaches, New Zealand indigenous bush, flowering pohutukawa and the rich variation and strata of volcanic soils and rock. The ancient stories of the area are associated with those landmarks of this place which meets the shores of  the great  Te moana nui a Kiwa ( the great ocean of Kiwa - Pacific Ocean).

From beach at Onemana looking toward Whakahau ( Slipper) Island - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2017
 Over the years, many have written poems about Whangamata area, including this poem.

Whangamata Area

1. Rise and Swell  
Rise and Swell                                        

Running in
Te moana nui a Kiwa
Te one o
Whangamata, Onemana , Opoutere

2. Long ago in this area's
i ngā wā ō mua
Can be found in abundance
Relaxation, fun and kaimoana.

3. And growing in  special place
Wharengāngara o putiputi
Remind us, one and all, of
Ko ngā kōrero tuaukiuiki I puta 
I aua tohu ngā tohu o te tuakiri o te tamaiti

4. Just as in Kupe's time
This area offers one and all,
Te hauora wairua , Te hauora hinengaro,
Te hauora tinana, Te taha whanau and more.

5. The forest clad hills                               
And shining sea
A taonga of nature are there
For all Kei Kite.

6. Plenty of trees,
Insects and bush
Moutere o whanga
Along with big tall cliffs.

7. Rise and Swell
Rise and Swell
Running in
Te moana nui a Kiwa
Te one o
Whangamata, Onemana , Opoutere
                             Poem and Drawings by Anne Stewart Ball

Storm on Main Surf Beach Whangamata in 2001 - photo HM Stewart 
Te Reo Māori  
Words and phrases
kaimoana                 seafood, shellfish
kite                          to see, perceive
moutere                    island
putiputi                     flower
Te hauora  wairua      spiritual health                  
Te hauora hinengaro   mental health
Te hauora tinana        physical health
Te Taha Whanau         family health
taonga                      treasure
wharengāngara          New Zealand daphne, Pimelea prostrata

From Peninsula 2010 - photo courtesy Chris  Ball
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