We visited Māngere Bridge school and learned about the past names of the mountain.
It was first called Pikitea, which means to climb. Then the name was changed to Te Ara Pueru. It refers to the iwi of Ngati Whātua about to attack the iwi Te Waiōhua, and how they used their korowai (cloaks) to muffle the loud crunching of the shells laid down by the Te Waiōhua as a sort of alarm system. Later the name was changed again to Te Pane o Mataoho - The Head of Mataoho.
We also learned about the harbour names and their origins. One name being Manukau harbour. It was named after Tainui Waka was carried across land to the harbour. Splashing was heard in the distance and it was thought that there were people in the water, but they soon realised it was only birds swimming. Manu (bird)- kau (swim). We were also told of the two heads of the harbour called Te Manukanuka a Hoturoa. They tell the story of when Hoturoa, the rangatira (chief) of Tainui Waka, was anxious to take the Waka through the dangerous waters between the heads out to sea.
I think it was really good for us as a class to go somewhere local and actually learn about the history behind it. To me it was important because I live around the area but never knew the things I do now! It was really interesting to go to the Maunga and point out the places and get a good idea of how it all happened.
Te Aria Jackson (Year 12, Marion Bruce House)