A huge part of what we do includes storytelling & taking the time to research the depth of place names & local history. In the recent school holidays we spent the first week painting in Kaikohe presenting the origin of the town name in our signature #birdgang style.
Kaikohe’s name (northland Aotearoa & the centre of the Ngapuhi Iwi) came from an incident involving fighting between inland & Hokianga groups. The paramount chief of the Kaikohe area was Hua & the land on which Kaikohe stands was Opango, as related by the elders. Kaikohe Hill was known to Māori as Tokareireia, & was then covered with kohekohe trees.
Pakinga pa to the west of the town was one of the strongholds of Ngapuhi. While the warriors of this tribe were away waging war, Morunga and Te Karamu of Hokianga, by way of revenge, sent a messenger to Rewha Rewha, rangatira of Ngati Whatua. With his warriors Rewha Rewha attacked the defenceless pa & sadly slaughtered women & children including Hongi Hika’s sisters. Among those who managed to escape were Tekona (symbolized by the large Tui) & her son Hone Heke (the smaller approaching Tui).
They took refuge on Takareireia hill (birds eye shape design), from where they later saw Rewha Rewha & his warriors attacking the inhabitants of Opango. Being without food they were forced to eat the bitter berries of the kohekohe trees. This was when the name Kaikohekohe was first used – thus Kaikohe. (www.kaikohe.co.nz)
Thank you to Craig for initiating the project & bringing some colour to the area along the Crimson EV charging route. Thank you to AKAU for the support & helping preparing the wall with all of the helpers involved & The Treehouse Creative for the great photos. Richard from Resene Kaikohe donated all of the roller paint & accessories & together we produced their story which we are honoured to do while honouring Charles' nanny Shirley who lies to rest in Parawhenua, Ohaeawai & was of Ngapuhi descent. #birdgang #mural #urbanart