The last meeting of the Otaki Historical Society was a very enjoyable one. The speaker was well-known Queenie Rikihana Hyland.
Queenie began with the migration of Ngati Raukawa to this area in 1829 and discussed several of her ancestors, illustrated by beautiful paintings and photographs of some of them. She mentioned “Rikiville” where her family lived, growing vegetables, fruit and Ōtaki Pinks and violets for market. She noted the importance of land and her forthcoming book will be called Te Whenua — the Land.
Queenie called her talk “The Day the Creek Turned White”. This referred to when the milk factory poured water into the creek which was formerly pure with eels and watercress in it. When that happened, she said, everything stopped.