The lovely origins of the unlovely 'K' Rd

Post date: Mar 07, 2012 1:18:51 AM

At a disability sector conference earlier this week Tariana Turia was speaking about the place of people with disabilities in our community. As part of her speech she shared this piece of Tainui oral history

This is the tale of a Tainui ancestor named Hape.

Hape, literally translated means club foot.

The story goes, that when it was time for Tainui waka to set sail from our ancestral homeland of Hawaiki to Aotearoa, the people were asked to do a test in order to get a place on the waka.

Hape failed this test, due to his clubbed foot, and he was left behind in Hawaiki.

The waka carried on its journey to the shores of New Zealand, and those on the waka waved farewell to him in their wake.

The journey was long, and rough, and it was not long before many forgot about Hape, the man they had bid farewell in Hawaiki.

The waka eventually made its long journey to Aotearoa, and landed in the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland. As the people in the canoe disembarked they could see a man standing on the hill in the distance.

It was none other than Hape, the man they had left behind in Hawaiki.

Hape, who some say travelled by stingray to Aotearoa, had arrived in many weeks ago. And he stood up on a hill and called them on to the land, those who had left him behind.

The place where this event took place many centuries ago is well known to many of us here. The event was known as Te karanga a Hape, and where this event occurred is known today as Karangahape Road in Auckland.”

I liked this image enough to share it. The origins of the name are so much nicer than the current reality of a slightly seedy street!