Monday, 26 January 2015

The first decade

Te Ahu Russell in the wero.
Hard to believe but it was 10 years ago yesterday that we stood with such pride to open Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae! Who can forget the pre-dawn crowd of 2000 people shuffling down the road towards the marae gates? ... the gasps of excitement and pride as the lights were turned on for the first time to reveal the utter beauty of Kaipo ... the eerie mist that enveloped Mahitahi in a gentle embrace, preventing Prime Minister Helen Clark's helicopter from landing, leaving Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia to deputise so wonderfully ... the light summer rain that sprinkled the powhiri like holy water ... and the warm sunshine that melted the mist, just as it did 2000 years ago when Maui first sighted the mountaintops immediately offshore from Mahitahi and declared 'Ka tiritiri o te moana'.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Our international lawyer

A proud moment for Ngati Mahaki on the other side of the world today! Hokitika born and bred William Michael (Bill) Kelly (only son of the late Shirley and Doug Kelly, and moko of Aunty Nicky, nee Wilson, of Hunts Beach) was today admitted as an Attorney and Counsellor-at-law, New York State. He lives in Singapore.

Through his mother he is tangata whenua of Ngati Mahaki and Poutini Ngai Tahu, and on his father's side he is a fifth-generation West Coaster.
Bill Kelly with other legal graduates at the New York State Supreme Court today.

After leaving the West Coast, Bill graduated from the University of Auckland and the University of Pennsylvania law schools, and so he is also a New Zealand, Australian and English-qualified solicitor. He also completed a master of laws at the University of Melbourne and an MA in Contemporary China studies at the prestigious NTU in Singapore.

Bill added New York expertise to his credentials to better meet the needs of US corporates expanding their businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. His China expertise was featured in the Singapore Straits Times newspaper earlier this month.

Bill’s proud sister, Jackie Douglas, still lives in Hokitika and represents Makaawhio on the West Coast Regional Council and the Ngai Tahu Freshwater Forum.

More whanaungatanga ...

Pari Mahuika and Edith Tahuaroa at Kumara.

Winning team in the Hokitika Sand Dunes Classic - Maria Russell, Julie Zwies, Rachael Forsyth, Kori Mahuika - at the end of the course - the Hokitika River mouth. Maria hit the winning shot - straight across the river mouth to the other side!
Rachael Forsyth, Walter and Judy Mahuika, Marie Mahuika-Tahuaroa, Pari Mahuika, Elaine Williams - Hokitka Races.

Whanau watch the action at the back-to-front Hokitika Races (the horses race clockwise, rather than the usual anti-clockwise - we like to be different!).

Time for whanaungatanga

A few of the wahine dressed up for the occasion at the Makaawhio Mauriora! tent at Kumara: Rachel Forsyth, left, Marie Mahuika-Tahuaroa, Julie Zwies, Maria Russell, Pari Mahuika, Helen Rasmussen.
Summertime is whanaungatanga time - time for strengthening the family blood ties in a relaxing an fun environment. 
Kumara Races, Hokitika Races and Sand Dunes Classic - all BYO kai, drinks and fun. Next to come is the big whanau darts and pool afternoon in Hokitika, competing for fun or for the more serious, for whanau trophies! Watch this space.
Willie Wilson
Walter and Judi Mahuika with their daughter Sharon and moko.

Ian Rasmussen, wee Paitoto, Rob Wilson, Nikki-Leigh Wilson, Kim Rasmussen.

Archdeacon Mere

Big mihi to Mere Wallace, who was last weekend installed as an Archdeacon in the Maori Anglican Church by the Bishop of Te Waipounamu John Grey. 

As the wife of our Upoko Richard Wallace and the mother of our Tumuaki Susan Wallace, Mere has always been a very hard-working, loyal and faithful supporter of our Runanga on many levels over at least 25 years. Mere has given blood, sweat and tears for our Marae, from the planning to the dozens of building working bees, and in hosting of manuhiri. 

Outside of this loyalty to Makaawhio, Mere is faithful to her Church, and has been a Reverend and celebrant for many years - now she's an Archdeacon and of equal standing to Upoko Richard, who is the Archdeacon of Te Tai o Poutini. Now there are two Archdeacons in the one household!

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!