Ka mihi aroha

Our deepest sympathy and love goes to the whānau of Auntie Bernice Tainui.

Tribute to Ri (Riri Anthony McConnell)

Last week Rāpaki lost a valuable whānau member and a true friend. After coping with a debilitating disease for a number of years Riri Anthony McConnell lost the battle.

There was a time, not that long ago, when Ri’s little blue truck could be seen in and around our little Rāpaki kāinga: either parked up outside Auntie Dawn’s house; outside the church urupā; up the back of Rāpaki Drive; over the road from Auntie Rima’s; up at Auntie Doe’s; and more often than not it would be seen outside the office and marae.

One of his pet projects was the Ōmaru Stream restoration. After planting was completed, Ri arrived every week with a truckload of water containers and a weed-eater. Fundraising also featured high on his list. There was the Rāpaki reticulated sewer system, the Te Wheke Centennial and the more recent Project Tōtara. The maintenance of the Tikao/Manihera section of the church urupā was another of his self-imposed tasks. Whenever we had a hui here Ri was always one of the first to arrive. He was regularly seen in the outside kitchen washing pots, peeling spuds, cooking on the gas rings and he attended many meetings of the marae committee.

Ri was also available for any of the Horomaka Rūnanga hui that needed workers, so the loss is not ours alone. Ri had an interest in the historical aspects of our takiwā and was also interested in rongoā (medicinal plants), involving himself in any challenges undertaken in Rāpaki. Ri’s contribution to life in Rāpaki was big, he left us a legacy of giving, volunteering, always with quiet dedication and humour. We lost not just a whānau member and friend, we also lost a valuable asset, something that all rūnanga need, and the McConnell whānau have lost a loyal husband, father and brother.

Go in peace my friend, you are loved and missed. He roimata ua, he roimata tangata.

Haere mai kā pēpi

On 4 February Amos and Catherine Kamo welcomed the arrival of their third son Ihaia Te Heke Nui Harihona Kamo.

Pōua and Grandma with Ihaia.

Nana Faye with Jackson and Emmanuel at the christening of Emmanuel and Ihaia.

On Friday 8 February beautiful Eden Te Oraiti May was born. A healthy daughter to Janina and Andre Konia and sister for Holly and another moko for Elaine and Ron Dell.

Eden Te Oraiti May Konia.

Peter Couch blowing out his candles

Whānau from Murihiku, Waimate, Ōtautahi and Rāpaki came together to help Peter Couch celebrate an important milestone.

Peter Couch Blowing out his candles.

Rā whānau

Also celebrating a birthday in March – Chris Korako, Manaia Rehu, Katherine Couch, Herena Stone, Ripeka Paraone, Casey Laffey, Michael Johnson, Cushla Dwyer, Hana Rakena, Steve Rangiwananga, Andrea Read, Ashton Rakena, Mia, and Reuben Couch.

Whānau success

Congratulations to Stephanie Anderson, daughter of Ngahuia (née Sheddan) and the late Bill Anderson, granddaughter of the late Mamae (née Couch) and Jack Sheddan, great-granddaughter of the late Pearl and Wera Couch.

Stephanie graduated at the Swiss Hotel Management School, Leysin, Switzerland in May 2012, with a Bachelor of Arts, with Honours in Hospitality Management.

Stephanie Anderson receiving her degree.

Stephanie with her Mum, Ngahuia.

Ice hockey enthusiasts

Sofia and Larissa Tucker will represent Canterbury and play teams from around the world at an ice hockey tournament in Vancouver, Canada. Sofia and Larissa have been on skates since they were three and once they turned five they started playing for a team. Despite the amount of training, both on and off the ice, they have never got tired of the sport. We wish them all the best for the tournament and safe travelling to and from Canada.

Waitangi Day

Blessed by the gentle tears of Ranginui for his beloved Papatūānuku over 150 visitors accepted the invitation from Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke to share fellowship and friendship at Rāpaki Marae on our national holiday – Waitangi Day. Flags flying, manuhiri briefed and keen with anticipation, the karanga resounded in the small seaside village. Old and new friends from Banks Peninsula, Christchurch, other parts of New Zealand, and overseas enter Wheke greeted to the sound of songs of welcome.

Sharlene Pirikahu and her team of merry helpers prepared a fabulous spread for our manuhiri. Morehu Flutey-Henare quietly wove her magic doing raranga to promote the Level 5 Toi Paematua course. Te Ahikōmau a Hamoterangi thrilled the audience with a preview of their upcoming Te Matatini performance, much to the delight of our distinguished guests. Youth leaders from Rāpaki facilitated Waka Ama and games on the beach while Rewi Couch and Reihana Parata shared stories about the art work in Wheke with willing listeners.

Waitangi Day at Rāpaki was possible due to the generous financial support from the Ngāi Tahu Fund, the in-kind support from Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as well as the many voluntary hours put in by Ripeka Paraone and whānau of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rāpaki.


Te Matatini 2013

Go to Facebook if you want to catch all the awesome pics from this year’s event, thanks to all the dedicated kapa haka whānau. Te Ahikōmau did well, looked good and we’re proud of them.

Rāpaki Marae Trust – election results

The seven elected trustees from the postal ballot, in accordance with the Rāpaki Marae Charter, are: Herena Stone, David Tikao, Rima Subritzky, Rewi Couch, Te Whe Phillips, Ata Laffey and Douglas Couch. Application will now go to the Māori Land Court to replace the existing trustees Donald Couch and Nuk Korako.

General manager

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Kopa Lee as general manager of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke. Kopa resigned as chair at the February rūnaka meeting and started in this position on Monday 25 February. June Swindells is the interim chair.

Employment opportunity

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke invites applicants for the position of office manager for Rāpaki Marae. This position will be based at Rāpaki and will report to the newly-appointed general manager. Excellent IT, communication and organisational skills are essential competencies for this position. Applications close Thursday 28 March. All enquiries to Elaine Dell, Office of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke phone 03 328 9415 or email [email protected]