SPECTRUM. 2008-01-13, [Ninety Mile Beach]
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Jenny McIntyre takes a trip along Northland's famous Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually 56 miles/90 km long). Bus driver, Hugh, Hughie or [Hoinga] (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa) shares his world with 10,000 tourists every year, he's been driving buses for twenty-two years.
Traditionally known as Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (the long beach of Tōhē) it has special significance for Māori as the gateway to the afterlife. Hugh explains where Ninety Mile Beach got its name from. Interviews with Hugh and tourists collecting pipis, tobogganing down sand dunes and in a kauri forest.
Hugh points out where The Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet (explaining how Māori think of them as male and female seas, Te Moana [a Rehu] and Te Tai o Whitireia) and identifies Manawatahi (the last Breath) an island on the horizon associated with Māori myth, where spirits farewell the physical world.
Hugh describes the spirit tree (pohutukawa) as [Aka kete ringa] or root to the underworld on Cape Rēinga, Te Rerenga Wairua as a sacred site, a departing place for spirits as they begin their journey to Hawaiki via the island, Manawatahi.
Hugh retells the story first told to him by an aunt living in Hokianga that during the war (WWII) she witnessed the spirit of a cousin killed in battle returning to Te Rerenga Wairua.
Reference number 149706
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Macintyre, Jenny, Reporter
Radio New Zealand National, Broadcaster
Date 13 Jan 2008