Melancholy Māngungu Mission, Horeke
At the end the Twin Coast Cycle Trail just past the Horeke Tavern (if you are traveling east to west) is the Māngungu Mission station. As I mentioned in the last post, the Horeke Hotel was closed for renovations rather than dispensing the amber liquid that our cycling weary legs craved. Turns out Māngungu was closed too when we got there. Not to worry though it's a spectacular spot well worth a look.
The mission house itself looks out from it's perch over the Hokianga Harbour, over the cemetery, church, a bunch of mangroves and on to the northern end of the harbour.
Built around 1838, the strange thing is that when the reverend left Māngungu for Auckland in 1855 – he took the house with him to Onehunga where it stood until being returned to Māngungu and restored in the 1970s!
The mission was the site of the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Over 70 chiefs added their signature and apparently hundreds of waka were tied up in the bay below – it must have been a sight!
Not all chiefs (I guess this is the melancholy part) were keen to sign this treaty with the Crown designed 'to ensure the welfare of Queen Victoria's subjects and to promote the health, civilisation, education and spiritual care of the natives'
They were right to be sceptical - within 10 years 4 million acres of land had been confiscated or 'purchased'.