Whanau share wonders of Rotorua






Tuhoromatakaka and Kahumatamomoe were the sons of the great chief Tamatekapua. Unfortunately, these two men had a falling out while living in Maketu. In the heat of a scuffle, Tuhoromatakaka was overcome by his younger brother, which caused him much embarrassment. There is much more to the story; however, Tuhoromatakaka eventually left the area with his father. They both made off towards the Coromandel region, whilst Kahumatamomoe remained at Maketu, occupying Whitingakongako. Before Tuhoromatakaka died, he instructed Ihenga on preparing his body correctly; he then told his son that following such a ceremony, he needed to find his Uncle to purify him. Following the passing of Tuhoromatakaka, Ihenga followed the words of his father. Though a terrible situation, it strengthened the heart of Kahumatamomoe that his brother had sent his son to him to be cleansed. This unusual situation would eventuate with Ihenga marrying the daughter of Kahumatamomoe. She made her way out onto the courtyard wearing the prized ear pendant, Kaukaumatua, that was buried under the window sill of the house these two brothers once occupied. On seeing Kaukaumatua, Kahumatamomoe was overcome with great sadness and happiness. He then encouraged his nephew to explore the lands to find areas befitting his status. Moving south from Maketu with his entourage, they undertook an extraordinary journey travelling for many days pushing over the first set of ranges, then the second, the third and fourth, where they decided to settle at Te Hiapo, an area named after the brother of Kuiwai and Haungaroa. Te Hiapo had died whilst searching for their elder brother Ngatoroirangi. From this site, Te Hiapo, Ihenga and his men set out daily, snaring birds and collecting the fruits of the forest. One day, his pet dog Potakatawhitinui took off, exhausted after a significant period of hunting for his master, and returned dripping wet. Noticing this, Ihenga knew that Potakatawhitinui had come across a body of water. Encouraged by what his pet had discovered, he pressed his dog to return to where it had made its discovery. He came upon a cliff face after a long toil weaving and meandering throughout the bush. Below him lay what seemed a relatively narrow body of water from his point of view. He named the lake, The slim body of water discovered by Ihenga in honour of Kahumatamomoe. A significant amount of fish was caught, and the haul from the forest truly made for a masterful return to his Uncle and his future wife. Ihenga continued his exploration, naming many places as he moved down the corridor of the lake; only then did he realise the actual size of the first lake. Eventually, they would cross over to another area where he chanced upon a more significant body of water still – again, and he called this after his Uncle; the second lake was named in honour of Kahumatamomoe. With these two powerful statements, Ihenga publicised that the area's overlord was his Uncle, Kahumatamomoe. When they had completed their exploration, they returned to Maketu. They presented Kahumatamomoe with the new stories of land discovery, revealing the remarkable natural wonders they had discovered, more so the magnificent bounty of food that they had secured - amongst all food served was a particular fish found only in the freshwater. Ihenga mentioned that he, not his dog, had found a body of water teeming with freshwater fish – in honour of his Uncle, he relayed how he had named the lake after him, to which Kahumatamomoe felt most humbled. Kahumatamomoe again encouraged a migration this time; they would all return to this great place that had been discovered by Ihenga and share the wonders of what we today know as Rotorua.