Our first visit on 6 February was to Te Ana a Nunuku (Nunuku’s cave) and the petroglyphs (rock carvings) that can be found there, carved in bas relief over the top of an ancient cave mouth.
The petroglyphs depict seals, birds, faces and other elements of Moriori culture and tradition.
The 6th of February is Aotearoa New Zealand’s national day - commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), which established British government over the islands, whilst retaining rangatiratanga (chieftainship) for iwi Māori. The Treaty has been largely honour in the breach… but things are improving.
The day was stunning.
Waitangi is the main settlement of Rēkohu (Chatham Island / Wharekauri).
Hotel Chatham is the centre of all visitor activity. It's the main accomodation, and only restaurant and bar on the islands.
The Waitangi Store is the main grocery and supply store. Given the island’s population of 600, it's not large. It seems many people import their own goods directly.
Small towns make for interesting combinations. They also tell Sam’s life story (but not necessarily in that order…)
The petrol station and hardware store:
A group of friends and I visited Rēkohu (Chatham Island) and Rangihaute (Pitt Island) over Aotearoa New Zealand’s Waitangi weekend (5-8 February 2021). These islands are the most remote part of Aotearoa, 800km east of Te Waipounamu (South Island).
The islands boast stunning natural landscapes of considerably diversity, while their cultural history is equally diverse, tragic and fascinating. Ancestral home of the Moriori, famous for their pacifist culture, rākau momori (dendroglyph tree carvings), and sadly the devastating impact of contact and colonisation by both Europeans and mainland Māori.
In the next few posts I’ll put up pictures of our trip, but I wanted to provide some context for what was a truly fascinating experience.
Below is a picture of the western coast of Rēkohu, north of the main settlement of Waitangi.
Love this landscape in the eastern Wairarapa hills. Fabulous erosion control and use of sub-clover for natural nitrogen fixing. #naturebasedagriculture #sheepandbeefnz #aotearoanz
Sunset, Martinborough Hotel
A fabulous end to a great day made possible by our wonderful farmer and grower hosts in the Wairarapa. #mbnov