Tāne Mahuta unveiling at the Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary

On Saturday 1 September, Tāne Mahuta (god of the forest) was unveiled at the Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary. The work was carved from the trunk of a macrocarpa tree and it took more than a year and hundreds of hours of work for kaiwhakairo, Alex Whitaker to complete.

Whānau with Tāne Mahuta at the Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary.

The blessing was carried out by Kane Holmes, who was accompanied by members of Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka, Ecosanctuary staff and guests.

Following the blessing, the new memorandum of understanding between Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka and Otago Natural History Trust and was signed.

The bush, forest and birds all sit in the world of Tāne Mahuta. This carving is positioned to look down the Ōrokonui Valley and provide protection for everything in it. The cloak that Tāne Mahuta is wearing is to represent Te Korowai o Mihiwaka, that the Ecosanctuary is named after. The bird forms around the leg represent the arrival of birds into the forests of Tāne Mahuta. The plant frond that Tāne Mahuta is holding represents the bush and forests, and their relationship to him.

Ko Tāne Mahuta te atua, me te tupuna o ngā ngahere – te wao tapu nui o Tāne.

Mihi whakatau mō te Kaiwhakahaere, Te Irika o Te Wharawhara Te Raki, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo

After almost 18-months since the previous director of Māori Development departed from the University, a mihi whakatau was held in the University of Otago Council Chamber on Wednesday 11 July to welcome Mr Tuari Potiki, his whānau and invited manuhiri to the institution.

Being affiliated to Ōtākou Rūnaka, Tuari was brought on and handed over to the University by Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou, supported by ex-colleagues from Wellington and the Moana House whānau.

Mr David Ellison (upoko, Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki) and Mr Patrick Tipa (upoko, Te Rūnanga o Moeraki) led the whakatau, followed by the University, represented by Mr Mark Brunton (Research Manager, Māori) and Professor Harlene Hayne (the Vice-Chancellor).

Tuari comes to the University from a senior management role at the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC). As the director, he will lead Māori development activities at Otago and develop and maintain the institution’s Treaty-based relationships with iwi and Māori providers.

It is a home-coming for Tuari, who returns to take on this crucial role.

‘This is a dream role that combines my long-term passion for Māori development and well-being with the fresh challenge of providing leadership in this area at a large organisation that possesses such huge mana. It’s also pleasing to be coming to Dunedin, which is my papa kāika.’

As Tuari also points out, ‘I’m also looking forward to working closely again with Ngāi Tahu at both the local rūnaka and iwi level, and extending the existing links the University has forged with other Māori communities and providers’.

Aunty Mahana Walsh and Mr Tuari Potiki at his mihi whakatau.

Member postal voting

This is a reminder that we are calling for nominations for the Appointment Committee, who will be charged with appointing the Rūnaka Representative and Alternate Representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Nominations close on 19 October and every registered member of Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka over 18 years of age is eligible to vote. You can download the nomination form from our website www.puketeraki.co.nz or call the office for a copy. You will receive a form in the post if we have your current postal address.

Polyfest 2012

The Otago Early Childhood and Schools’ Māori and Pacific Island Festival was held recently at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin. It was with delight we noted that the local media were particularly kind to tamariki and rakatahi from Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka. The Otago Daily Times featured an image of Georgie-Rae and Savannah Flack performing with the combined Otago Boy’s High School and Otago Girl’s High School kapa haka group, Wairua Puhou. Kiringaua Cassidy got the front page of the paper, performing in his wheelchair after ankle surgery, with his kura Tainui School. Well done to you all.