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We have had quite a few contributions of photographs to the site so far, which can be seen in the photo gallery, but the Okarito community has a wealth of talent in many areas and this section of the site will be dedicated to the written musings of the residents. We'll get things started with this work by Hiria Apanui, but be sure to drop by from time to time to see additions to this section.

Ode to Okarito

Of other places I may live my heart will always be here.
Open spaces, flaunting beauty, I hope even in my dreams I’ll visit here.
An intimate place on the shore offers solitude, a place to walk searching
the stony banks, drift wood treasures, nga manu, nga
kararehe.

A lolling kekeno hauled ashore for a nap in the midday sun
flicks at the sand flies disturbing his rest,
we eye each other wearily as I pass.
I stop, he snorts I carry on happy to have seen him there.

A glance towards the bush-lined cliffs and then to the resplendent white-
cloaked mountains, the environment stunningly
beautiful.
Korimako announces his presence, yet he sounds lonely.
I feel for him.

And if at night I pluck up the courage to venture out, I will see the most
fabulous sky and moon, so clear and bright
and hear the occasional plaintive call of the ruru and the boisterous
whistling of the frogs.

Spring has come early, the kereru are fat
and the rabbits have fine feasts at everyone’s expense.
Soon the white baiters will be here and this little paradise will again
become, an energized village abuzz with old and new
acquaintances.
Another season begins, new tales for the next generation.

I was once told that in order to get a real appreciation for somewhere,
you should at least spend four seasons.
Any more and the greatest difficulty you will have is leaving.

This place they call Okarito will take your breath away, will seduce you
with its beauty, capture your heart with its serenity
and convince you there is nowhere else like it.
My heart will always be here — Okarito

‘E tama e hine hoki hoki tonu mai ki tenei whenua. I tuku mai no tou
tupuna, hoki mai ki tou wairua Maori, e tu mana nei ee.

Hiria Apanui, August 2001 .




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