Waiapu River Delta : New Zealand
The Waiapu River flows north-east from the joining of the Mata and Tapuaeroa Rivers before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Rangitukia.
It is the most well known river in the region, and lies within the rohe (territory) of Ngāti Porou, the largest iwi (extended kinship group or tribe) on the East Coast, and second largest in New Zealand.
The area was the site of hostilities during the New Zealand Wars from June to October in 1865, both between Pākehā (New Zealand Europeans) and Māori, and between factions of Ngāti Porou.
Māori settlement of the Waiapu Valley, surrounding the Waiapu River, was widespread until the 1880s. The river and valley are within the rohe (territory) of Ngāti Porou, and is of immense cultural, spiritual, economic, and traditional value to them. According to traditional beliefs, Ngāti Porou have had an undisturbed relationship with the river since the time of Māui, and the river serves to unite those who live on either side of it.
The valley, which they call Te Riu o Waiapu, was a place where they could live, offering safe refuge during periods of war, and supplies of fresh water and various species of fish.
In 1840, Ngāti Porou extensively cultivated the area around the river. Approximately 80% of the Waiapu River catchment area, covering 1,734 square kilometres (670 sq mi), was native forest, with a rich array of native flora and fauna. There was a small area to the east of the river covered in coastal forest and scrub due to partial clearance and burning. Between 1890 and 1930 there was large-scale clearing, felling and burning of native forests for pastoralism. Floods and heavy rainfall are common to the area, and this, combined with the development, resulted in widespread erosion and large amounts of sediment being deposited in the river. This has changed the landscape significantly.
- Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
- Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
- Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson