Kia ora whānau, the last month has seen us putting the finishing touches to our annual report (due to be distributed at the end of the year) as well as financial planning and updating our policies and procedures. Some interesting wānanga have also taken place over the last month including the Ngā Whetū wānanga which was held at Te Kōawa Tūroa a Takitimu. A working trip to Rarotoka also took place where progress was made on the regeneration of the buildings and the clearing of noxious weeds such as gorse and broom. The Manawa Hou group also used Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu for its base prior to walking the Hollyford Track.

During the same period a number of bird transfers (mohua and kiwi) took place at various locations throughout our rohe. These awesome opportunities come up from time to time and can sometimes be at relatively short notice. I would urge whānau who wish to take part in these or any other rūnanga activities to contact us here at the office for further information.

If you have enjoyed a birthday in the last month or have new additions to your whānau congratulations and very best wishes for the year ahead.

Wānaka whetū

This was an amazing wānanga to attend. It was held at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu from 11-13 September. It was Initiated by Dean Whaanga (Awarua) and Muriel Johnstone (Ōraka Aparima) and supported by Kotahi Mano Kāika. Dean, his brother Hemi (Ngāi Tahu/ Ngāti Kahungunu), cousin Dr Rangimatāmua (Ngāi Tahu/Tūhoe) and photographer Erica (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) shared the facilitation duties.

We were given names for and told stories about many of the whetū (stars)and constellations. Unfortunately, when going outside to apply our new knowledge, the sky wasn’t clear.

Perhaps the most new learning I had was that Matariki (which we celebrate along with Puaka) is not made up of seven sisters, does not mean ‘little eyes’, is not a flock of doves (according to Māori tradition) and although there are many whetū in Te Kāhui o Matariki, Māori observe nine.

To those who don’t already know, Matariki means – Ngā mata o te ariki Tāwhirimātea. The other ‘two’ whetū are Pōhutakawa and Hiwa.

“Ko te Mātauraka kore tuku, he mātauraka kore hua – Knowledge that isn’t shared is not knowledge.”

Astronomy is the study of the objects in the sky (stars, planets, moons, galaxies, comets etc). Traditionally Māori held great knowledge of astronomy and their studies of the night sky played an important role in everyday life. Much of this knowledge remains recorded in te reo Māori and sits within karakia, waiata, whakataukī, and within place names. This project will explore the language of Māori astronomy to understand how important it was to our ancestors. It will also help to revive the language of Māori astronomy exploring how this knowledge can be used in a modern world.
Nā Rangimaria Suddaby.

The stars of Matariki.

The stars of Matariki.

Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu

Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu is an excellent venue and has the facilities to sleep 20-plus people. It is situated in the beautiful Jericho Valley approximately 40kms from Te Anau. There are excellent opportunities for biking, walking, hunting and fishing in the local area. If you and a few of your whānau or friends would like to stay there please contact us here at the office for details.

Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu.

Te Kōawa Tūroa o Takitimu.


We are always looking for volunteers to help out with the various projects and commitments we have. There are many diverse roles that we need help with, some of which include; representation on boards or appointment panels, helping with bird transfers, assisting at the marae or working in the nursery or the wetlands and many more. If you are keen to play a more active role within the rūnaka please contact us here at the office to discuss the options.

Contact details

We are progressively updating our membership database to improve the quality of our information. If you or any of your whānau have moved house or changed email address or phone numbers then please let us know as soon as possible.


We welcome contributions from whānau for Te Pānui Rūnaka. If you wish to contribute please send your news and stories to us at: [email protected] or phone 03 234 8192. We also now have an 0800 number: 0800 234 8192.

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