Library Names
the Stories of the Bilingual Names for Christchurch City Libraries

Te Kete Wānanga o Otamatua - Halswell Library

Click here to view poster as a pdfOtamatua, from time to time seen as Otumatua is a spur that divides the Hoon Hay Valley from Kennedy's Bush Valley, which runs from Cass Peak down to the Halswell Quarry area.

Other associated Māori names in this area include the wriggly part of the upper Halswell River, which was called Huritini and means 'many turns'. Another two names for different parts of the Halswell River were recognized as Te Tau Awa a Maka and Te Heru o Kahukura.

The next Māori name about Halswell has a nautical flavour, as it is called O Te Ika i te Ana - which means 'the fish in the cave.' Another cave or rock shelter in the area is Te Ana a Te Wera 'The cave of Te Wera'. These caves had many uses for local Canterbury Māori such as temporary shelters from storms, campsites used for stopovers for perhaps one night only and for protection from invading or marauding war parties.

Te Ana Whakairo - 'The cave of rock carvings.' Cave at the foot of the Lansdown valley on a property once owned by Rodger Duff. Kāti Mamoe from the Manuka pā used it as a hideout from other iwi during times of war.

The name 'Halswell' evidently came from Edmund Storr Halswell, a barrister of Temple Bar, whose home was in Radnorshire, Wales who came to the colony in 1841 as Commissioner of Native Reserves for the New Zealand Company. He was a member of the Canterbury Association who sat on the committee of management.

Listen to the Māori name of the library below.

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