Sunday, 7 December 2014

Kaumatua Dinner 2014

Sheriff Richard Wallace with the line dancing.

Cowboy hats, rhinestones and spurs - together with the occasional squaw - were the order of night at our annual Hakari Kaumatua, in Hokitika, yesterday. The country and western theme was a hit with our seniors, who enjoyed the chance to dress up, try out line dancing and sing the night away.

Squaw Helen Rasmussen, aka Pocohontus, took out the line dancing competition with a toe-tapping performance that even outclassed the leaders!

Rachel Forsyth and Kori Mahuika - guarding the Saloon.

The highlight of the night, as always, was the hakari itself - this year, starters were Bruce Bay whitebait, Makaawhio venison, followed by the main course, a hangi with the added attraction of a delicious traditional Christmas hot ham - and two desserts!

Thanks to all helpers, especially the Wallace whanau who spent all day cooking, and Marie and Julie-ann for transforming the Wests Clubrooms into a homely 'barn' for the night - complete with a 'Mahaki Jail' and saloon!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Arahura Marae opening!

Ngati Waewae waited 150 years for today's opening of their new marae, and what a proud moment it was for our sister hapu of Poutini Ngai Tahu! The pride and joy at finally realising the dream was palpable on the face of every Poutini Ngai Tahu there today - not only Waewae but Makaawhio also!

The whare Tuhuru is a work of art, and like every wharetipuna so much more. The whakapapa within its walls tells the history of Te Tai o Poutini and connects each and every one of us with this place, this whare. It is a stunning tribute to our tipuna, with the entire south-facing wall devoted to ancestors from South Westland!
Tuhuru, wearing pounamu earrings, with the tekoteko above carved out of solid pounamu!

Today was Ngati Waewae's day after such a long, long wait for a proper marae, yet they shared it with Ngati Mahaki in a most generous way by including so many of our tipuna in their whare - Te Koeti Turanga, Tutoko, Taetae, Piro, Karera, Kawaipatiere, Tikina, Te Kou, Wharekai, Maaka ... 

We were also honoured to be invited on to the paepae, with upoko Richard Wallace doing us so proud, and also a proud moment to have our son Te Ahu take part in the wero so capably, alongside other Mahaki whanau including Caleb Robinson and Jerry Pu, who also trained the kaiwero. Te Ahu and Jerry also both did the wero at the opening of Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae, Bruce Bay, in 2005.
Te Ahu, third from left in front during the spectacular wero.

It was therefore our honour as Mahaki to live up to our name today and manaaki Ngati Waewae and the many manuhiri, helping as workers to make the day work so efficiently - despite the best efforts of the rain - and to present the hau kainga with our koha of three giant canvases of historic photos of the old Arahura Runanga Hall, Tairea.

Nei ra, tenei te mihi ki a koutou o Ngati Waewae i o koutou ra whakahirahira, a, te whakatuwheratanga o to koutou wharetipuna. Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Our famous marae!

Just published, Marae: Te Tatau Pounamu by Muru, Robin and Sam Walters is a spectacular pictorial book that tells the story of marae around Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu.  

Of hundreds of marae, big and small, only 21 are featured in this coffee table deluxe book - and one of them is Te Tauraka Waka a Maui! This is a great triumph for our marae and something to take great pride in. Get the book if you can - it's a hefty price at $80 but the photos and stories make it special. Tihei mauriora! 
Upokorunanga Richard Wallace, daughter Susan and grandson Tutoko, cooking for manuhiri at our marae, Te Tauraka Waka a Maui, when the authors came calling.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Poutini moana, Poutini whenua

Waewae and Makaawhio, together as Poutini Ngai Tahu, pose on the beach after the official opening - with the 'Punakaiki' driftwood sign erected specially for the occasion, in the background, right alongside the start of the Pancake Rocks.

Today marks the official opening of five marine reserves along Te Tai o Poutini - 160 square kilometres of inland coastal seashore, permanently protected by the government in a similar way to scenic reserves on land.

To mark the occasion, Te Runanga o Ngati Waewae and Te Runanga o Makaawhio came together as one as Poutini Ngai Tahu, to help with the launch by the Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith, with a representative 'unveiling' at Punakaiki this morning.

The Poutini Ngai Tahu paepae - Makaawhio Upokorunanga Richard Wallace, left, Tutoko Wallace, Makaawhio chairman Paul Madgwick, Ngati Waewae chairman Francois Tumahai, Neville Tahuaroa (Makaawhio), Khan Paniora (Makaawhio), Henare Mason (Waewae). Te Rua Mason (Waewae) had just stepped out.

During the powhiri, the Department of Conservation presented each runanga with ataahua, large framed photographs - Okarito Lagoon for Makaawhio, and the Punakaiki coast for Waewae.

The marine reserves are: Kahurangi and Punakaiki in Waewae rohe, and in Makaawhio rohe, Waiau-Okarito, Tauparikaka and Hautai.
Makaawhio Tumuaki Susan Wallace, with DOC South Westland manager Jo Macpherson, alongside the marine reserve marker post erected at Punakaiki. Similar posts have been erected at all five reserves.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Back in the old schoolyard

Jacobs River School after a tidy up from our working bee last weekend.
The Jacobs River School reunion weekend (Waitangi Day weekend, Friday 6 February and Saturday 7 February), just got bigger. As well as hosting the reunion at the school, marae and Bruce Bay Hall, we will also have a wananga to tautoko the paepae, i.e. whaikorero, karanga and waiata. So please put a ring around this weekend on your calendar and nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai!

Note: the school reunion is informal, but promises to be lots of fun with plenty of reminiscing and celebrating. There are no registrations or registration fee, just give us an indication of who and how many for catering purposes. Free accommodation at the marae, but please let us know in advance. Contact Helen Rasmussen at the Haast supermarket or Susan and Rachael at the Runanga office.

Come on all you Wilsons, Mahuikas, Rochfords, Cadigans, Tauwhares and Bannisters who made up 90% of the school roll for so many years! This is your chance to reminisce and wander around the old schoolyard!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jacobs River School days

The school's been closed for nearly two years, and is now the property of Te Runanga o Makaawhio for future business opportunities. Meantime, the maintenance is ongoing and so we had a working bee at the weekend to get it back in ship-shape condition, including rebuilding the fence around the swimming pool.
Kahurangi Wilson-Mahuika, left, and Jeff Mahuika repairing the school fence, with Te Owai's whare behind.

Here, the fence repairs are under way, with a backdrop of Te Owai's whare. This historic whare has stood just over the back fence of the school, since the early 1900s, and was once part of a cluster of whanau houses at the Karaki ("the clucky") after they moved off the Old Pa to be closer to the new main road. Of course, this is all Maori land, section 855.
Tutoko Wallace and Jeff Mahuika had an audience as the fence went up.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Moe mai ra, e Toihi

On Saturday, a van load of whanau travelled to Blenheim to farewell Taua Toihi McFadyen, known to all as 'Toish'. Toihi, daughter of Jack and Kate Fluerty of Nelson Creek, died after a long battle with cancer. Jack was the son of cousins, Toihi Te Koeti and Bob Fluerty. Toihi Te Koeti was the daughter of the great Te Koeti Turanga and grand-daughter of Tutoko, while Bob Fluerty's grandfather was Tutemakohu - Tutoko's brother.

When we re-gathered as a Runanga with the big hui at Bruce Bay in 1988, Toihi was there. When we held our Runanga meetings in those early days, Toihi was there, and when we started building our marae at Mahitahi in 2004, Toihi was there, spending many, many hours helping to weave the beautiful tukutuku panels that adorn our ancestral house. 

Now that Toish has joined the 'great majority', we look forward some day to welcoming her kawe mate to our marae. Haere atu ra, haere, haere, haere.