Print
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 20, June 1976

WHEN COUSINS MEET AT RIVERS END

OHINEMURI AND WAIHOU

By HONE KARAKA (JOHNNY CLARKE)

Many long days Ohinemuri had flowed

Before there were Towns of silver and gold –

Waihi, Waikino, Karangahake of old –

Spin again Miner, there are tales to be told!

For gold was the lure for seeking and staking;

Believe it or not, it was there for the taking.

 

Exciting the years when River was partner

To hurry and scurry of those who arrived

To try to diminish the gold to a finish;

With them it suffered yet always survived.

 

The turbulent Gorge played its music crescendo

As boisterous batteries crushed quartz into sand

And tailings pollution was poured in the river

Till furious flooding spread silt on the land.

 

Yet slowly and softly, twisting and turning

It wended its way beyond Mackaytown Ford

Past Tapu Ariki, ancient and sacred

In Maori tradition and mourning and yearning.

 

Then urgency called to Ohinemuri:

Her destiny lay where two rivers meet

And there she would mingle with new-water, Waihou,

Joy it would be for the cousins to greet.

 

Though closed are the mines and sparkling the waters,

Boats that plied daily now are no more;

Yet prosperous and peaceful the land of the rivers

From mountainous splendour to fertile Paeroa,

Where hills and Hauraki share nature's graces

Harmony blending the lives of two races.

(Study by Timota Turitaia Teka).