Thursday, 24 July 2014

Makaawhio to Gloriavale

Walter Mahuika, Johnny Minto, Elaine Williams, Eileen Hutchison, Neville Tahuaroa and Kevin Mahuika - at Gloriavale this week.

See Gloriavale on tv last week in all its glory? Well, our kaumatua were among the hundreds who had an enjoyable day out at the Gloriavale Christian Community, way in the back of Nelson Creek at Lake Haupiri, on Wednesday during the weekly kaumatua outing. They were treated to an afternoon of music and pantomime, plus a three-course meal - all free. Gloriavale runs a series of these free concerts and meals for the West Coast community every two years.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Makaawhio, then and now ...

We've had this fabulous photo of a Ngati Mahaki group at Makaawhio for many years, and thought at the weekend it was time to update it! Ana, Ngati Mahaki in the early 1900s and 2014 ... This photo was taken from the 'Karaki' (or 'klucky'), which was the next kainga after Tikapu at the Old Pa. The Karaki was a collection of little houses and huts very close to the present day Jacobs River School, when the main road was first put through and the Old Pa was abandoned.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Our famous beach!

Marie Mahuika, left, Upokorunanga Richard Wallace, and our tamariki Hariata Russell and Karera Wallace - proud as punch with our new sign, just opposite the marae.

It's official - Bruce Bay beach is confirmed in the AA's Top 10 of New Zealand's most loved beaches! You can keep the Gold Coast and other overheated beaches - our beach is tops in natural beauty. And the namunamu are bigger and meaner! 

For accuracy sake, strictly speaking this is officially mapped as Maori Beach, reflecting the fact that it is Maori Reserve 782 and has always been occupied by our people. A lot of the land has gone to sea, but the boundaries haven't moved an inch, so what's there now - beach - is ours! Sandy Beach is the name given to the northern half of Bruce Bay, i.e. towards the Makaawhio awa.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Back in the old schoolyard

Ngati Mahaki cousins, Cadigans, Rochfords and Mahuika dominate the roll at the old Jacobs River School in the 1940s, with a sprinkling of local Pakeha families. Right up until the school closed in 2012, the roll was still dominated by Wilson and Mahuika whanau.

Reminder about the Bruce Bay/Jacobs River School reunion we'll be hosting over Waitangi Weekend next year (Friday, February 6 and Saturday February 7), at the school (now owned by the Runanga), marae and Bruce Bay Hall. No registrations, just an indication of numbers to the Runanga office (freephone 0800 955 007) would he helpful. Free whanau accommodation at the marae, otherwise get in early and make your bookings etc. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Beautiful Bruce Bay

The AA sign that will soon be erected at Mahitahi.

We've always known it, and now the rest of New Zealand are getting to appreciate something of the beauty of Mahitahi/Bruce Bay, which was recently named in a national survey by the AA as one of the Top 10 best beaches in New Zealand!

And of course, the very beach that tourists voted in the Top 10 is our own - this is officially 'Maori Beach' and for the entire length parallel to the highway it is Maori Reserve 782.

It is much more than just a pretty beach to Ngati Mahaki. This is our turangawaewae, our land, our history, our mahinga kai, and sweeps around to our rerenga wairua of Heretaniwha. And it's right across the road from our marae! 

Just a pity that it's still referred to as 'Bruce Bay' - named after a notoriously 'dirty' old coal-carrying paddle steamer that called in here once in 1865 and a couple of times more before it sank, forever replacing on maps etc the ancient name of Mahitahi. This name, 'Mahitahi' has been transported all around Polynesia. Maitai at Nelson is derived from the same name; it's all dialectal differences - dropping the 'h', and among our own it was always 'Maitahi' rather than 'Mahitahi' - similar to the Taranaki habit of dropping the first 'h', i.e. Ma'itahi.

So let's celebrate Maitahi, and it's Top 10 beach!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kaumatua tipihaere

Those brave enough for a photo, relax in the Glacier Hot Pools at Waiau/Franz Josef Glacier.

Let's face it, the weather on Te Tai o Poutini hasn't been that great lately - more wet than cold - so our regular kaumatua outings last week headed for the warmth of the Glacier Hot Pools at Waiau/Franz Josef Glacier. After a leisurely drive in the country from Hokitika and south, our kaumatua were ready for a therapeutic soak in the warming waters, such as Te Puna Mahaki (named by our Runanga after our hapu) in the steamy environment of the Hot Pools - oblivious to the winter chill outside.
Mahinga kai - grabbing a feed from our favourite watercress patch at Whataroa.

Our kaumatua co-ordinator Marie Mahuika takes the oldies for alternating visits to the Hokitika and Greymouth rest homes to visit our resident kaumatua, and embark on a few other adventures too. Soon they'll motoring up to Haupiri for the two-yearly famous concerts and dinners put on at the Gloriavale Christian Community. Nau mai, haere mai - just contact the office.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Waiau blessing 

Burying the mauri stones: Neville Tahuaroa, left, Mere Wallace, Richard Wallace, Tutoko Wallace, Susan Wallace, Marie Mahuika, Elaine Williams, Maria Russell, Khan Paniora, Jeff Mahuika, and in front, Karera Wallace, Mahinaarangi Wallace and Hariata Russell.

Exciting things are happening at Waiau (Franz Josef Glacier), and it's nothing to do with a supposedly shrinking glacier! 
No, Franz Josef Glacier Guides Ltd - owned by Ngai Tahu Tourism and part-owned by Makaawhio - is on the move, and they're taking the Department of Conservation and Westland National Park i-Site with them into a multi-million dollar new complex at the other end of town.

Today, an ope from Ngati Mahaki walked over the prepared building site, blessed it with karakia, and buried three mauri stones on site: aotea from Makaawhio, tahutahi pounamu from Cascade, and waitai white stone from Mahitahi-Bruce Bay, each representing mauri atua, mauri tangata and mauri manaaki.

The move from the State Highway around to Cron Street - the 'new main street' - has been prompted by a Westland District Council ruling and creation of an 'earthquake risk zone' in the existing Franz Josef village due to the Alpine Fault, which dissects the village (and actually runs right through the forecourt of the petrol station, and within a few metres of the DOC i-Site!). This zoning means that no new building or renovations will be allowed there, essentially forcing a relocation of the town in the only possible direction - northward. 

Walking on to the cleared site, in Cron Street.

Lots of businesses are already in that area, with a big new restaurant right across the road, but the biggest coup is the move of Glacier Guides and DOC, which will take the majority of foot traffic! Apparently the supermarket is going next door. All of this is also right in front of the Glacier Hot Pools, again owned by Ngai Tahu Tourism. The good news in all of this for Makaawhio is that we will get to put our unique 'stamp' on both new buildings (which will be linked and open plan), and have been allocated our own space in a prime spot within - so watch this space! 

Building is due to begin this week, with both buildings occupied by December.