Kia ora koutou, firstly we would like to acknowledge the sterling work that has been carried out at Waihao Marae by Steve and Derylie Boyd, office manager and Jill of all trades over many years.

Steve was instrumental in organising, leading, and helping with projects such as recreating and building our awesome new wharekai, creating and maintaining the Waihao website, Google group communications, Waimate Museum project (check out the website for that one) and Te Haumi – our whale stranding, to name but a few of our significant projects over the last few years. Not to mention the kaumātua trips, while Derylie ably assisted in keeping the home fires burning.

New executive committee

Our October annual general meeting saw a new executive voted in with a great blend of youth and experience, all enthusiastic and focused on delivering a quality programme for Waihao whānau.

The new rūnanga executive, from left, Graeme Lane, Ivy Johnston, Martyn Smith, Sara Eddington, Suzanne Eddington, Dardanelle McLean-Smith, Leisa Aumua, Howard Marshall and Samantha Sykes.

The new rūnanga executive, from left, Graeme Lane, Ivy Johnston, Martyn Smith, Sara Eddington, Suzanne Eddington, Dardanelle McLean-Smith, Leisa Aumua, Howard Marshall and Samantha Sykes.

Rūnanga office

We are currently reinstating our office and updating our systems with a particular focus on validating the data and contacts on our members database. You can expect to hear from us over the next two months if you are registered with Waihao. We also expect to have a Facebook page up and running shortly.

A huge mihi goes out to our whānau, executive members and kaimahi who picked up the ball since September and kept the office going, and especially our Chair, Graeme who has been working almost more at the marae than at his actual job.

Te Rūnanga o Waihao Incorporated

Notice of special general meeting Te Rūnanga o Waihao Incorporated wishes to provide its members with notice for the special general meeting of the rūnanga at Waihao Marae, 26 Māori Road, RD 10, Morven on Sunday, 12 April at 1pm.

The special general meeting is called by the rūnanga executive to consider and approve the rūnanga constitution.

For more information please contact Te Rūnanga o Waihao, 26 Māori Road, RD 10, Morven; phone 03 689 4726; or email: [email protected].

School visits

The Waimate High School, year seven students visit was on 24 February. The students learnt how to make fish drying racks, tikanga of the marae and practised their kapa haka – it was great to hear the hall ringing to the enthusiastic rendition of Poi E and waiata all day long.

We are blessed with our ahi kā who support these visits – Graeme our Chair and overseer, Te Wera and Moke on the pae, Aunty Sis and Wendy our kaikaranga, Maurice, Lynn, Judith, Aunty Bridgie and Aunty Maureen in the wharekai, matua John and Makere leading the waiata and many more who come along and assist – ngā mihi ki a tātou.

Other updates

Te Haumi – our whalebones are still under cover and are coming along nicely.

We happily took possession of 36 varieties of flax via Lincoln University and at present they are planted in a furrow, awaiting a decision on their new home around the marae.

Coming home

Tamar McLeod Sinclair may have left New Zealand on a one-way ticket back in 2005 to pursue her singing career but she still feels closely connected to her Ngāi Tahu whakapapa.

Back in New Zealand for a whirlwind tour during February – March, Tamar performed one-off concerts in Auckland and Wellington, drawing on her roots to deliver unique performances in te reo Māori and English, bringing together the sounds of jazz, Māori and world music. Tamar said her visit was a chance to reconnect with her homeland and soak up the country’s natural beauty.

Although she was born and raised in the North Island and has not spent a great deal of time in the south, Tamar has always felt a strong connection to Māori music.

“Waiata have been a part of Māori life for centuries and I’ve been drawn to them ever since I was a child. I studied at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington and as part of my studies I did a paper on the history of waiata. I soaked myself in that. Singing in te reo Māori and drawing on traditional waiata and chants has given me a much deeper understanding of myself and what it means to sing. For me it’s very important to keep learning – the language and the waiata, and to acknowledge the sacred part of life through music,” she says.

Born in Takapuna of Ngāi Tahu, Polynesian and European descent, Tamar, 34, left New Zealand to learn from other cultures and to share her music on an international level. During her ten years away she has trained and sung with many highly acclaimed international artists and theatre companies including Lisa Sokolov at the University of New York, Peter Elkus and L’Association Art Musique Europeenne, and Ida Kelarova and the International School for Human Voice.

Tamar has performed at numerous music festivals and jazz clubs in Spain and her music has aired on radio in Spain, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

It’s been a whirlwind decade filled with travel and opportunities but for the last three-and-a-half years, Tamar has been settled in Barcelona with her Spanish musician husband, Paco Salazar, who, she says, is “a pioneer of Indie Rock music in Barcelona.”

“Barcelona is a very vibrant city that has been home to many great artists, like Dali, Miro, Gaudi. Paco and I have built a home there and established a studio (called Te Aroha), where I can teach singing. It’s a very creative place and a good international base for me.”

It is in New Zealand though, that she feels the pull of natural beauty and the urge to reconnect with her whānau. She says her uncle, Tony McLeod (Te Rūnanga o Waihao), has done a lot of research into the family and she now knows her great-grandfather was John Wesley Loper, who left Waimate to join the army during World War I. He is commemorated in the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

“From 2000 to 2003, I also spent time in Otago with my Aunty Rose (Rosemary McLeod). She’s a textile artist and she was doing a Master of Fine Arts at Otago University then. She now lives on Waiheke Island.”

Keen to learn more – both of her whakapapa and te reo Māori – Tamar hopes to make her visits back to New Zealand more regular in the future.

“There’s something very strong here for me – something that is important to both myself and my music. It’s very important to be authentic as a musician and for me, much of that authenticity lies in the waiata Māori, myths, legends, the language and my own experiences, that inspire many of my compositions.”


Tamar McLeod Sinclair.


Coming home to reconnect.