Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Our Trip to Kerikeri

This afternoon we headed to Kerikeri to learn more about the history of the area and the relationship between the Maori and the settlers. We got to travel over in the car ferry which was a lot of fun and felt quite strange as the boat was moving but the car stayed still!
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Once we arrived in Kerikeri we drove up towards Kemp House and the Stone Store with Sarah from Adventure for Good.

We first headed to Kemp House (which is New Zealands oldest building) for a tour. In 1814, Nga Puhi chief Hongi Hika sailed to Sydney with traders on a ship called The Active. In Sydney he met Samuel Marsden, who he invited back to the Bay of Islands. With Hongi Hika's protection, Samuel Marsden began to build in the area as he wanted to create a Mission station in the Bay of Islands to spread Christianity around New Zealand. In 1818 Samuel Marsden brought 13,000 acres of land form Hongi Hika and he instructed Reverend John Butler to build the mission house (later known as Kemp House) in 1822.

The house then had several different owners, but it was occupied by the Kemp family and their descendants from 1832 to 1976 (142 years) until it was donated to Heritage New Zealand. The house is styled to appear as it did in 1832 and some of Charlotte Kemps original furnishings are still on display today.

After this tour we visited the nearby Stone Store. This was originally built in 1832 as a shop for the missionaries, where kai from the local farms were sold. Over the years it has been used as a library, military barracks and a boys school, before it was used once again as a general store from 1874, run by the Kemp family. It is now set up as a museum and it has lots of information about life in the 1800s inside.

Finally we visited Rewas village, where our guide Kepa told us a lot more about Hongi Heke and the  Ngāpuhi iwi who occupied the area. Just beyond Kemp House once lay Kororipo Pā and a large Kainga (village). Kepa told us about some of the famous Rangatira (chiefs) who had lived in the area including Hongi Heke and Tāreha of Ngāti Rēhia who stood at over seven feet tall.

 He then showed us around the replica fishing village, which gave us an idea of what Māori life was like before the Europeans arrived. We looked at different types of Rongoa (herbal medicine) and kai that the Māori used at the time and still use to this day. It was fabulous to see how to pick and use this Rongoa, as our local supermarkets sell pricey versions of these natural remedies which are not too difficult to find!
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