Māori Language Week: The history of Jackson's Bay

Tourism West Coast
Sept. 15, 2018

To celebrate Māori Language Week we want to share with you the history of Jackson's Bay in Haast:

Ko te hītori o Jackson, ko te mea e mohiotia ana, e hoki ana ki te tata ki te 200 tau, i nohoia e te iwi o Ngati-Mamoe, he rangatira rongonui, he ingoa rongonui ko Te Uira ("The Lightning"). He mea tino ataahua tana pounamu, te whakapehapeha me te mana o te iwi katoa.

Ko nga hoariri o Ngai-Tahus o Ngati-Mamoes-i angitu i te rautaki i te hopu i te Uira me te hiahia. Na tona kaha nui, na Te Uira i pakaru ona here; a, i te po, ka rere ki te pa o te hoariri. ko ia-na tetahi mahi whakamiharo i te hauora-te whakaora i te mea. 

I hohoro te riri a Ngai-Tahus ki te takutai kia kore ai e rere a Te Uira me tana iwi i to ratou pa i Jackson's Bay. 

Engari ka tae mai ki reira, ka kitea e ratou te pa kaha rawa kia mau tonu; a, i te aonga ake, i te korenga o te po, ka rere a Ngati-Mamoes ki roto o te whenua, ka mau ki a ratau ko te mea anake, he reikatanga kotahi o to ratau nui. 

I te maha o nga tau i muri mai, ka rongohia he toenga o te iwi kei te noho i te takiwa o te takiwa o Wanaka me Milford Sound.


View to Jackson Bay haast

English translation

The history of Jackson's Bay, as far as is known, goes back nearly 200 years, when it was inhabited by the Ngati-Mamoe tribe, whose chief was a famous warrior, well named Te Uira (“The Lightning”).

 He possessed a particularly beautiful greenstone mere, the pride and inspiration of the whole tribe. 

The Ngai-Tahus—relentless foes of the Ngati-Mamoes—succeeded by strategy in capturing both Te Uira and the coveted mere. By his great strength, Te Uira burst his bonds; and at nightfall, creeping stealthily to the enemy's pa. he—by an act astonishing in its cool daring—recovered the mere. 

The angry Ngai Tahus hurried down the coast to prevent the escape of Te Uira and his people from their pa at Jackson's Bay. But arriving there, they found the pa too well fortified to be taken immediately; and the next day, noiselessly, at dead of night the Ngati-Mamoes stole away into the interior of the country, taking with them the mere, sole relic of their former greatness. 

Many years later it was rumored that a remnant of the tribe still inhabited the country between Lake Wanaka and Milford Sound.