Tēnā koutou katoa, this pakiwaitara was written during our haereka on the Aoraki Bound course in March. It talks about two taniwha and the personal choice we all have in deciding which one we continue to feed and fuel during the challenges we face in life.

Kā mihi nui ki kā kaimahi o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu mō te wheako nei, ā, mō ā mātou karahipi. Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

On behalf of Aoraki Bound Kupe 603, Jess Massey (Stirling whānau) māua ko Bridget Robilliard (Brown whānau).

Taniwha Pai – Taniwha Kino

The newest hapū o te Kupe crew set off on their way to find something new. Their rakatira exclaimed, “Mā whero, mā pako ka oti ai te mahi” – The task shall be achieved through unity. So they thought, āe ka pai, it is in our kawa let’s fulfil our duty.

Haere mātou, off we go, through the ocean, bush, tough terrain and of course mud and rain. On the very first day of this extraordinary haereka they began to encounter kā atua, some were kind and some were not. Some were worse and the hapū began to curse.

Tāwhiri-mātea, Whiro, Tāne-mahuta and more, they were all there watching and keeping the score. The hapū did not know who to call for, to help them through this tough time. So they began to karakia as they continued to climb.

A kaitiaki came with a pretty cool name ‘Taniwha Pai’ – he was an awesome guy. He gave so much and expected little in return, except to know we would remember what we had learned.

As the hapū continued their hīkoi, the whakaaro o Pai disappeared into the wai – I heke kā Roimata, kept belting down, pulling the mauri into a frown. The hapū were confused about these negative vibes and decided to search for Pai once again, for the good things that Pai described. There was another atua called Whiro who liked stepping across their path, dancing in front of them having a good laugh.

Whiro rejoiced, his obstacles began to limit their choice about carrying on to the finish line and that’s when the hapū saw the slithering spine. The spiky spine of something more evil than whiro, the spine of ‘Taniwha Kino’. Kino was a bad Taniwha who liked to make them feel things like mataku, riri, whakahīhī, hīkaka, teka, wenerau, and apo.

He somehow visited each of them throughout the remaining days on their haereka but their rakatira stepped up and exclaimed once again – “Ekea kā tiritiri o te moana” – Ascend to the heights of your aspirations.

“Kia maumahara koutou.”

“Do you not remember the good things Pai gave us?”

“Hari, māiataka, aroha, māhaki, ohaoha, pono, hāmārika and all things nice, for nothing to pay, no not a price.”

All that Pai asked is that they fed him good kai, by letting him watch them become happy and high. On the other hand, Kino wanted everything from the hapū even when they had nothing to give.

So the moral of the story and the lesson learnt by the Kupe crew was to continue to feed Taniwha Pai or ultimately do not expect to continue to truly live.

Aoraki bound Featured Image