Kā Huru Manu: My names are the treasured cloak which adorns the land

Takerei Norton

This map of Māori place names in Akaroa Harbour drawn by Teone Taare Tikao was forwarded by the local postmaster Dawson to ethnologist Johannes Andersen at the Department of Lands and Survey. Dawson also sent Andersen an extensive list of place names from other Ngāi Tahu informants such as Paurini Hirawea, Rahera Tikao and George Robinson Clough. This map and list of place names was recently discovered by the Ngāi Tahu Archive Team in Andersen’s personal papers at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. This is just one of numerous maps used by Ngāi Tahu to bring the original Māori place names of Te Waipounamu to life via Kā Huru Manu—the Ngāi Tahu digital atlas. As part of Kā Huru Manu we also acknowledge Ngāi Tahu informants, such as Teone Taare Tikao, who were generous with sharing their knowledge to ensure these traditional Māori place names are protected for future generations.

Map of Māori Place Names in Akaroa Harbour, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Map of Māori Place Names in Akaroa Harbour, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Teone Taare Tikao. c.1908. Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira (MS7).

This map drawn by Teone Taare Tikao is the most detailed record of Māori place names for Akaroa Harbour. Akaroa is an important settlement for the Ngāi Tahu people located on the eastern coastline of Te Waipounamu (the South Island). Tikao drew this map for the local postmaster, Henry Walter Dawson.

Teone Taare Tikao

Teone Taare Tikao. Unknown. c.1896. Canterbury Museum (19XX.2.4182).

Teone Taare Tikao (c.1850 –1927) was a well-known leader and scholar for the Māori iwi (tribe) of Ngāi Tahu. Tikao was astaunch advocate of his people’s interests. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Ngāi Tahu natural lore and the Māori history of the local Canterbury region. He shared some of this knowledge with European ethnographers and was considered a major intellectual force in the development of Ngāi Tahu.

Takerei Norton (Ngāi Tahu) is the manager of the Ngāi Tahu Archive Team. Takerei worked as an Environmental Advisor for Ngāi Tahu for nearly ten years protecting sites of cultural significance. Since 2007 he has headed Kā Huru Manu recording traditional Ngāi Tahu knowledge on the tribal Geographical Information System (GIS). Takerei was also co-editor of Tāngata Ngāi Tahu: People of Ngāi Tahu published in 2017 that was longlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and was part of the archive team that produced Kareao—the online Ngāi Tahu digital archive www.kareao.nz.