Stories of Whakatū

Maui John Mitchell

Maui John Mitchell. Image supplied by Hilary Mitchell

These stories were written by Maui John and Hilary Mitchell in 2021 for Nelson City Council to support the creation of information panels on sites of significance for Māori, around Whakatū/Nelson. 

The Council has decided to make these stories available on The Prow so that they can be used by teachers (and others) in their exploration of local and Māori history for the new curriculum.

The Mitchells wrote the four volume Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka - A History of Māori of Nelson and Marlborough series, and He Ringatoi o Ngā Tupuna - Isaac Coates and his Māori Portraits.

John Mitchell, Te Atiawa and Ngāti Tama of Mohua/ Golden Bay, sadly died in September 2021 after many years of research and leadership in Māori organisations both locally and nationally. He was always generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise, and interpreted Te Ao Māori and Māori issues for many individuals, groups and classes.

The Mitchells collection of Whakatū stories, 2022:

  1. Stories of Tasman Bay or Te Tai-o-Aorere: Tūtaeporoporo, Rākaihautū, Blind Bay - Tasman, Cook, D'Urville

  2. Boulder Bank Stories

  3. One story of welcome - Mary Ann Hodgkinson

  4. Matangi Āwhio 

  5. Poiwhai, Punawai and Manuka Island

  6. Tāhunanui - the kāinga

  7. Wakatū or Whakatū

  8. The Naming of Nelson and its streets

  9. Mahitahi River

  10. The Eel Pond

  11. Pakohe or Argillite

  12. Succession of iwi Māori in Nelson Districts

  13. The New Zealand Company, Nelson Settlements and Tenths Reserves

  14. The Wood, Nelson Town

  15. Horoirangi and Te Rere a Hihi

  16. Wakapuaka - Rotokura

  17. Wakapuaka kāinga sites

  18. The brothers, Wi Kātene Te Pūoho and Paremata Te Wahapiro

  19. Rescue of the crew of the Delaware 1863

These articles represent one version of the stories, and are created from available documentation - largely colonial written record. They are a starting point on a journey of discovery. Local iwi themselves hold their own truths in oral, sung and visual record, and their own recorded whakapapa.