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Ipu Pakore – The Broken Gourds

Monday, June 8th, 2020

For ten years we had a physical store on Mt Eden Road, a couple of blocks from the base of Mt Eden. Every working day we drove or walked past Water Street to the Water Shop. I often thought that Water Street would be an apt address for our business, but it was a short dead-end street lined with ageing warehouses and ending at a railway line bordering Auckland’s Mount Eden prison. Probably not the ideal location for a retail water store!

There are many Water Streets. So how did this Water Street get its name?  According to history, Water Street marks the location of Ipu Pakore spring. Ipu Pakore in Maori means ‘the broken gourds’ and was named after two women who were ambushed on their return from fetching water during the raids of the famed Maori warrior, Kawharu. The spring supplied Maungawhau (Mount Eden) pa, and this was where Puhihuia met her lover Ponga before they eloped across the Manukau Harbour.

Today the spring is a swampy patch beside the railway line at the end of Water Street. I’m not sure I would drink the water from the spring these days, perhaps a sign of the times and why classic mineral and spring waters are as treasured now as they were in times past.

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