Combining place names of the Mata Au river valley collected by Herries Beattie published in the Otago Daily Times in 1930, collected from various sources, and the 1944 list and William Sherwood Roberts names.
Origin of the Name of Mata Au
As “Matau” the name of a monster who lived in the area of Lake Wakatipu who captured Manata which led to her rescue by Matakauri and his death at the hands of her kinsmen. [Taylor, 1952, p ]
As Mata-au or Mataau of Mata Au: the surface current, the name given after the swift currents of the river which are often swifter on the surface than deeper. Some had also said it was named after a Waitaha lady who lived many centuries ago but Beattie thought it more likely that this was a confusion with a Waitaha Chieftainess who lived 5 generations before his writing. [Beattie, ODT, 1930]
Sources of the Mata Au
The following names were compiled by Beattie from Māori manuscripts or given to him orally by Māori, whereas the rest of the 1944 list were from a list of names given to him and a map he had access to.
Mountain: Te Poho–o-Waikawa, Leaning Mount by the Hunter River (Beattie gives Mt Strauchan at the head of the Hunter as the mountain out of which the river begins).
Te Awa-a-Tuawhea: Dingle Burn, further down the Hunter.
Mountain: Te Aruhe-pora, “he mauka” said his informant with the same name as the range north of Burke’s Pass.
Wai-utu-utu: Speargrass Creek, stream flowing into the Hawea River.
Mountains: Here-weka, range north of Lake Wanaka and west of the Makarore (Makarora?) river. O-potiki-tautahi, Turret Peaks, south of the Makarore., named after a chief of that name killed in a fight at Lake Wanaka some 10 generations ago.
Te Awa-o-Taipokia: stream flowing into the head of Lake Wanaka from the east, opposite the Wilkin river.
Matakitaki (Matukituki): Beattie noted several kaumatua corrected the name Matukituki to Matakitaki.
Mountains and Flat: Tuawhitu of Ruawhitu, Cattle Flat. One elder thought Tuawhitu should be Ruawhitu. Upoko-hapa, a mountain near Tuawhitu, possibly Treble Cone of part of it.
Te Awa-taku-tuara: name that might be Mt Niger and its stream Beattie thought as he translates it as stream of my spine.
Mountains: Mana-hune: Beattie thought this to be Mt Burke – it was called “He mauka ki Wanaka” or a mountain at Wanaka and is the same name as the more famous Grampian Mountains of the Mackenzie country. Nehenehe: marked on Shortland’s map of 1844, probably Beattie thought, Mt Repulse or vicinity. Rokohea: Centaur Peaks
From Wanaka to the sea:
O-kai-tu or Kongaitu: the place where the outflows of Wanaka and Hawea lakes join. O-kai-tu from a map drawn by Māori, Kongaitu from a list of names, both given to Beattie by informants.
Orau: first large tributary, now the Cardrona.
Papaku or Te Rua-tupapaku: the first from the map and the second from the list. Luggate Stream.
Koau-taia: Poison Creek. Beattie give Koau as a kind of Shag and taia as striken.
Omako: Lindis Creek.
After Omako on the western bank:
Tepahi or Ko-te-koareare-a-te-pahi: Lochar Burn, named after Te pahi who had a good patch of raupo there which had good koareare or the edible part of its root.
Teweka or Ka-iwi-a-te-weka: Tinwald Burn. The bones of the Weka.
Katia: Amisfield Burn. Beattie translates as blocked up, or the southern form of Ngatia, more than one peg or stake.
Kokemoana or Ko-te-koke-moana: Lowburn. Named after a person whose name means “the shore of the ocean winds about”.
Kawarau: Beattie translates the meaning of this name as the many leaves. The major tributary from Lake Wakatipu. Pronounced “Kavarau” by many of Beattie’s old informants.
Tributaries of the Kawarau from Beattie’s map:
Te Wai-reika: The Gentle Annie. Beattie gives as possible meanings, the Waterfall, the Greatly Desired Stream or the Stream of the Underworld.
Wai-koroiko or Ko-wai-koroiko: Roaring Meg. The first was on the map and the second on the name list and indicates it was named after a person. Beattie found the name in an old Waitaha whakapapa with Koroiko (of about 600 years ago) as the son of Te Waireika and the father of Te Papapuni, the name of the Nevis River
Arokewa or Ko-Aro-Kewha: Again the first from the map and the second from the list. A creek where the road from Cromwell strikes the Kawarau Gorge.
Tributaries of the Kawarau and district names from Beattie’s oral sources and Māori manuscripts:
Kimi-akau: Shotover River.
O-ka-korokio: vicinity of Skippers and Māori Point.
O-tu: district up the Arrow River, perhaps around Macetown.
Haehae-nui: Arrow River
Mountain: Taha-uri, named after an ancestor of 22 generations ago, might be Mt Difficulty.
Mountain and district names from Beattie’s oral sources and Māori manuscripts:
Mountains: Mataki-nui, the central portion of the Dunstan Range with Castle rock as its pivot. Neinei-i-kura, the upper portion of the Dunstan range. Tiko-umu, the lower portion of the Dunstan range. Haehae-ata, the Leanng Rock or the Old Woman. Ritua, Cloudy Peak. O-puaha, Dunstan Peak (Beattie translates as a clear passage through). Kura-matakitaki, the northern extension of the Dunstan Range from the Dunstan Peak to the Old Man Peak near the Lindis Pass (Beattie cites this as the name of a celebrated woman of olden times).
Toro-mikimiki: A place in the Gorge possibly Gibston. From mikimiki the plant and toro to creep.
River currents and Associated Places:
Otakihia: rapid a few miles above Gromwell.
Tewairere: the name of a pa where Gromwell once stood and the name of a rapid in the river below it.
Okura: a rapid below where the Kawarau joins the Mata-au. Whakarumakina: a rapid below Okura
Otakihia: Shortland records as being halfway between the Lakes and Kawarau.
Te Wairere the same. Then Beattie notes Shortland mentioning the worst rapid on the river being below the junction of the Kawarau and Mata Au – this Beattie assumes is the Okura.
Okura Beattie cites as the shortening of the following names: Kura-whaia, Kura-whaina, Kura-whaiana. This was a child of Toka-karoro and Upoko-hapa.
Whakarumakina: is below the Manuherekia junction according to his 1944 script.
Kauwaewhakatoro: a rapid in the river where there is the ridge by the same name, near Hillend.
Katoa-mataau: a rapid at Crook Burn.
Te Rua-pukaka: a rapid at Greenfield that was blasted to permit river navigation.
Kawarua: the Remarkable Range
Tapuanuku: Bannockburn and the nearby Cairnsmuir Hill.
O-te-whata: The Earnscleugh stream. Named after a person.
O-rei-haki: round Conroys’creek and up to Prospect hill, named after a person.
Mountains: Carrick Range running down to Whitcoomb, Ko-te-pohutu, from Beattie’s map.
Wai-pakeke: Tributary south of the Lindis (Omako), eastern? side, Beattie calls it the Bannockburn tributary.
Manu-herekia: the major eastern bank tributary joining the river at Alexandra. Three meanings - a “vague tradition” of it being named after a “tied bird” or wounded kaka was tied to a stake there by scouts to mark the place they had crossed for a following war party; one source gave it as the name of a women of ancient times; another as meaning simply bird catching.
Mountain, district names and river or stream names from Beattie’s oral sources and Māori manuscripts:
Manu-herekia District: One of Beattie’s informants said his father had visited the Manuherekia country and had described the wonderful number and variety of ducks there. Beattie cites traditions of the Arai Te Uru that connect to this region:
A band of the wrecked passengers from the Araiteuru went up to the Manuherekia district and several ranges and ridges were named after them. Kirikirikatata, Rough Ridge; Aroaro-kaehe, Raggedy Ridge; Ritua, a peak or division of the Dunstan Range about Cloudy Peak. One day Aroarokaehe spoke to his neighbour excitedly “Ka wera Ritua I te ahi”. Kirikirikatatat, also excitedly, “Tineia tineia” but a neighbour closer to the scene exclaimed “E kore e mate”.
Later more practical or everyday names to use Beattie’s term, were given – Wairua-a-po to Rough Ridge and Ka-umu to Raggedy Ridge.
Te Awa-a-tuhau: stream on northern bank of Manuherekia after leaving Alexandra.
Te Awa-kai-tutu: next stream on northern bank after the above.
O-te-raki-kawhau: next stream on northern bank after the above.
O-hine-tuara: a tributary further up the Manuherekia than the above probably between Spottis and Lauder Creeks.
Haehae-ata: Chatto creek, the same name as Leaning rock. Wai-pateke: Beck’s Creek.
Te Waipapapa-o-Karetai: Pool Burn which unites with the Ida Burn to then run into the Manuherekia. Moa Creek and Māori Creek are creeks that run into the Pool Burn given by Pakeha because of the numerous Māori remains found.
O-makau: Ida Burn. Named after a chief who once resided at Blackstone Hill. Beattie noted the name has also appeared in print as Omakio and Omakao but he was uncertain if the chief after whom the Knobbies were named Omakao was the same as the chief after whom the Ida Burn was named so Beattie left it as Omakau.
District: Waihola or Waihora, where the Ida Burn and Pool Burn streams join which indicates Beattie noted that the district must have once been very wet.
District: Ka-moana-hae-hae: area of land, where Alexandra now is, where the Manuherekia and Mata Au join. Beattie’s source indicated he was told this by Te Maiharoa and Matiaha Tiramorehu.
Moutere: the lower ground between the two rivers with the mountains across upstream so that the flat was like an island.
Peak? Waka-ihu: Uncertain where this peak or land form is, presumably this area but still not certain.
Waikirikiri: to one side of Moutere but it is not clear whether it is a stream or not.
Tributaries of the Manuherekia, going up the tributary from its junction:
O-kura: the Manor Bur, named after a woman or after a red bank in the vicinity, both explnantions having been given to Beattie.
Whaka-kakahu: piece of land on the north bank of the Manor Burn where it joins the Manuherekia.
O-te-raki-oi: Spottis Creek. Meaning a day of shuddering or shivering and trembling.
Tahu-o-arapaoa: Lauder creek and peak. Beattie states it implies a man named Arapaoa lit a fire there and notes that Arapaoa is the name of the north end of Te Waipounamu around picton way, signifying a smoky path.
Hau-tai: left branch of Manuherekia, the right retaining the name Manuherekia.
Mountains: between the two Manuherekia branches, Takauikatutu, or Mt St Bathans and its range. Te Menemene appears to be Mt Misery.
Kahutoroa: Hills Creek, east of the Manuherekia.
Mountains: between the “Molyneux” and the Manuherekia: Mataki-nui, Castle Rock; Tiko-umu, the Lower end of the Dunstan range; Manuherekia, the same as the river, an eminence east of Tikoumu and presumably near Chatto Creek.
Maka-ta-roa: a creek near Clyde.
Mountains: south of Alexandra the Knobby Range, O-makao, “practically the same name ” as that of Blackstone Hill more than 20 miles north; Te Tihi-o-kaitarau, the Pinelheugh range. Parapara, son of the chief Kawa-rau, is Mt Benger.
Kura-moeanu, a stream, possibly the Benger Burn, and the name of a descendent of Parapara.
O-puriri: Coal Creek
Waiwera should not Wiawhero but be Waiwero, according to one informant. But where is Waiwera?
Te-awa-makarara: Beattie thinks this is the Teviot river.
Okura: Beattie thinks this is likely to be the Beaumont river.
Kohai: the Blackcleugh Bush between the Blue Mountains and the Molyneux.
Tuapeka or Te-hua-peka: In 1944 Beattie mentions only Tuapeka with the meaning, “to cut down a branch for firewood.” But in 1930 he uses Te-hua-peka, now known as the Tuapeka, meaning the “fruitful branch”. Also, from Williams, deceit.
District, Hills: Near Tuapeka, Mata-ka, Beattie translates as the burnt point or headland swept by fire. South of this, in the Waitahuna district is a place known as Te Kuha-a-takawera, given as the thigh of the chief Takawera.
O-mai-uru: the name given to Spylaw Hill and Spylaw Burn.
Pou-mahaka: Mispelt Pomahaka, one of the longest tributaries of the Mata Au. Poumahaka refers to posts where duck snares were attached.
Makiu or Makio: an early tributary of the Poumahaka but Beattie does not secify more precisely.
O-re-heke: The Leithen Burn
O-pu-rere: the common name for the falls on the Poumahaka. O-tu-mokomoko: a creek tributary just above the Poumahaka falls.
District, Hills: Okopiri for Dusky Hill, O-re-heke, the bush at the head of the Poumahaka river, Ori-haki for the bush near Wart Hill. Also the name of the Leithen Burn.
District, Hills: Kauae-whaka-toro: Where the “massacre” of the rebel Kati Mamoe chiefs took place. The place marked on Beattie’s map was on the west bank whereas the events took place on the east. This was the last place marked on the map Beattie had.
District, Hills: A rise somewhere near Balclutha, Te Taki-tu-a-te-wharawhara, pronounced Te Falafala by Beattie’s informant - where his ancestor was journeying through the land and at this spot t found a pair of his father’s paraerae hanging on a tree and began to lament.
Lakes/Lagoons: Near the Balloon, Kaitangata, a lagoon, Te Karohe. The lake near Kaitangata, Kaitiria, which Beattie calls its rightful name but notes one informant always referring to it as lake Kaitangata. The northern and larger lake, Roto-nui-a- whatu, named after a member of an exploring party 1000 years ago. To the north a lagoon near Milton, Roto-iti.
Taratu: Frasers creek. The name is an ancient name for the white heron according to one of Beattie’s informants. They used to roost on the black and red pine that grew by Frasers Creek.
Puaihakarua: A creek running into Lake Rotonuiawhatu from Lovell’s Flat. A place about a mile east of the the mouth of this creek, Te He-a-kapo.
District, Hills: The ridge behind Kaka Point Beach, Te Raki-Tamau or Te Raki- Tumau, the well known chief. Maranuku, the district. Beattie noted the coincidence that this is an old name for the district yet is also the Māori pronunciation of Molyneux. He cites one of his informants as giving Maranu-nuku as the name for the Maranuku or Karoro reseved lands. Te Ahi-a-Ue is the place on Burning Flat that smoke comes from and the surrounding flat is called Te Karehu-a-Ue (the ash of Ue cf the fire of Ue). Matua-nui is the correct name for Glenomaru Creek according to a Canterbury Māori. Whaka-kea, a place near Benhar. Near Kaihiku there is a hill called Pohara-aroha.
O-patete: Name of a place opposite where Griffiths lived on Inchclutha.
Te Rakitierea: part of the name of a place riverside near the mouth of the river.
Tu-apohia: The point on which the old pilol station stood.
Wai-rawaru: Jenkinsons Creek, after Tu-apohia and before the bay, Huirapa.
Huirapa: A small bay before the promontory of Kaka Point.
Parau-riki: The old Māori name for Kaka Point.
Waitaha: a small spring that crossed the road onto Parau-riki below Rakitamau.
District, Hills: Ka-oriori, the name of the rise behind the pilot station point, said to be originally the name of a piece of pounamu bought from Westland by canoe and broken up there.
Rakitamau: the rise behind Tarau-riki.
Pau-upoko: behind Parau-riki, a place where fern root was beaten.
Otiwha: the spot where the Kaka Point store stood in 1930.
Whawhapo: the name of the creek forming the boundary between the Māori reserve and Kaka Point.
Ti-harua or Te Harua: the rise where the Potiki home in the reserve stood.
The Potiki section was called Te Harua-nui-a-taupo, the name of an ancestor of the Huirapa hapu. O-marama was a patch of land between the houses of the reserve and Karoro creek on which Maram grass was planted sometime before 1930 but this name came from Marama, an ancestor of Korako Te Rehe. Makatu is the point was where the Native school Te Reo Moana stood. Tuapapa, a flat about a mile behind Whawhapo. Puketi, the hill where the Port Molyneux cemetery is. Tiniko, the flat between Puketi and Tuapapa, a modern name. Tamahika, the whole ridge behind Port Molyneux.
Rocks off Maranuku:
Makariri: a well known rock named after Makariri who would swim there and smoke her pipe there, but the old name was Tiko-moana according to one informant of Beattie while another thought that name belonged to a reef nearer the shore.
Honekai: was the name of another rock further up the coast, after the chief.
Uru-tane: the rocks in front of the bathing sheds - named after a large heap of mussels gathered by a party of men.
Matai-pipi: the name of a pa that was on Coal Point.
Murikauhaka: the village opposite the mouth of the river on the southern bank that was still inhabited when the first Pakeha settlers came.
Behind the old pilot station there were once large stones known as Hau-maukorora, all smeared with red marks where ochre was ground to make red paint.