What's in a name?
The hunters' star, Otamarakau, first appears in the eastern pre-dawn skies in March. One of the brightest stars in the southern skies, it heralds the imminent arrival of the rutting period for red deer, and the gamebird shooting season in New Zealand. Otamarakau is also the name of an ancient Pa, or fortress, on the coast in the Bay of plenty. Otamarakau pa was the border between two warring factions in the dark days of New Zealand’s history, in fact the only pa in the area to never succumb to attack. Its strength lay not only in its strategic position, but in the skill and strength of its warriors.
Otamarakau lies at the centre of the Bay of Plenty, which is arguably the epicentre for upland game shooting in New Zealand. Not such a bad spot for a kennel of bird dogs it may seem! The name Otamarakau was taken not only because of the kennels location, but also to impart a local identity. To acknowledge their past, and hopefully anchor their future. The Maori language of New Zealand has a wonderful expression not easily translated into English. The expression is Turangawaewae, which literally translates as “place of standing” – simple enough, yet encompassing so much. Not just the place that you and your ancestors originate from, but a place where you have standing – to speak and to be heard, to be recognized as part of that place.
The blood in the kennel, the basis of which is UK and Irish working stock, has provided New Zealand upland game shooters excellent sport for many decades now - a testament to its adaptability, and longevity, in an environment very different from the one it originated from. To this day, the Pointer continues to provide top sport and excellent service to discerning sportsmen and sportswomen up and down the country.
Long may this continue, and may Otamarakau be its Turangawaewae.