TALES OF MANUREWA:
NGA MATUKURUA - THE TWO BITTERNS
Around the name of Matukurua centre the historic memories of two fortified hills at Manurewa which were known as Matuku Tureia, the vigilant bittern and Matuku Tururu, the bittern standing at ease, names which commemorate two chiefs who commanded the forts. Matukutururu was so nicknamed because in time of expected was he had gone eel fishing and fallen asleep, to be captured, with his people by the enemy. Matuku-tureia, by his vigilance, saved his pa and people.
The two pa were collectively known as Nga Matukurua by the Ngai-Huatau branch of the Wai-o-Hua-people. The affairs of Hua-rangi, son of Huatau brought about complications which make the theme of this story. He first married Taka-wai, a chieftainess of the closely related sub-tribe of Ngai-Tahuhu. The marriage complied fully with Maori custom. They had a son Tama-pahure, and other children of promise.
On the death of Taka-wai, Hua-rangi, ignoring the claims of many eligible cousins-in-law and sister-in-law, took to wife Kohe, a woman outside the tribal pale, for though of high rank, she belonged to another tribe, the Ngati-Paoa.
This mixed marriage caused great disapproval, so that when Huarangi introduced Kohe into his Wai-o-Hua circle, he was in an ever difficult position. The couple's unhappy domestic affairs were soon brought to a crisis under the following circumstances.
Kohe was now expecting her first-born and craved the preserved pigeon foods of her Ngati-Paoa homeland. When her father heard of her desire, he set aside for her a Rahui kereru or Pigeon preserve, an area still shown on County maps as Te-Hapu-o-Kohe (the child-bearing of Kohe). The presentation of huahua-kereru (preserved pigeons) were placed by Kohe in her food stores, nor did she allot any of them to the relatives and children of the first wife. This act of meanness resulted in much umpleasantness until Hua-rangi took Kohe to live in Matuku-tururu, leaving Tamapuhure and his children by the first wife. That son now assumed chieftainship of Matukutureia in his father's place.
At Matuku-tururu, Kohe gave birth to her son Tamapahore, and later to other children, the second being a girl, Hine-awhea. When Huarangi died, his children by the two marriages continued to live apart, his sons Tamapahure and Tamapahore being recognised as chiefs of their respective pas.
One of the consequences of this extra-tribal marriage was the refusal to grant the girl full tribal rites. When the time came for Hine-awhea to be tattooed, the family instruments kept at Matukutureia were rudely refused. Kohe had long endured belittlements and this was the last straw. She visited her step-son's pa and on the flocked marae said many acidulous things to his discomfiture. She sang a kaioraora (cursing song) which is not translatable, being over epic in its pungency. Then, with her daughter and younger children she returned to her home at Piako. Tamapahore, bowing to the rules of uru tane, had no personal grievance over his sister's tattooing belittlement. He lived on Matuku-tururu, married and had children.
One day the men of Matukurua were kite-flying and Tamapahore's ascended the highest so Tamapahure caused his cord to foul that of his brother and break it.
So that the kite drifted toward Hauraki. Hence the place name, in its full form, Te Manu rewa o Tamapahore (the drifted-away kite of Tamapahore).
This was a valued kite, so off Tamapahore went with his family to where his kite had drifted. At last he was guided to Pukekotaretare, near Mercury Bay, and there was found the kite. Hence the name of that district. Whenuakite, from Te Whenua I Kitea te Manu o Tamapahore (the land where was found the kite of Tamapahore). For a time he settled here and took to wife a woman of the Ngati Hoi, but later he and his family joined his mother's people at Piaki. There, his descendents are still known as Nga Manu Aute (the kite people).