Rere a waimihi a Koukourārata ki a koutou katoa. The year has been a busy one so far. There has been a flurry of activity with the new waka ama, the establishment of pouwhenua at the base of Kakanui Reserve and of course, the purchase of a new truck and the out fitting of the marae. Before moving on Te Rūnanga o Koukourārata would also like to extend our heartfelt aroha to all of our whanauka who have lost loved ones over the past month. Nō reira koutou o te huka wairua haere atu rā, moe mai rā i kā peka o tō tātou nei ūkaipō. Mā te Atua koutou katoa e manaaki e tiaki. Āpiti hono tātai hono rātou ki a rātou ka moe, āpiti hono tātai hono tātou te huka ora ka noho, pai mārire.

Our first waka ama competition

Sunday, 20 April is a day that will be recorded in Kāti Huikai history forever. Whakaraupō was hosting the National Waka Ama long distance championship and Kāti Huikai entered the novice men’s 12k race.

We initially wanted a mixed team but two of our wāhine had to pull out and we had to second two new crew members. Being the busy team that we were, finding time to train all together as a rōpū was difficult. However, our attitude never wavered. We were committed to this wero 100%. The team consisted of Jahmain Ruru, Philip Ruru, Benjamin Ruru and myself all from Kāti Huikai supported by Alex and Brian. The conditions were perfect, the ihi, the wehi was flowing and the race was on. We lined up in the best spot possible in our new waka ‘Maka’ (named after the Makawhiu, which landed at Koukourārata). The controller blew the horn and ‘Maka’ roared into action. We took the lead within a few powerful strokes but wisdom prevailed and we decided to slow the pace to complete in the race.

Our strategy worked and we saved plenty of energy to get us around the second to last buoy. We were on the home stretch, riding the easterly swell with grace and precision. Catching up to unsuspecting opposition paddlers was the plan. Then, without a word of warning Maka and Takaroa decided that we were too powerful and lifted our ama in mid-air like Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup race.

Unfortunately for us, we went all the way over – auē. There we were, in the middle of the Whakaraupō Harbour – bewildered. We righted ourselves effectively and efficiently and tactfully carried on with the race with our heads held high. Although we flipped, we finished third out of a large national contingent – of three. Nā Manaia Cunningham.

Farewell waka one

In February this year our beloved ‘waka one’ was stolen and found burnt out on the banks of Te Waihora – for you, no hard-earned, thoroughly-deserved retirement, to simply reflect on your great deeds and the role you played in the journey that has been Koukourārata in recent years. When you first arrived, with accusations of a booze bus for the boys, until when you became that time-honoured veteran of many projects and trips to maanaki different kaupapa around the motu, your CV was impressive indeed. To those who stole you, stripped you, then set you on fire, may your deeds have an ending that would not be uncommon in times gone by. You will be truly missed. Moe mai rā, moe mai rā e hoa.
Nā Peter Ramsden.

Waka ama

Thanks to the generosity of the Koukourārata Development Company, the rūnanga purchased a six man waka ama at the beginning of the year.

Led by Manaia Cunningham, whānau members have been training with Te Waka Pounamu and recently competed in a waka ama competition at Queen’s Birthday.

Congratulations to all and a big thank you to the Ngāi Tahu Fund for supporting our training wānaka.

Te Pānui Rūnaka

Many thanks, to our roving reporter Peter Ramsden for his story contributions. If you have stories for Te Pānui Rūnaka please send them to the rūnaka office (contact details can be found at the back of this edition). Without your stories we can’t submit a column so we look forward to hearing from you.

Bringing Tautahi home

It has been a long held mystery of, where in the city named after him, Tautahi rests. Various sites have been discussed at length, none reliable, which is perhaps as it should be. There are other ways of bringing Tautahi back to the place of his birth, rather than just in a physical sense.

A meeting in the old Armagh Street rūnanga offices concerning tupuna pou was the spark that was needed. In carved form, he now stands proudly on a plinth with his father Huikai and redoubtable tupuna, Tūhaitara. They stand on a ridge that is the gateway to the newly created reserve Kakanui that overlooks the bay of Te Ara Whānui o Makawhiu, Koukourārata.

Once the hapū had chosen who would represent their whakapapa, we were privileged to enter the world of talented carvers, Fayne Robinson and Caleb Robinson. It was no small effort on their part, to juggle commitments to our whanauka of Kāti Waewae then over to Koukourārata to our newly designated carving studio – our garage. Proof of their effort and talent is proudly visible to all who enter our bay. Alongside our tupuna pou is a stone seat built for all to sit and enjoy the magnificent view. It has a message carved into it that belongs to us all. The pou and seat combine as a statement to all that our bay has been occupied by various iwi from times ancient – a truly special place.

Many thanks are extended to all who attended the blessing, to Aroha Daken and Airini Payne who lead the catering team, who provided our wonderful hākari after the blessing; and a special thank you to the Ngāi Tahu Fund and the Koukourārata Development Company for the fiscal support of this wonderful project.
Nā Peter Ramsden.






ngai tahu fund