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Special Edition: World Rivers Day 2022

Today, the 25th of September 2022 is World Rivers Day. Celebrated around the world on the 4th Sunday of September.

This is the Mataura River mouth at Fortrose - Toetoe, Southland - Murihiku. The Mataura River flows south from the northern boundary of Southland - from Piano Flat & the Old Man Range to the east, and Nokomai & the Erye Mountains to the west. It flows South through the townships of Gore and Mataura, before flowing into Foveaux Strait - Te Ara-a-Kiwa (the pathway of Kiwa - the whale who cut the ropes between the upturned waka of Te Waipounamu to the sinking anchor of Raikiura / Stewart Island) at Toetoes Estuary in

Toetoes Bay.


The Mata Ura was a significant kāinga mahinga kai (food-gathering place) for local Kāi Tahu, and was tribally renowned for its abundance of kanakana (lamprey, Geotria australis). Commonly known in the North Island as piharau, kanakana is a primitive species of fish. Instead of gills, kanakana have six holes down each side of the head and a sucker-type mouth. Kanakana are normally caught when climbing natural waterfalls, such as Te Au-nui-pihapiha-kanakana (Mataura Falls) which was a renowned spot for gathering kanakana. The Mataura was an important ara tawhito (traditional travel route) that provides direct access from Murihiku to Whakatipu Waimāori (Lake Wakatipu). [Kā Huru Manu - the Ngāi Tahu Atlas] 

Photo description: [Mataura River Mouth - Fortrose; image taken by palmanfr Jan 2012].

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