Te Kete Wānanga o Te Kōpare o Iho

Library Names: the Stories of the Bilingual Names for Christchurch City Libraries

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Te Kōpare o Iho means 'The Heart of the Tree.' This area is located in the vicinity of what was once called the Styx Railway siding. It is understood that in what is known today as the suburb of Redwood and that there were many sites of tribal and spiritual significance to Māori in this area - hence the Ōtukaikino Reserve further out in Belfast.

Over 100 years ago, the area recognised, as Styx comprised what is today the northern part of Redwood and the southern part of Belfast, including land out towards Marshlands Road. It is understood that there were no other permanent settlements (kāika), however, as more than often, there were seasonal activities related to exercising mahika kai rights in the customs associated with food gathering.

Food types utilised from the water systems that were located in this suburb included aruhe - fernroot, kiore - native rat, korere - quail, karakahia - grey duck and tuna - eel. Many of these and other types of birds and fish species were part of their staple diet.

Plant material was also gathered in both small and large quantities for general use in the kāika such as raupō - bulrush, harakeke - flax, kiekie - climbing plant and wiri - rushes. All these resources from one small locality are still highly treasured by both Tangata Whenua and other citizens of Christchurch today.

Another name associated with this area a little further north called Orawhata at Belfast, apparently used as a place for storing canoe sails when no longer required.

Māori place-names that survived in written form such as on maps have tended to be incorrectly marked. This has caused some confusion amongst early writers of Christchurch local history. As an example, a place name will be correct but its location in error.

Listen to the Māori name [73KB MP3]

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