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Whariti is not translatable. It is a corruption of the original name Wharetiti (Whare – house, titi – muttonbird (the Sooty Shearwater)). According to audio archives* the peak of 920m (2950 ft) gained its name from the times when the muttonbird nested on top of the ridges of the Ruahine mountain range. They arrived at Wharetiti from Bear Island, Waimarama and continued northwards to Tongariro.
The Maori would construct temporary housing when the Titi began to arrive, and harvest the birds from their burrows and preserving them inside pouches made from bull kelp which they carried up from the coast.

The population of the Titi or Sooty Shearwater has since reduced and migrating flight patterns changed. Their appearance on this part of the Ruahine Mountains has all but ceased.
The sites of the temporary housing have been replaced by a radio mast containing an array of radio and telecommunications equipment.

*Taped interview between Nuku Weatherby and George Matthews. Recorded at Radio Woodville 31.11.1999



Last updated by Administrator (admin) on Jun 16 2009 at 10:09 AM