LOCAL HISTORY

The Legend of Kororareka 

Legend has it that a Maori chief, wounded in battle, asked for some penguin broth and after drinking the broth, he said ‘ ka reka te korora’ (how sweet is the penguin) – thus the place became known as Kororareka (sweet penguin). When Captain Cook sailed into the Bay of Islands in 1769, the town was already an established settlement of the Ngare Raumati people. Cook was followed by other explorers, notably Du Fresne, then by whalers in search of a re-provisioning port, and traders in search of flax and kauri spars.

Kororareka developed as a shore station for shipping and gradually the European population grew: a mixture of deserting seamen, runaway convicts, grog sellers, settlers and traders. The establishment of the first government, consequent taxes and levies, and then the shifting of the capital to Auckland led to economic decline and a growing Maori resentment, which focused on the flagstaff at Kororareka, which was felled four times by Maori warriors led by Hone Heke. On the last occasion the town was abandoned by its residents and sacked.

Kororareka was renamed Russell in 1844. Once the war in the North was over in 1846, Russell was gradually rebuilt. Today, Russell has a population of around 1000, who make their living from tourism, fishing, oyster farming, and cottage industries.

The Treaty of Waitangi 

Waitangi is among one of the earliest sites of permanent European settlement in New Zealand. The Waiatangi Treaty Grounds are the location of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori Chiefs and the British Crown on 6th February 1840.

Haruru Falls 

The beautiful Haruru Falls were the original landing site for European traders in the early 1800s. Cherry Tree Lane (now Old Wharf road) was the first registered road in New Zealand and leads to the main viewing area of the falls, which are floodlit at night.

Kerikeri Mission Station  

Kerikeri is near the Kororipo Pa site, which was home to the fearsome Maori chief Hongi Hika, who terrorised many tribes throughout the North Island in the early 1800s.  The early missionaries made the Kerikeri basin the site of their second mission station. The two oldest surviving buildings in New Zealand, Kemp House (1819) and the Stone Store (1822) are both in Kerikeri. There is also a reconstructed Maori village here.
246 Kerikeri road, Kerikeri
Ph: (09) 407 9236.  e-mail kkmission@historic.org.nz  Web: www.historic.org.nz
Web: www.kerikeri.co.nz    

Print Friendly, PDF & Email