The Turakipo Makutu Of Cave Rock

At the intersection of Judges Street and Vincent Place in Opawa once stood a small Pa – an outpost of the mighty Ngai Tahu’s northern Kaikai-a-waro (Kaiapoi) Pa. It was called Opawaho.The last chief of Opawaho was Turakipo, and he fell in love with Hineao whose father – Te Ake – was a chief over in Akaroa. He wanted her as his wife but she rejected him. In revenge, Turakipo makutued her – cast a spell of death – and she fell into a deep death like slumber.Te Ake, Hineao’s father, obviously upset, stood on the hill over looking Ohikaparuparu (Sumner) and cast a Makutu of his own over Turakipo and his people.

A great whale swam up into the shallows of Sumner and beached itself. The Maori of Opawa rejoiced and feasted on it. Turakipo, who was weary of the find, did not eat of the whale and watched as those who did, fall into a death-like sleep.

He and a few others escaped Te Ake’s Makutu but were later slain by Te Ake’s men anyway.

Cave Rock is believed to be the carcass of the great whale, brought to the Maori of Opawa by the black magic of Te Ake.

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