Tuia - Encounters 250: Cook’s place names around New Zealand - Young Nicks Head (Te Kurī) and Te Kuri a Paoa / Young Nick’s Head National Historic Reserve
Paoa was an early ancestor of the people of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa. He was captain of the Horouta canoe, which arrived in the early 14th century. There are many accounts of Paoa’s travels, both of how he came to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay and his journeys further south, and his name is represented in several places in the landscape.
One of these places is a headland south of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, named Te Kurī-a-Paoa after Paoa’s kurī (dog) which he reportedly lost during his travels.
When Cook arrived in 1769, he named the same headland Young Nicks Head, after 12-year-old Nicholas Young, the first person on board to sight New Zealand. Nick may have been a servant to the surgeon William Monkhouse, the surgeon’s mate William Perry or the naturalist Joseph Banks. He had spotted land (probably mountain ranges further inland) from the masthead on 5 October 1769. In addition to having a geographic feature named after him, Nick received two gallons of rum.
In 2012, as part of the Ngai Tāmanuhiri Claims Settlement Act, the headland was vested in Ngāi Tāmanuhiri as a national historic reserve and the name officially altered to a dual name, Te Kuri a Paoa / Young Nick’s Head National Historic Reserve.
- NZ Gazetteer - Young Nicks Head (Te Kurī)
- NZ Gazetteer - Te Kuri a Paoa / Young Nick’s Head National Historic Reserve
- Rongawhakaata Halbert, Horouta: A History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East Coast, Reed, Auckland, 199, p. 28
- Basil Keane, Kurī – Polynesian dogs - Traditional accounts of kurī, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
- Our Stories / Heritage Sites: Te Kurī a Pāoa, Young Nick’s Head, Te Hā
- Ngai Tāmanuhiri Claims Settlement Bill — Second Reading, In Committee, Hansard