Maketu was an east coast town with a large stretch of beach and a swirling stream that coursed its way into the Pacific Ocean.
Although the tiny town appeared off the radar, it was actually the landing site of the first Maori people in 1340. They had taken a journey of over 4 000 kilometres across the Pacific in a canoe.
The crew’s navigator, Tamatekpua, left the canoe at the landing site so that future generations would be able to see where they landed. Years later, someone set fire to the canoe, and after enquiring at the information centre, I was told that not a scrap of the canoe remains. Additionally, there are conflicting opinions about where the landing site was.