Ngāi Tahu migration haerenga

Early on Sunday 15 January, though later than scheduled, there was activity outside the Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka office with vans and whānau arriving to load up for the long journey from Karitāne to Waikawa Marae – near Picton.

A rōpū of 27 whānau members made the journey to retrace the first footsteps of our Tahu and Māmoe tīpuna.

The plan was to retrace the first footsteps into Te Waipounamu, through Tōtaranui, into the Wairau vicinity before arriving in Kaikōura and then moving further south to Kaiapoi.

It was going to be covered in six days and five nights, but there was quiet confidence that we were up to the challenge!

Matapura Ellison led us on this exploration of our history and whakapapa and his research and kōrero were enhanced by the insight given by the ahi kā and others with knowledge of those places and tīpuna including Maurice Manawatu, Rakiihia Tau (senior), Atholl Anderson, Peter and Takutai Beech and the whānau of Waikawa Marae, Barney Thomas and Molly Luke of Ngāti Rarua based near Blenheim.

Thanks also to Takarei Norton and the cultural mapping project for the maps.

As well as gaining a greater knowledge and understanding of our whakapapa and footprints of history, we also learnt that running late was something of a group characteristic. This was only overcome on the last morning when clean up and pack out from Takahanga Marae was completed with almost 40 minutes to spare. This could have been due to the adults giving up the idea of getting a decent night’s sleep.

Our rangatahi thoroughly enjoyed the hīkoi, some enjoyed the history lesson, ‘I loved going out to Cook Strait and seeing the pits at the pā sites and knowing that people used to live there.’ Some enjoyed being with whānau. ‘It was good travelling with my whānau, learning about our whakapapa and jumping off the wharf.’ And others enjoyed the kai – ‘Lots of mean food’.

It was reinforced to us that we enjoy each other’s company and that we do travel well and work well together.
We’ll be taking the kōrero into hui and wānaka at Puketeraki as we continue to consider the next steps for the interior adornment of our marae.

Kei te mihi atu ki te Ngāi Tahu Fund mō te tautoko ki te kaupapa.

Nā Suzanne Ellison

Karakatia kā mokopuna o te kāika a Whenua Hou
Calling descendants of Whenua Hou – Codfish Island

Puritia tāwhia kia ita Hold fast and firm
Te mana tīpuna To my inherited authority
Te mana whenua To my right to this land
Te mana tāngata To my freedom and right to self determination.

Are you a descendent of Whenua Hou?

Have you ever wanted to visit this remote and highly significant cultural place and connect with your ancestry?

With support from the Ngāi Tahu Fund, two or three pilot trips are being planned from March enabling up to 30 descendants to visit the island.

To find out more and to register your interest contact:

Dave Taylor
Work: 03 211 2462
Home: 03 2143360
Phone: 03 2348 192
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]