Episode 92: Gary Cook & The Tūrehu

Hello everyone and welcome back to you all. As you can tell, I’m still recovering from my chest infection, but definitely on the mend. enough about me, let’s get into this episode.

Supernatural beings are a part of all cultures world-wide. There are not many, if any, cultures in this world that don’t have a version of this particular variety of inter-dimensional beings. They go by many names – dependent on where in the world they are found. But there are not only one variety of these beings, there are many. Here are some names, a few of them go by in different parts of the world. In Ireland and the British Isles, they are called the Fae, Fairies, Pixies, Leprechauns, the Seelie or Unseelie – the banshee, also being a fairy type, in Hawaii they are the Menehune. In the Greek culture, nymphs or Satyrs, in Germany they are Elves. In the bayous of the deep south, in the USA they are called Feufollet…. So many different names all over the world for these fairy folk.

In the native New Zealand or, Māori language, they have an overall name for supernatural beings. They call them “He Iwi Atua. But, we also have many different names for these fairy folk, here are just two of them. Patupaiarehe and Tūrehu. Different regions of NZ, and iwi, or tribes often have their own name for these folk. What do these elusive beings actually look like? Are they simply the stuff of myths and legends, or are they a really living, if elusive species?

The Patupaiarehe, the fairy folk is a topic that we have covered in other seasons of the Walking the Shadowlands podcast. In the very first season, I covered the New Zealand version of them. And this subject is one that always seems to hold a fascination for most of my listeners. Certainly it’s a subject I never get sick of learning about.

In this episode, I welcome back a much loved and enjoyed guest from our first season, and from one of the Patupaiarehe episodes. This episode is going to be a little bit different. In that initially my guest will be reading from some very, very old, in some cases, the first officially written descriptions given of these folk, as handed down by the local iwi. Generally, I don’t encourage guests to simply read stuff, but in this case, I feel it’s relevant for two reasons. 1) So there is an audio recording of this old record, and 2) because it’s very relevant to the history of these beings in New Zealand. And later in our conversation, my guest will also, share eyewitness accounts of experiences with these beings, as shared with him. And his own personal encounters with these beings. So, are you willing to begin our journey into this part of the shadowlands and see what awaits us there? Then let’s begin.

Sometimes there are people who touch our lives in ways, they may not even know about. Today’s guest is one such person. I first heard about this gentleman back in the late eighties here in New Zealand and his words had a profound influence on the way I began to look at certain aspects of life here in this beautiful country. For many years he was a regular contributor to a now-defunct NZ magazine called Rainbow News, which was a spiritual, sort of new-age type magazine that I used to devour eagerly, not because I believed in everything, or even actually most that was written in there, but because some of the articles resonated deeply with me. It was from that magazine that I first learned about the still relatively little known, Kaimanawa wall, deep in the middle of the Kaimanawa state forest.

Gary is a leading writer on the special nature of the mystic realms that are to be found in New Zealand and the South Pacific and the leader of The Secret Land project. An explorer of ancient sacred places and energy sites in the unique New Zealand landscape, Gary has devoted many years of searching and writing of the wonders to be found within the islands of New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Research by the Secret Land Project has revealed much of the 4000-year history of New Zealand and the early-comers to this land. Findings of the deeper history are not, at this stage, acknowledged by mainstream thought and academics. This land abounds in ancient wisdom and reveals much that has been lost, but not forgotten.

His extensive journeys and experiences allow Gary to share much of the deeper nature of the forests, the waters and the mountains enabling us all to connect with the natural order in a deeper and more meaningful way. The author of two books in The Secret Land series, Gary is a regular contributor to Australian and New Zealand magazines offering readers unique glimpses of the sacred landscape of Aotearoa. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Science. My special guest, Gary Cook

Gary: So we’ve got some I’ve got a lot of stuff lined up for today on fairy tales. OK, and this is going to be a programme, with nothing but fairies. And the accent is going to be on – I’ll touch on the wider view of fairies. Then, I’m going to hone in on sightings, and things which have occurred in New Zealand, which will also be of interest to people overseas. Because I’ll mention this, or you can bring this up if you like. I do belong. I have for the past seven or eight years, I belong to an organisation called the Fairy Investigation Society, which is founded was founded a number of years ago, by an academic from Oxford University. A professor of medieval literature.
And so he, he commenced a world-wide fairy census. To get people to write in from all around the world of their fairy experiences, in their lifetime. And so initially, he received something like seven hundred replies from around the world, including more than a handful from New Zealand. And I thought, this is rather interesting, actually, and I’m going to be writing an article for the society very soon. To do with sightings that I have recorded, with people in New Zealand, which I’ll share with you later, as we go. So that’s all I’ve got a lot of things to sort of read from here. I’ll be doing a lot of reading, because there’s a lot of names here, a lot of Māori names, which I have to get my tongue around, OK? And so I hope that we’ll find this of interest? Ok!

Marianne: Oh, that’s brilliant.

So most of my topics are also more recent years have been on music of the planets. But also now I can see the tie in with the fairy realms and also the elemental realms and the plant elementals and things like that.

So it’s all interconnected isn’t it?

Absolutely it is.

And these days, particularly over the past couple of years, the veil between our dimensions has been absolutely thinning. And buckling, and tearing in places. And so people are having more, and more experiences, than they ever had before because of this thinness of the dimensional veils. So it’s . . .

Oh, yeah, you’re so right. And that’s – a lot of people are quite confused by this. Others, of course, are overjoyed, because they’re having this connection. But I do get a lot of contacts with people sharing a little story. So I’d like to open with a little quotation here, if I may? And this is from Rudolf Steiner. And I think a lot of people know who Rudolf Steiner was. And what he set up, is still alive in the world today. Wth his schools and his methods of teaching. And so he had to say, and I’ll quote him here:

“And growing up without fairy tales leads later to boredom, to world weariness. Indeed, it can even cause physical symptoms. Fairy tales can help to prevent illnesses. And the qualities that seep into our soul from fairy tales, later emerge as a zest for life. Enthusiasm for being alive and an ability to cope with life, all of which can be seen even in old age.”

And that’s incredible, because, when he talks about fairy tales, this is looking at the broad spectrum stories. Whether it’s Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, of course. Which was highlighted when Disney made the film, of course. But all these wonderful stories and the Brothers Grimm. And all the little stories that we heard as children. It’s important that the children of today hear their stories and read these stories, and I think that this then becomes the duty, I guess. If not the duty, the role of grandparents like myself. If we don’t have the opportunity to read stories to our grandchildren, at least send them a book on fairy tales. Nowadays, it’s so easy for them to grab the little iPad like my grandchildren in England. When I’m talking to them, it’s a hard job to get them off the iPad and look at me on my screen, because they’re so busy. So, but the actual book with illustrations in is, I think, far, far more effective than children looking at a screen.

I agree.

And so, looking at that. I’m just going to be reading from a few notes, I’ve got here.

No worries

“The fairy folk so well known to our ancestors, all but disappeared from most parts of the industrialized, modern, steam driven world, their peaceful way of living shattered by the progress of modern man into the age of machinery. Many safe-dwelling places came under threat, as humans spread more and more into the landscape. These little people, they became invisible to us, only showing themselves on rare occasions. They were many in shape and size and usually quite elusive. It would appear that many folk living in rural area. Or, near forests of mountains in all parts of the world are finding a reconnection with these forests dwellers. As those who work with nature and the natural order are having contacts with these little folk. Hearing, and in some cases, actually seeing these beings. How we perceive these tiny folk, shaped through the history handed down to this day in the form of stories and legends.

There is about them magical glamour that requires us at the right moment to stop and listen to their voices and their song. To hear their laughter and merriment. In fact, it would seem that they are now drawing attention to themselves. And this may have not a little to do with the damage that is occurring in our natural environment due to human folly of attempting to subdue the landscape, rather than live in balance and harmony with nature. There is no clear classification for these fairy folk as beguile us with much that is magic and insubstantial. There are local names and descriptions for these beings in all parts of the world, the old world ,and the modern world.”

So you can see Marianne, there is a great awakening around the world. And I guess that I’m privileged to come in contact with a lot of people around the world. And a lot of stories which are emerging. And some people might say, and criticizing what people are experiencing. Well, this is just your imagination. It’s just, you know, you’re in a funny stage. And what are you on? And what have you been smoking or something like that? Nothing to do with that at all, because these things, all these events where there is a momentary contact can happen when one least expects it. But we’ll get into that a little later on.

I actually am very aware that people are, particularly today. And particularly now with the U.S. government pretty much coming out and acknowledging the existence of UFOs, that people are really searching. Trying to find their place again with everything that’s going on in the world around us at this point in time. People are seeking – So really, people are looking to reconnect with nature. Reconnect with a simpler way of life, I think. And more and more people are accepting that there are other life forms, other than what we are currently aware of in this reality. And I think that’s a really good thing.

No you’re quite right. And it’s quite interesting, too, when we use the term reconnected with nature. Because, as I’ve possibly shared with you before, we’ve never been disconnected. In a way, truly we are entirely connected with nature. We are beings of nature. We are just as natural as the, as it’s a fish of a pond. And the bird in the sky and the tree in the forest. And we’re all composed of the same elements. It’s just that we’re all put together in a different way, in a different shape. And, you know, we look like humans and we look like a rock or we look like a waterfall.

So no, no. And it’s just incredible that, you know, that people are now opening themselves up. And I feel Marianne, it’s to do with everything that is going on in the world at the moment. And with the advent of this pandemic, as they like to call it. Which is ever present in our lives now, in daily news and things of this nature. And when we go out to shop, we are presented with a form to sign, or a little picture to scan if we have a smartphone, or something like that. So, these things are ever present. They’re sort of here and they’re almost sitting on our shoulders. I think for some people these have become quite a heavy thought sitting on their shoulders. And it’s, it doesn’t suit them. It doesn’t help their health and their well-being. So, this is why people are now looking in and seeking other ways of, of enlightenment, or other ways of seeking answers.

I guess there’s no answer really to what is going on. We won’t go into that and look at the philosophical reasons behind the condition of the world today. But instead, let’s just look at the fairies. And, I’m just going to bring you into now, all of you out there into – I’m going to quote from a book written in nineteen hundred and five by a well-known New Zealand author called James Cowan. He was a journalist and worked on a number of major newspapers in New Zealand. But, he also used to write columns. But he travelled around New Zealand recording old stories and things, talking to the elders. The Māori elders, and that before they passed, recording their story. So naturally, he recorded things to do with fairies. And so this book. I got a quote from this book titled Fairy Folk Tales of the Maori. And so, it goes on to say:

“Māori legends of the Patupaiarehe, which is one of the names given by the Maori people to the hidden folk.”

Now he starts off by saying:

“A New Zealand poet once lamented the dearth of fairy lore in the islands of New Zealand. And in his ignorance made a complaint. Why have we in these islands no fairy down, no haunted wood, no wild enchanted mare?”

So, of course, James Cowan rose to this challenge and said, oh, my gosh. He said:

“This man declared that this lack of fairy glamour must be filled by the imaginative writer, the poet art, that is without a veil must weave the story.”

So the writer was saying, no there’s nothing here. So let’s make up the story. James Cowan goes on to say:

“It was unfortunate that a writer with so sympathetic a muse, had never heard of the Māori’s rich store of fairy legends, and wonder tales. Of endless folk talk about the supernatural, the sprites of the woods. The elusive Patupaiarehe, the mysterious wild man of the mountains. The strange spirit support great pools at river sources, and stream, and lakes. For all of this, in endless variety we have in New Zealand. There is not another country, not even Ireland. Or, the fairy ridden Isle of Man, so full of folk memories and primitive beliefs of this kind.”

What a statement! My gosh, he goes on to write:

“The only reason that the newcomers the Pakeha, to this land does not know of it. Is that very, very few have gone to the trouble to delve into this class of myth and tradition. And preserve all those yet times, that the curious and poetic tales which crystallize for us the Māori belief in unseen presences. And the fairy folk that haunted many a lofty mountain, and many a shadowy wood.”

I love the way he writes.

Very poetic. Hmm.

“Fairy’s, giants, fabulous monsters, marble-working magicians. Strange apparitions of forest that have ever been found, in countries of such a mountainous, broken and generously wooded character as New Zealand. And it would be strange indeed, if so imaginative, a race as a Māori Polynesian had not peopled the land with all manner of curious, extra human beings . Poetic above all the other myths of the strange and supernatural are the many stories which tell of the mystic grace. The Patupaiarehe. This name is a term applied, by the Māori, to the mysterious forest dwelling people. Who, for want of a more exact term, may be described as the fairies of New Zealand. They are spoken of as an iwi atua a race of supernatural beings. And they are credited with some of the marvellous powers attributed to the world of fairy in many other parts of the globe.

Now, some folktales of the Māori described them as little people. But, the native fantasy does not usually picture them as the tiny elves, common to the old world, fairydom we know. Most of the legends that the writer has gathered, gives them the extraordinary stature of mortals. While at the same time investing them with some of the characteristics of the enchanted tribes of other lands.

The Patupaiarehe were for most the part of a much lighter complexion than the Māori. Their hair was of the dull, golden or reddish hue, urukehu. such as is sometimes seen amongst Māori people. even today. They inhabited the remote parts of the wooded ranges, preferring the highest peaks such as Hihikiwi on Mount Pirongia, and the summit of Mount Te Aroha. They ventured out only by night. And on days of heavy clouds and fog. They lived on forest foods, but sometimes they resorted to the shores of sea and lake, for fish. They had a great aversion to the steam rising from the Māori cooking ovens. And to the sight and smell of kōkōwai, which is a red ochre, which is made from haematite mixed with earth and [inaudible]. And with this red ochre, the Māori dabbed his dwellings, and sometimes himself.

They are greatly skilled in all manner of enchantments and magic. And they often employed these arts of gramarye, to bewilder and terrify the iwi Māori. Nevertheless, we find them at times living in good terms with the Māori neighbours. The Patupaiarehe and a number of these fairy tales constituted themselves, the guardians of sacred places. And visited their displeasure on those who neglected the rights for the propatation of the forest deities.”

So here we have now, Marianne, a interesting glimpse into how the Māori, the iwi Māori of New Zealand, regarded these little people, the forest dwellers. And emerging with what I’m sharing with you, there seems to be that perhaps, they were a small race of people. Just lived up in the forests. And perhaps, they had moved into these regions, which were to move away from the Māori, Polynesian Māori who arrived in New Zealand, and settled there. So there is two schools of thought here. Were they are indeed a small, diminutive race of people? Who move further and further into the forest in the mountains to separate themselves and then just disappeared? Or, were they indeed a race of fairy people? Which I find quite intriguing.

“This class of fairy folktales, no doubt originated in the actual existence of numerous tribes, of people, who dwelt for safety in the more inaccessible parts of these islands. Many of them were reddish haired, with fairer complexions, than those of the Māori. The remnants of an immeasurably, ancient, fair-haired people who have left a strain of urukehu, in most Māori tribes.

So, the dense and thickly matted character of the news in a forest. With a closely woven roof and foliage to which the sunshine was filtered to a twilight, in the in the sanctums of the wai tapu nui a Tane, made a strong impression on the imaginative Māori mind, and it was natural to people. The heart of the bush with unseen presences, and supernatural creatures dwelling there. The conjecture provoking sounds heard in the forest in the quiet of night. Noises known to those who have camped out in the New Zealand forests in the high woods, heightened the popular belief, the existence of the fairy folk.

So, the North Island – stories that have remained true to this very, very day. Tell of these little people associated chiefly with the forests and peaks of the Waikato, Waipa Basin, the Cape Colville -Te Aroha range, and the hills above Lake Rotorua, Ngongotaha. And the beautiful mountain Kakepuku, in the Waipa Valley, was a fairy resort. There is a deep wooded valley on the western side, beloved of the Patupaiarehe, from the Pirongia mountain. They did not venture to other parts of the mountain, because they sometimes saw the Māori fires burning, on the northern and eastern sides. And their paths were in the drifting clouds and low lying banks of fog.”

So once again, Marianne, we are looking here at – Are we looking at a real live people here? Or, are we looking at something which takes on the air of fairy-like qualities, by being elusive and not wanting to have any recourse with Māori, with iwi Māori? So stories of this nature abound throughout this land. Now I’m going to talk a little in depth here about the Patupaiarehe tribe, as they were called, of Ngongotaha. Which is a big hill behind Rotorua, which is so known to people. Today, of course, nestled at the foot of the Ngongotaha, down to the edge of the lake Rotorua, is the city of Rotorua. And of course, on the slopes of the city side, of course, they’ve put up gondolas and big things. And you go out there and play and have fun. But, still today, on the upper part and the back part of Ngongotaha, it is known by people who live in Rotorua, that the Patupaiarehe is still there. And they can be heard at night, never seen, but heard. So, this is a report written a long time ago.

“The partly wooded Mount Ngongotaha, rising above the south shore of Lake Rotorua was a principal haunt of the Patupaiarehe
people in Rotorua. The fairy pa was at the te ahu o te Atua (the direction of the Gods), on the summit of the mountain. And there were also fairy villages on the neighbouring range called Te raho o te Rangateri, (The platform of the Rangateri). And that of at another site, an earthwork defended pa at the foot of the mountain, on the northern side. Near the Waiteti stream. So, even up to the present day, there are traces of where these people were living. And who’s to say they’re still not living, they’re living in the realm in which they dwell, with comfort and security.

So, the name of the tribe was Ngati Rua. And the chiefs of the tribe, in the days of my ancestors were Ehunga. And they were Tūrihu, Te Rangi te Mai, O Tongi Kaho, Rotukohu, And these people were very numerous. There were a thousand or perhaps many more of them on Ngongotaha. They were an iwi atua. Which is a godlike race of people, of supernatural powers. And in appearance, some
of them were very much like the Maori people of that day. Others resembled the Pakeha or the white race. The complexion of most of them was kiri te whero, which was a reddish skin. And their hair had the red, or golden tinge, which we called urukehu. And some of their women were very beautiful, very fair of complexion, with shining, fair hair.

They wore chiefly the flax garment called the pekerangi, dyed a red colour. They also wore the rough mats poru, and purakeke. In their disposition, they were peaceful. They were not war loving, angry people. Their food consisted of the products of the forest. And they also came down to Lake Rotorua, to catch īnanga, the whitebait.

There was one curious characteristic of these Patupaiarehe. They had a great dread of the steam that rose from cooked food.
So in the evening when Māori people living close to the mountain, and other places nearby. The fairy abodes, when they opened, when they opened their cooking hangis, all the Patupaiarehe, retired to the houses immediately they saw the clouds of vapor rising from the cooking. And shut themselves up. They were afraid of the steam.”

Which is interesting.

“So, when the Māori’s, many generations ago, set fire to the ferns and forests on the slopes of Ngongotaha, and destroyed much of the vegetation, even up to the borders of te ahu o te Atua. There were great lamentations amongst the fairy tribe, and they wept for the mountains. Devastated by the fires of the strangers. Most of them departed from their ancient haunts, and migrated northwards. And to Moehau which is up by Cape Colville, in the Coromandel Peninsula. On the persuasion of the chief Rotukohu.”

So, they had a famous song that they sung, a farewell song. Very, very moving. “And yet there are still fairies on Ngongotaha to this day.” Says the lady telling the story

And on cloudy days, and when the mist descends on, and about the mountainsides. The thin voices of the Patupaiarehe people may be heard high up on the mountains. And also the music of the flutes, the pūtōrino. So, it’s not wise to go out hunting wild pigs in the mountain slopes at such times. And in the heart of the island, there was a Patupaiarehe chief for Tau Atua. Of wonderful powers. Of Ngati Maniapoto, and his name was Te Riorio. And his home was Tongariro and the Kaimanawa Ranges.

So as we look deeper into this, and there are still record of stories amongst iwi Māori in New Zealand, in various locations throughout the north. Why most of these stories are coming from the North Island, was the fact the denser populations in the central
part of the North Island, and up into the northern part. This is where the iwi Māori when they arrived, settled mostly in the North Island. An, settled mostly in the more beneficial climates for the growing food and things like this. And close to estuaries and river mouths and good fishing grounds. So as their races increased, the pressure would have come on the forest dwellers to move further and further out. There are stories about the South Island Patupaiarehe, by the way. They talk about the Mahiro, which was a wild man and a gentle giant in the mountains today. That’s another story.

Yes. And it’s interesting, Gary, sorry to interrupt – The areas where you talk about the Patupaiarehe being so far, are also the areas where the Moehau Man, and other beings also exist.

That’s exactly right. And it was very interesting to hear those stories, which came to light in the nineteen-sixties about Moehau Man and how they sort of, the stories the rolled on for quite a few years. Various sightings of various things which were occurring. And so I guess that not ever having spoken to many Māori from the area up there, I have the feeling that they would have known of this being. They would have perhaps known who they were, and why they came through. Because, the Moehau mountain itself, is a very, very sacred place up there. Well known to the local iwi of the area as a dwelling place of the Patupaiarehe.

There was a big stone put in place up there to commemorate a famous chief, many generations ago. But other than that, people don’t go up there. They keep away from it with reverence. I know people being up there in recent times to photograph it. It’s a massive climb, apparently, up there. But then on the seaward side, on the other side of the of the peninsula, of course, you drop down steeply into the ocean and it’s all wooded, and forested.

So there are lots of stories, still in those areas. And I guess these are stories which are told on maraes to this day. Told to young children who wish to listen. Told by the law keepers and the storytellers. So it’s interesting, too, that I guess looking at forest areas all over this land, there would be stories from all major forest areas. So, I just want to speak here a little more now about just to – and I’ve written here, I wrote this article a long time ago: And many hapu have stories that refer much of the activities and dwelling place of these mysterious folk. I’m speaking here of the fairy folk, whose names are given as Patupaiarehe, Tūrehu, and Heketoro. And the existence of these fairy, or elf-like forest dwellers, was well known by Māori in distant times.

Now the work of Eldon Best, who was a bit of an anthropologist and researcher. He lived for seven years with the Arawa people and also in the Uruweras with the Tuhoi people. And his well-researched book, ‘The Māori’, published in nineteen-twenty-four, contains information on the fairy folk, that was shared with him over the seven years he lived among the Tuhoi, in the Uruwera. In volume one on page two-hundred and nineteen, he writes:

“The Maori firmly believed in the existence of these creatures. And often speaks of them as though they were human beings. The most interesting particular concerning these forest folk is that they are described as being a fair skinned people, having light or reddish coloured hair.”

Eldon Best goes on to say, that as a collector of information, he was often puzzled by the contradictory nature of much of the data he gathered. But for all of this, he was able to establish much with a certain validity. From which emerged that which he was prepared to publish. And he listened to the most realistic tales of the Tūrehu abducting woman, and dwelling in communities, on forest clad ranges. And he writes:

“Others or storytellers, however, informed him that these forest dwellers were not naught but wairua tangata, human spirit or spirits. Some asserted that they are spirits of the dead. others that they are the spirits of living persons, and so statements differed. Evidently,
all believed in the existence of these forest dwellers. But, people had vague ideas as to their nature ,which after all, is no doubt quite natural. And a peculiar feature of all accounts of the Tūrehu folk, is that they were often heard talking, singing and playing flutes up on the wooded hills and ranges. And especially so on dull, whispy days.

They are not the same as human beings, but are sometimes indistinctly seen by man. They are said to be very tapu folk. And if one of the hamlets or villages were visited by man, then it was utterly deserted and disappear to settle elsewhere. Māori, sometimes think that the Tūrehu folk were the first occupants of these isles. Te Tene O Te Hakupuri , the multitude, hoe tūā, is a name applied to bands of forest elves inhabiting outland, which was a former home of the Māori, before they came to New Zealand. They acted as guardians of the forest. These were the fairy folk who cause the fronds of our tree ferns to assume a dripping, drooping aspect. Originally they were quite rigid.”

So it –I guess where my interest really develops. In researching the fairy folk of the forests of New Zealand, started probably more than twenty years ago. And I was given a story, which occurred around sixty years ago, and I’ll just give you the story. And this is when
two young Māori men recently returned from the battlefields of World War Two. And they were working as contractors in the Waima Valley inland from the Hokianga. And the story came from character Karaka Hairea Horuri:

So now, I wrote the story a while ago, and this would be seventy years, or more now since I came home from the war. So they were given a contract to work in the Waima Valley, which was being – The land was being broken in the fat valley, for what they call rehab farmers. Which were return servicemen, that were going to be granted land on which to farm. And their job was to put in fences and dig some drainage and things like that. So they were there for many, many months and they just relied on food being brought in by their boss or their manager up to the top of the road. Which once a week, or once every two weeks. And, just carrying on working. Now, on some days after work was finished, Karaka and his friend Peter would take a rifle and go hunting, up the slope of the steep hills that lined the valley, to the south of where they’re working.

And what they’re hunting, which is something that we wouldn’t embark upon today. They were hunting Kereru, the bush pigeons who were very plentiful around that area up there. And of course, in those long gone days, they were often taken by food, or for food by the Māori people. And so they just looked at a way of getting past their bland diet. And of course, in those days, there were no other birds of any consequence. There were no pheasants and things like this. And rabbits hadn’t been introduced up there. There are no possums. So looking for something fresh, in the way of meat, they were looking at birds. And so over a period of weeks, every so often they’d go out and had a single shot, twenty-two rifle. And I think Peter, might have been Karaka, was a good shot. And so they would take one or two birds for the pot. But, after a period of time, they found that they were having to go further and further afield because the birds were getting a little less. Either they had culled them, or the birds were getting wise and flying off.

So now where they were bevvied, and where they had been hunting was at the base of a very, very, tall, precipitous slope. Which went right up above the Waima valley and onto the big, big flatlands up top there. Covered in bush. And so they found that over a period of time they were moving more and more up the hill, trying to find the birds. And on a particular foray was in summer. So plenty of daylight hours. They made their way right up the slope, hanging onto the trees and vines, and got up to the top. And so on this day, the game we’re often proved quite elusive. The pair eventually found that traverse the steep slopes to come out on the tops. A flat area of long grass opened up before them, leading over there to the forest line. This often happens in the New Zealand forests. In the wild. You could be out in the forests hunting and you’ll come to an area which is clear. All that is there, is long grass, nothing growing up there at the top of this flat area. Makes one wonder what might have happened there to the trees? Why didn’t they grow there? And so when they got up there, they were looking around and they spotted a pigeon right across the other side of the clearing. They could see the white pigeon fluttering out of the trees over there. So they thought that they’d go and have a look. But they found the ground over there was quite uneven. There were a few rocks and things

And as Peter moved around a low clump of bushes, his foot snagged on a dry branch and the long grass, and he lost his footing and fell back into a small clump of titree growing there, OK, and crashed into that. And this had incredibly surprising result . As this happened, and Karaka turned around to see what was up with Peter. Five small figures sprung out from behind the bush, and ran away from the two man, on a tangent. So both Peter and Karaka were just as surprised as obviously this group, that was rapidly running across towards the tree line. More or less towards to where they had spotted this Kereru across the other side of the bush
line. Karaka’s first thought was that, Oh, they had surprised a group of school kids? And what were they doing up here? Nine or ten year olds wagging school? Then they noticed that they were not children, but in fact slightly built adults. And they had assumed stooped posture as they ran away from the man. Obviously, to adopt a low profile.

Now, the angle at which the group were running, gave the two men, a side view, that allowed a number of features to be noticed. The figures had blonde shoulder length hair and white skin. They were startled to notice, that two of the group had white, close cropped beards. They were not children. Karaka could not tell whether the group was a mixture of male or female. The figures were naked to the waist, and wore a short, skirt-like garment around their middle’s. Made from shop elongated leaves. The leaves were layered and bounced as they ran. They were green in colour, and appeared to be freshly cut. Karaka, as he told us, was sure the leaves were from the puwharewhare or kiekie plant.

Some within the group also carried small baskets or Kete with long straps that crossed the torso, on a diagonal from shoulder to hip. These objects appear to be made from leaves of the Cabbage , or Titi tree. The fleeing fingers crossed through two clear patches, and were thought to have been a view for about forty seconds. And when the group reached the forest edge on the other side, one of them stood fully erect and turned to look back to where the two men were standing. And then, as if satisfied, they were not being followed, disappeared into the trees. Karaka’s first comment was, boy, could they run for such small people! It was then decided when they chatted about this, that they were not children, lost, or otherwise. But Tūrehu, the Patupaiarehe. The men did not follow them into the forest. And then, their story goes on to tell of a small dome, stone structure that was hidden within a clump of bushes. This was thought to be the dwelling place of the little people.

So, this was a story which enlivened me, to start to look closely at things. We took an affidavit from Karaka. Peter was not available
at the time. And we spoke to him on three different occasions. The story never varied. And he was able to give quite good descriptions of their height. Their statue, what they were wearing. And things like this. And their conclusion – I mean, their first thought was oh, they’re kids. And of course, they soon disallowed that when they saw exactly what they were. And also, they were nowhere near a settlement. This was land which was being broken in, there was no school nearby. Was miles away. And what were children doing up to the top of the hill? So what was it they saw? Who was it they saw?

So, then I started to look more closely. And as I was doing a lot of exploration work, looking into the first comers to this land, the Waitaha people looking for traces of them up north, I went to lots of areas and had my own personal experiences. But then I thought that, there’s something here. Perhaps I should start putting information together, so I started to gather a few anecdotes, which I did. Then I thought, wow, there’s enough information here, that the anecdotal information I’ve got, perhaps to make a documentary? So I put an advertisement in all the northern newspapers up north, and this is north of Auckland all the way up to the far north. And the newspaper ad, which must have made some people think twice. I just said, words to the effect that I’m looking for any stories of contact people might have had in recent times, either on their farm while hunting in the forest, with some small people, if not children, that they were thought to be children. And I got a few responses, which is amazing, actually, because – And then I came to the conclusion that a lot of the contact, present day contact, which is sight only no personal contact. But seeing, was coming, was virtually from farmers and hunters. People in the outdoors.

And then I had a wonderful story come to me. And this is about a young Maori man, in Waimamaku, which is right up north of Waipua forest. Right across the mountains from where Peter and Karaka had their story, but in the same massive forest area. And this young Māori man had taken on an assignment, and a job. To work for one of the people who was paid to trap, and poison possums in the forest. And this young Māori man’s job was to go up to the end of the Waimamaku valley, and start to work his way up the side of all hills. Rght up the ridges, cutting a trail all the way up. To enable people then to come and lay the poison, and you know, for the possums and pests like this.

So away he goes on his first day, had his dog with him. And he starts with his machete and whatever he was using, clearing away the bush to cut a little swathe through, up to the top of the hill. And so he worked diligently and by about three to four o’clock he got right up to the top. And once again, he was amazed to come across a clear area up there, where there was just grasses growing, native grasses. And then he saw what appeared to be , as if something had been walking through the grasses, where it was down a bit. It was like a little trail.

And his first thought was oh, there’s t pigs around here? Could be pigs? And then he said, OK, I’d better start looking around for somewhere now to set up my camp for the night. He’s carrying all this gear on his back. Had his food and had his fly to set up a tent in the sleeping bag. And then he looked down on the ground as he took his rucksack off, put it down. And there laying on the ground. Was a small kete or flax kit. Quite green in colour. And he thought, oh, what’s this here, doing here? He picked it up and looked at it, and said, wow, this is freshly made. It’s green. Who on earth would have been up here?

And this was miles away from tramping tracks. It wasn’t on the known tracks, that they put in years ago for tramper’s, and foresters, and hunters to go through. So I thought, wow. So he picked it up and he’s looking at it. And he flicks the top open, looked inside, and he saw a twine in there. So he put his fingers in and pulled out a cord. Which would be beautifully woven from flax. And on the end of the cord was a bone, a small bone fishhook. He looked at it, he looked at the kete. Through his mind he thought, oh, my gosh! Put it quickly back in the kete. Dropped it on the ground, and he said to himself, Oh, this is the Patupaiarehe, the fairy folk. I can’t stay here! I can’t stay here.

So he put all this gear on. Got his pack together and his tools. Took off back down the hill, managed to get back down to where his vehicle was. And drove out to where is the man he was working for, was living in Waimamaku, and said, I cannot carry on with this job. I have intruded in the land of the Patupaiarehe up there, and I cannot go on. I must give up the job. So that was a case of superstition, and understanding that these people were to be feared. And not to be played with.

Yeah. And I have often spoken to folk who have heard voices and laughter. And the sound of flute and song in Northland forest areas. And these experiences often have many similar features. Such as being aware of others in the forest, near to where they’re walking. Hearing chattering voices, and laughter. And even at the time of the governor of New Zealand, Sir George Gray was travelling around the Hokianga Harbour, being taken to visit Māori villages there. He writes of having observed a number of them, on the Hokianga, where he described them as being very cheerful and always singing.

He was told that they were Patupaiarehe. Their hair was fair, as was their skin. They were different from the Māori. And did not resemble them at all. And another early writer who did a lot of recording of the information in northern New Zealand. The reverend Robert Taylor, tells us that the Patupaiarehe, were seen only early in the mornings. Wore white garments. And carried their infants as Europeans did, which is quite different to the way the Māori did. So there were some interesting reports there.

Actually, it’s really interesting that you talk about puturino. I don’t know if I shared with you, but let me get to more recent stories. I had a lady share an experience with me, that she had around Taupo area.

Interesting. Yes. Well, it seems that I love this, Marianne, because the more we put these things out there, this then allows and enlivens other people to start to talk about things.


Because sometimes it’s just, you know, an experience of some sort which that is pushed to one side and they’re thinking bit of a mystery. What was it? Where was it? You know, so the mysteries is go on. And I guess one of the major stories that other than what Karaka and Peter shared with us, and it was just such a beautiful thing, that when I first heard that, I thought, wow, I can to explain this. But then, I started to gather more stories, which suddenly it everything came to life as far as some possibilities go. So then I guess one of my most favourite stories came to us, and it was my dear friend Noel Hillier who got the story for me and took the affidavits of the people involved. And this goes back to, hmm probably in the late. Late nineties, OK, good, good, good. Let me think about this. Just about twenty years ago. Twenty years ago in April. And there was a group of young men, most of the Māori men, and they were forestry workers and they had been working during the week on a contract. Felling pine trees up and the Hokiangi area just north of Waipua forest.

And they most of them lived further down the coast towards Dargaville and a place called Kaihei, which is just this side of Dargaville. And they camped up there and lived in cabins and things, but they always went home on the weekends. Friday night they always headed off home. And Sunday night they came back up, to go to work. So this is the ritual. And this particular Friday night that a little bit later getting away. And it was April, so it was getting quite dark and between eight and eight thirty, I’m not too sure the exact time approximation. They were driving through the Waipua forest, which is a country forest, up north. And the drive through from the northern aspects is quite long and windy. And you’re going downhill a lot until you get to the Waipua River. Then you go up the other side and then at the end of the farmland and onto Dargaville. So on the way they went and the five of them sorry, six of them in the van at the time.

Now, this was a big sort of truck of fire and there were three of them sitting in the front seat, with their seat belts on no doubt, and the rest of them hunkered down in the back. And they’re going to be pleased to get home to see their families. But also, one thing they’re quite keen to do, is the tradition was, on the on the way back down the weekend that stopped the Kaihou Tavern, which was a little pub on the side of the road. A historic place, have a couple of beers. A couple of them got off there, because they lived in Kaihou.
But the others would go on another twenty five minutes, or so to Dargaville. Ao winding their way down and they’re getting closer and closer to where the road went across the Waipua river. And they were at about the third of the long, sharp corners coming down to the river, people in the back of dozing off and even the guys at the front were a bit dopey. But thank goodness the driver, who was the overseer of the whole thing, he was driving. And suddenly he slams on the brakes of the vehicle. Virtually screeches to a halt!

The bloke’s in the back were tumbled all over the place. And the guys in the front, sort of came awake suddenly. And the van had come to a halt. There in the headlights, a matter of only a few meters ahead. Was just kind of around the corner of the line, what they perceived initially as children, walking across the road in front of the van. And this was from the right hand side of the van, across the left hand side. And so, the guys in the back sort of turned around. And what’s going on? What’s going on there? They all clamoured forward to look at why he stopped them there And there they were witnessing, and we believe that within this group, which they were trying to make out what it was. Frst of all, came the chatter, oh, what are these children doing out here at night, walking across the main road like that? Where are their torches? Where’s the high viz gear? Where’s their teachers?

Someone said, I know this area, there’s no tracks or trails around here. Because the river is, ah the bank that they just came up, just dropped steeply down to the river. Then someone said, they’re not kids! They’re Patupaiarehe! And suddenly it electrified the van, because, there was a stillness came, and people were actually in a bit of a state of shock. Especially couple of young Māori men, they were virtually shaking. And so there was no count kept, but there was at least twenty little figures. Pale of complexion wearing – they couldn’t make out any shape to the garments, but they were white. Because, they were reflecting the light back. Barely a look into the car lights. They just walked slowly from right to left and up the bank and disappeared between a couple of Kauri trees. So straight away, the guys got themselves together. And they could see this, whatever it was, had finished. And they headed back on the road, possibly driving a little faster. I don’t know, but also wide awake.

I would imagine.

And when they got the guy who dropped the boys off, they didn’t stop for a drink. They just headed straight home to Dargaville. And so two of the young man I spoke to, said they would never, ever drive through the forest again. Never at night time. They were scared. And so once again, it’s part of the superstition around these people.

The stories were often given, or told of the, of these people on the marae. The fact that they were devious. And they were mischievous. And they were naughty. And they could do you harm. A bit like the Taniwha was often used to frighten the children not to swim on the river, because the Taniwha was on that corner. So there was a superstition. And so we got very good descriptions from three of those people. And that was an amazing story. So there, of course, wow, what’s going on here? Up to twenty little figures, all about the same size, in a row, walking across the road.

So, then things started to roll out for me and I was down in the Pureora forest. Which is a major forest in the center of the North Island, South Waikato, north of Taupo. And I often went there to be with groups of people for three or four day retreats. And just to do things as we do in the forests. And this is probably my third visit there. And there was a big group in this weekend. There was about twenty-five, thirty people. A couple of young kids with their parents. And we went to bed fairly early on this particular night, and I had a bunk room all to myself. So which was good. I like a bit of privacy, and I like to snore on my own, without disturbing anybody. And so the – I just settled down in my sleeping bag, hadn’t quite gone to sleep. And I was right under a window, even though there was the bunk right by – there was a window at my head there, OK, and on the back wall.

And suddenly there was tapping on the window. And then laughter, children’s laughter. I thought oh, God, what the heck’s going on? What are those kids doing? My main thought was the young kids with their parents way down the hallway in the bunkroom. So I clambered up out of bed. Stumbling around, you know what it’s like trying to get out of a sleeping bag in the dark, and you don’t know where you are? And as I get out of my sleeping bag and throw the window, and l pull the curtains back, push out the window and look out in the moonlight. Nothing, just grass. Beautiful, clear, nothing. I look down the side of the building. Nothing.

OK. I thought, well, that’s a bit weird. Those kids must be having fun. So, close the window, pull the curtains. Just sitting on the edge of the bed, getting back into my sleeping bag. [knocking] out of the window again. This time I was ready for action, because, I’m still
half in, and half out. Stood up quickly. Pull the curtains back, open the window leaned out, ready to say something! No one there! I thought those kids must be quick. I said, but I could be quicker. So I grab the torch open the door, and down the passageway to the other, one of the other bunk rooms. Where there was three, or four people, plus the parents of the two kids sleeping. And open
the door, my torch light shot at them and I knew where the kids were bunked down. The two little kids in bed, flat out asleep, as only children can be.

And everyone was asleep in there. I thought, my goodness, what’s going on here? This is so weird. So, next morning I was talking to the Kaumatua. And I said, listen, something happened to me last night. And I recounted my little encounter. Oh, he said, that was the Patupaiarehe. I said, what do you mean? They were there last night he said. I was out on the side veranda around the back, where I’d been staying. Having a cigarette, he said, smoking out there. And he said, they came round and they were calling out to me, and singing, and dancing. That’s who it was. That’s what came and tapped on your window. OK, so what’s going on here? So this is one of the things which really just sort of got me hot on the trail. And then, another very interesting story, Marianne, and we’re not running out of time Are we?

No, not at all.

OK, well, we’re on aren’t we?

We are

But I’m on a roll. I’m on a roll.

Let’s keep going.

Okay. A few years before this particular incident, when we were on one of our archaeological research missions. We had travelled to a place called Potu Point, which is on the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour. On the northern side of the of the Kaipara Harbour, which is right up north of Auckland. And the Potu point, there’s an old fashioned White House there which has been rebuilt, and it’s a touristy place. But, we had gone up there. There’s a group of about six or seven of us, and we’d gone to do some research work on whether or not this was the site. Or, one of the sites where the ancient Waitaha people had lived in Northland. Before they moved further south, under pressure for land, and possessions, and things like that.

And so, with us was a Waiaha Tewhito kaumatua, an elder and his son. Noel Hilliam, the then the curator of the Daragville Museum, and myself, Raewyn, and two or three others. And so we arrived in the afternoon, and we had come to actually make an observation. This once again, was mid-winter.

And the observation we had come to make down there, was at the behest of the mother of the Waitaha, she, the elder. She said that one way we can prove that this was the site of the Waitaha village, is that at sunrise when the sun is rising at a certain time of the year. To do with hills and things like this, we can then measure. And there were landmarks that she knew from the old stories. So her son, the elder, Tewhito kaumatua, was given the coordinates, and things of this nature. And so we had decided to come and camp out overnight, to be up for dawn, to see the sunrise. And to see if indeed, this may be the site where the Waitaha village had existed, before they moved on to the South Island. Deep story, another big story on its own. But that’s for another day. So we camped out. And we were sitting down for the night, and the elder came and said to us, and he said, well, then we have to be up before dawn in the morning, climb up that big, big sand dune there. And that’ll give us a view to the east where we can see over the hills, other hills there and see the mountain range in the distance. To see the sun rise at a certain spot.

So he said, I’ll come round and give you a call in the morning and we’ll all go round. We’ll have to go round a circuitous route, to get to the top of the sand dune. Because, where we’ll be facing to the east, it’s a very steep dune which dropped down to the valley. Soft sand, you couldn’t climb up there. So comes the next morning. And we thought this is going to be exciting, bedded down. And then, there’s a knock on my tent, in the morning. You can’t knock on tents. There’s a bit of a rustle, or scratching it. And I thought, oh, Patrick. So I out of bed and there was the kaumatua standing there. And he tapped on a few other tents and Noel Hilliam was the only other one to answer. The others were quite fast asleep, including Raewyn. So he said, let’s go.

So we climbed out and got our torches, and the sky was lightening, but it was still quite dark. Beautiful stars out there, and just a little crescent moon out there in the distance. So we walked right the way round the back of the camp, up this ridge. Up to the top of the sand dune. And sure, there we were looking towards where the down the valley, the old lighthouse painted white in the early morning light, just standing out there on the hill. And beyond that hill, just the Mountain range. And we could see where the sun was going to come up. We could see it’s going to start.

But the amazing thing was, and I can’t kind of recollect what these were. There was an alignment of three stars over the crescent moon. There’s a new moon, a crescent moon. And there are two stars directly up top, and one below. It was fascinating. That was not why we were there, I don’t believe, but then again, it may have been. And so we stood there and looking at the sky, which is starting to lighten, and we thought, well, we’re going to have a clear view of exactly where the sun’s going to come up.
And then the kaumatua was that once he looked at that, he had to look at other landmarks, the left and right, one across the harbour mouth. And the other sort of up the hill, to our left. And then, he would look at the alignments. And so we were just standing up there and not even just looking, taking it in. And then suddenly a mist, a fog started to come in over the hill. The low hill where the old lighthouse was.

And it was coming thick and fast rolling down. And this is a thing which often happens out that way, on the massive Kaipara Harbour. A mist or fog would form, then a breeze could make it drift across the land. or wherever. Here it was coming from the harbour, not from the sea. But the harbour. Over the hill and down over the lighthouse. Just suddenly the lighthouse became obscured, and then it was rolling. And we’re looking down the valley. It was rolling down the valley. Three of us are looking at how quickly it was moving. And then, in front of the mist, two figures. Walking in front of the mist, towards the base of the hill. Or the dune where we were. And my first comment was, oh gosh, must be someone from the camp. They want to come and join us, but they don’t know where we are. So I got out my big, ten million candle power searchlight thing. Which is just so powerful that it only goes for about three minutes, and shone it off down there. And great big, beam of light, shot out. Shot off down there, massive. And went off and on just to show them where we were about eighty or ninety foot up the steep top, steep dune.

I said, I don’t know how they’re going to get up here. And so, the mist kept rolling. These two figures were moving in front of the mist. One quite tall, and one fairly short, towards the base of the hill. I thought oh they’re coming wrong. They’re not going to be able to get out up here. So I moved a bit further forward, and looked down the slope, to where it intersected with the floor of the valley. And there were the two figures starting to move up the side of it. I thought gripes, how’re they managing that? So I thought, I’d better tell them where we are. Got closer, shone my big flash torch down there. Big beam of light shone along there, to see who it was. There was no one there! They’d gone! Turn the torch off, and there they were! And the kaumatua said – Oh, he said, I know what this is, you better step back. I said Okay. So Noel and I stepped right back. Just back there, he said, I’ll greet them. And so he stood on the edge, and we were back quite a few meters. And suddenly these two interesting figures appeared in front of him!

And I could see his hands moving and I could hear voices, but I couldn’t make out anything. And then he turned around to start to walk back towards us. The two figures are gone. And I said, I said, what on earth was that? Oh, he said. He said, the ancient guardians of the site here. He said, they’ve come through to see who we are? And why we’re here? And I said, well, what do they look like? He said, well, he said, just looked like you and I he said, but they were wearing furs. He said that’s their garments, were furs. And he said, they did exchange things with me, but I’m not at liberty to talk to you about it at this stage.

So they disappeared. And we stood back there, and did remember to look at the sunrise. The mist had gone. Of course, we hadn’t taken much notice. That disappeared and the sun rose. And we took those measurements that had to be taken. And it turned out that we were in close proximity to Ahura, ah sorry Arahunga. The last of the Waitaha villages in the North Island. So that was good. And as we were leaving later on that morning, we had three vehicles, and we broke camp after breakfast. And start to head back to drive up the beach.
And we went down below the sand dune that we had been up that morning, and then through another smaller – A couple of smaller sand dunes onto the beach. And we’re going to the beach drive for a hundred K. Well, about ninety k’s back up the beach.

And then as we came out, the lead vehicle stopped. The door, suddenly flung open, and was a harbour in front of us. And the kaumatua leapt out. And so did Noel, leapt out. And they’re looking and say, come here, come here. So we all got out and went. And he said look, a whale. A whale. And there in the harbour mouth was a pilot whale swimming, blowing water, splashing its tail. And he said, oh, my God. He said, this is an incredible sight. It was a whale that brought the Waitaha, guided the Waiataha down to Aotearoa, New Zealand. And so that just capped that nicely, didn’t it?

But then, about two or three months later, Raewyn, and I, and three other people were back up that way, to carry on our research, in the foothills behind the sand dunes. To see if we could actually find more evidence of the ancient Waitaha village. Not a very easy thing to do, because of wind blowing sand, over a long period of time. That covered a lot of things up. But we’re working our way through coastal manuka, which is very stunted, not very tall and not very thick. You can stand in coastal manuka and sandhills, and see for ages through it. Moss growing on the ground, and a few little trees. But most of them are manuka. And so, we’ve been looking around and we found a little pond, which is obviously being dammed up by humans at some time or another. Because, there was a spring fed running, ah stream running into it. A little stream, trickling into it. So that’s interesting.

So we’ll carry on down this area here and see if we can find any other traces of a village site. So we walked on, nice and flat. And we thought, right, well, time we stopped just for a cup of tea. Or, a drink of water and something to nibble on. We parked miles away and we were miles from anywhere at the moment. We’re not too far from the beach, but we’re right up very, very steep. We’ve come in the long way round. So, we found another little pond and we thought oh, well’ sort of sit beside it, with the same stream trickling into this pond. Then down a little outlet and into the other one we found further down as well. We thought, well we’re on the trail of something. We’ll sit down here. The little slope came down, and we nestled ourselves there, eating our bars and the bars, our raisin bars, nut bars, whatever you call them?.

And then suddenly we heard voices and was hard to make out. Two or three voices chattering away. We looked at each other, cripes there’s someone else here, in the middle of nowhere. We hadn’t seen any other vehicles, no other footprints coming up the sand dunes. And would have heard vehicles arriving if they had. And we sort of looking and we were sitting behind a little ridge by the pond and the voices were sort of coming from the other side of the ridge from the area we had just come from. That we had walked through.

So they’re getting closer and closer. We thought, oh, we’d stand up and say gidday and see who it is? So, two or three of us stood up and walk around the edge of the little hill there, and look. And then the voices, still chattering, went right in front of where we’re looking. No sign of anybod. Right in front of us. Right, right and carried on. Stage left ear disappeared amongst the trees and we looked at each other and being of a very open mind. And of sound mind and body, but a very open mind, we thought, wow, now this is for a reason. We’ll talk about this later. But let’s go in the direction that those voices went, because, this may lead to something. And we did follow in that direction and we did find something, which was very interesting. So there we have it. How about that?

That’s very interesting. So they were pretty much guiding you to what you needed to find?

I think so. I think so. Whether it was an inadvertent thing on their behalf or not, I don’t know the – So then I gathered stories from around New Zealand, and we made a documentary. And I published a few more stories. But when the Fairy Investigation Society, held a worldwide census over a number of years, and there were seven hundred responses around the world. I was quite surprised when I got a copy of the census that there were about twenty responses from New Zealand people, that picked up on this and had written in. And so I’ve got time to go through a few of these?

Yes, absolutely. Please do.

One response here, which Auckland, New Zealand lady. And this happened in the nineteen-fifties. And she said:

“I was in my dark bedroom and watched a little silhouette figure, maybe six inches high across the hall floor, lit from the living room. When I told my mother the next day that I’d seen a fairy. I think she believed I’ve really seen something, but was worried it might have been a mouse. Just a silhouette of rather a bent figure, with a cap on its head. It seemed to bob across the floor, rather than to walk in steps. I’ve always been sure it was an experience of the fairy.”

Which is interesting. So this is the other thing which was brought out in the census. From the nineties, a lady in Auckland.

“And when I was a child, I got a strong sense that there were creatures living in our garden, other than the usual birds and insects. When I played outside during the twilight or as it was getting dark, I would frequently see movements in the grass or amongst of plants. A few times I saw very tiny beings in the garden carrying small, very bright lamps. They’re very wispy and long haired, quite ghostly, almost transparent in form. I was a very easily scared child, but I never felt scared of them, although I felt nervous about getting too close in case they wanted me to go with them. I frequently looked for them during the day, but I never, never saw them. They’re almost ghostly, quite wispy. Not quite opaque, very pale, almost like very unkempt children, very long hair. Clothing was light, shimmery, but almost ripped and torn in layers. Bare feet and a light, upbeat, almost medieval sounding music, like a flute.”

So that was another. And then, another lady here in the nineteen-nineties.

“I saw it out of the corner of my eye, as I walked through the school on my way home at six-fifty-nine a.m. in the morning.”

She had been working somewhere and she was taking a shortcut through the school grounds to go home.

“But there was a light from a – a security light in the school. And from the streetlight, so I could see quite well. The fairy was human shaped, but only about 12 inches high. And it was transparent, like a jellyfish. It was hovering in a flax bush. And in the time it took for
me to turn my head and look directly at it, it was gone. Human shaped, but about twelve inches high, transparent, like a jellyfish. It looked like a fairy. Without the wings.”

And so on we go.

Wow, interesting, the sizes though. And it’s my understanding that the fairy can appear – That they can shape shift their size.

You are right, but also I think what we’re looking at is various types of fairies. Various groupings of fairies. A little book I brought, from England, many years ago, and it gives me a description of one hundred and twenty three different types of fairies. And they vary from the little tiny ones that we know of, like the flower fairies. To ones which are twelve inches high. One’s that are three to four foot high. Others which are almost like giants. So there is quite a range of them actually, which is quite interesting.

It is interesting. And it makes sense, because,

It does.

because look at the variety in the human race.

That’s right. Look at the variance in the human race as well. And another lady here in the early two-thousands as she was on a ten day shamanic retreat:

“And I saw the fairies on the last day. They looked to me about the same size as the Seven Dwarfs. They giggled when they saw me and ran along in front of me, talking excitedly, glancing back to look at me. They had the energy of excited children that had been noticed and was thrilled to be acknowledged. Lots of giggling and wandering around me. I was a group of 10 women walking through a beech forest in the South Island. No one else saw them. They had faces which reminded me of dwarves. Giggling and talking and gabbling.”

So. Gisborne. A man two thousand and ten:

“The birds were flying out of a nearby tree. Down into my vineyard and eating some of my sweet grapes. It was in the early morning. I was quite annoyed as I work hard for this. So as I worked hard for the this. And I shouted, and clapped my hands to scare the birds away. The next minute, this sparkle of glistening light with blue edges, flew from the trees directly at me. Then turned and flew over the vineyard, zigzagging and doing twirls. The air went quiet and very still. And the birds flew off, and didn’t cause much annoyance. We don’t use herbicides, insecticides or systemic fungicides. And we don’t kill things, nor do we try to disturb nature. We study elemental beings, or nature spirits.”

So here were people working close to the land. In fact he wants to scare the birds away, it seems that he had a little assistance.

Sounds like it.

So there’s no end of stories here.

Just speaking about the difference sizes. The lady who contacted me, I can’t remember when her experience was, I think it was
around two-thousand and ten. Somewhere around there. She was on a younger woman. Her and her partner were touring New Zealand. And they had a van, or they were camping? I can’t remember exactly how they were doing. But they stopped at Taupo. And they camped in a place, where you’re not allowed to camp. But they camped there overnight.

And as soon as it got light, they decided they’d better pack up, so nobody could see they’d been camping there. And they, while they were there, they decided to go for a walk in the bush. And so they went for a walk and they were enjoying this like really early morning. It was just barely light, because, they had to get up before any dock staff, or whomever turned up. And while they were walking, she could hear a flute being played. And she followed the sound of the float and she saw this being standing there, playing this flute. And he was human-size. He had fair skin with a blue tinge, and red hair. And he just stood there and smiled at her, just playing the flute. Nothing else happened. She didn’t feel scared.

And then, suddenly she was aware she could hear her partner calling for her. And when she looked again, the guy had gone. And so she followed the sound. She didn’t realize she had gone so far off the path. And she followed the sound of her partner’s voice. And he was frantic. He said, Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you for X amount of time. And she didn’t realize that she had lost this period of time, while she was standing there listening to this Patupaiarehe playing this flute.

So, you see, that I love hearing stories like that, too. Because, this just goes to show what is really going on around us. And also there must be a number of people out there who, who’ve have had experience experiences, not dissimilar. And we hear of people walking, even in the daylight, but in heavy, heavy forest. And hearing the chattering of what they think are children laughing and playing in the bush, alongside the track they’re walking. But there’s no children there, when they dive in to have a look and see who’s there.

So and I think if you’re in the right place at the right time, and also, you can be perceived as being someone, who can accept this without being apprehensive, or scared. And sort of, because, I have a feeling and this has been discussed with many Māori people over the years. It’s almost as if the dwellers of these other realms, think it’s imperative that we have more contact today. Because they exist in the same biosphere as we do on the planet. They just live on the planet as we do. I see the same as we do. They breathe the same air. They drink the same water. They see the same forest. But, they just at a different vibratory rate. So they live in their own realm. This is why I see it.

And I feel that what humans have done to the planet with deforestation, et cetera, et cetera, is a feeling. So it just may be the time now that we do make better contact. And I think that there was a story that I heard a while ago that, and I think I referred to this when I started my little talk here. Is that the fairies retreated during the industrial age, during the age of steam and steel. They don’t like cold iron. They moved away. And we’ve gone through that industrial age now. We’ve gone through the age of – We’re actually, in the digital age, we’re in an age of new technology. An age of different ways of communicating.

And I think there are probably a lot of people now, with what’s available in this technological age. First of all, you know, I have the devices that I can record the sound of plants. And then, of course, a lot of people are now capturing images on the digital cameras. So in this age of technology, this age of knowledge, we’re in an age of knowledge now. We can be more open to what is going on. And I’ve got a couple of points here, which I’ll just share with you before I close off And this is a quote from Jay M Barry who wrote Peter Pan, of course, and he was saying,

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces. And they all went skipping about and that was the beginning of fairies.”

That’s so sweet.

I love that.

Lovely. It’s been just delightful listening to you again, as always, Gary. You’re just so interesting. And I can see how much effort you put into collecting information. To help educate people, and entertain them as well. Because it is interesting, listening to the others is entertaining, and it’s educational. And I really enjoy it. And I know my listeners enjoy listening to you talk as well

As always, it’s an absolute pleasure talking with you.

Now, the pleasure’s all mine. Thank you very much for your kind invitation.

I want to thank Gary for his time, expertise and all the research he has done into this topic. When we spoke he was actually in the process of writing an article for some publication on this subject and so he had all his research and findings around him. If you want to know more about Gary, you can check out his website: www.thesecretland.co.nz  You can access all of his books, music of plant records and his documentary, which is well worth watching, from his website.

Gary also has a FaceBook page, Gary.Cook.58 if you want to follow him there. He also has a YouTube channel with all sorts of interesting little videos on. Many to do with his work on plants and the music that can be recorded from them. You can look these links up yourself, or simply go to this episodes page on our podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com and click on the links from that page, or the featured guests page also has his links.

This episode’s bumper music was an early nineteenth century Pūtōrino, at New Zealand’s Te Papa Museum, played by Dr Richard Nunns

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