Ngāi Tahu ki Tāmaki Makaurau

Congratulations to Paora Edwards for completing and passing his last year in Business Administration. Paora is now studying Human Resources at Auckland University. A big thank you to Ngāi Tahu for their financial support.

News roundup
Just to let you know our Papa Bones is on the mend slowly.

We had our first committee meeting for the year and have organised our annual general meeting. We will have the results of the election in the next pānui.

Please book the last weekend in October for our Hui-ā-Tau. Healthy Living is the theme again this year and we will have healers booked. Come and take advantage of their skills. As usual, we will also have the Whakapapa Unit, Whai Rawa and more waiata. The best part is the whakawhanaungatanga throughout the weekend.

Nā Sue Nicoll.

New sculpture
On 8 April, Papa Kukupa Tirikatene and Papa Bones went to the installation, blessing and cutting of the ribbon for a piece of Lonnie Hutchinson’s artwork at Lake Rotoroa, in Hamilton. Lonnie is of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kuri, Samoan and European descent. She sent pictures of her work to Papa Kukupa for naming and he chose ‘Te Waharoa ki te ao Mārama,’ which is the entrance way to the world of enlightenment. It’s an awesome piece of work. Lonnie talks about her own work here:

The concept for this work is my response to the history of Lake Rotoroa in Hamilton and its significance to tangata whenua in the past, now and in the future. The lake was once a prime resource of food and materials and with sustained conservation, care and nurture this will continue. The kōwhaiwhai design is my interpretation of the mangō-pare (hammer head shark) and is often referred to as a symbol of strength and perseverance. Of never giving up. Related to my signature concertina cut-out works in black builder’s paper, the form of this work is taken from my builder’s paper model that is literally a twist and bends on a closed concertina that opens down the diagonal shaft and the vertical upright. The form becomes a waharoa or gateway that acts as a threshold that leads into a public recreational space. The kōwhaiwhai fronds fold up and out giving a sense of flourishing energy.

Lonnie is a distinguished multi-media, visual and installation artist, who exhibits throughout Australasia, and in international group shows, most recently in the touring exhibition Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; and at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Australia 2010/2011.
Links to Lonnie’s work

Kukupa Tirikatene turns the first turf for the installation of the new sculpture by Lonnie Hutchison.

A side view of the new sculpture.

Lonnie Hutchison’s new sculptural work.

Ngāi Tahu ki Te Tairawhiti

Book review
I’m reading this book. I pick it up and open it on any page and read with great satisfaction. Val Mete, who tells me she can’t write, has written this amazing account of growing up a Chatham Islander. She talks mostly about whānau. As she talks, you get a picture of the economic backdrop, the physical environment and the island values but most of all you get a whole picture of whakapapa and whānau.

As I read, I can almost taste the kai Val is describing. It’s all about pictures in your mind and tastes in your mouth; and it’s all in words. There are recipes based on the island’s crayfish, pāua, kina and blue cod. She tells us how to improvise while maintaining knowledge of the medicinal benefits of everything on the land, or in the sea.

The Chathams are New Zealand’s most easterly region and include eleven islands (only two of which are inhabited), lying 800 kilometres east of Christchurch.

Valerie Hoana Mete was born at Waitangi in 1938, of Moriori descent. She is from the Preece whānau. She married a Mete and these days lives under the mantle of the Rakaipaaka people at Nuhaka. Val is in our Ngāi Tahu ki te Tairawhiti rōpū and she is going to be our next guest speaker.

Get this book and read it. Val’s photos show island life from the 1930s to the 1980s – everything from horse-drawn mail carts to horse racing and the early days of the crayfish industry. You’ll also be licking your chops as you re-live Val’s tales of preparing and eating blind eels with her Nana. She is one heck of a writer who can persuade you that blind eels are ‘sweet stuff.’ You can buy the book at Read it. You will love it.

Nā Mere Pohatu.

Valerie Hoana Mete and Mere Pohatu (right) Tairawhiti.

Ngāi Tahu ki Te Whanganui-ā-Tara

E aku rakatira, tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou e noho tata ana ki te kāika, tēnā koutou. Ki a mātou kā taura here i Te Whanganui-ā-Tara e kaingākau nui ana ki ngā whakamārama mō ngā kaupapa o Ngāi Tahu, tēnā tātou katoa.

Ngāi Tahu ki Te Whanganui-ā-Tara is an informal group of interested tribal members who reside in Wellington and surrounding districts. Our main purpose is whakawhanaukataka – meeting whānau from our hapū and iwi and building a network in Wellington.

While many of us remain connected to our hapū, much can be gained by getting together to find out about opportunities through Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and to learn waiata so that we can participate in tribal events in Wellington.

Ngāi Tahu whānui came together in December last year to celebrate the festive season and spend a relaxing afternoon of activities with our tamariki – fun in the sun with kai. Thanks to Teone Sciascia and Whetu Moataane for coming along and providing an update on Whai Rawa, Aoraki Bound and other Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu news and opportunities. Thanks also to Whaea Carol Reihana for sharing your community networks in Paekākāriki, with us.

We are looking forward to being more active this year so Ngāi Tahu ki Te Whanganui-ā-Tara are looking for volunteers to help organise and co-ordinate events. Please contact Angela Wallace ([email protected]) if you are interested in helping out with activities, or if you want to be added to the email group.

Kāi Tahu ki Tauranga Moana

Rare kākāriki released
On 5 April our Ngāi Tahu Department of Conservation Officer, John Heaphy invited our committee member Annis Somerville to accompany him and helicopter pilot, Glenn Oliff to fly to Tuhua for the special task of releasing twelve orange-fronted kākāriki. Annis and John flew from Tauranga to Rotorua to meet the plane from Christchurch and collect the special cargo. After a quick trip across the ocean, they landed in the Tuhua crater and released the birds in the nearby bush. These birds have a high risk of extinction, so our local Ngāi Tahu group is privileged to be part of their preservation. Our group took part in the initial bird release, which took place on Tuhua, with a pōwhiri, two years ago.

We are grateful for John’s willingness to include us in his special venture. For Annis it was a magical trip never to be forgotten. Thank you John and good luck to all the little kākāriki which have made the journey up north.

John Heaphy and Annis Sommerville release kākāriki on Tuhua.

John Heaphy and Annis Sommerville, ready for take-off.