Last month these images were published on the back page of Te Pānui Rūnaka requesting information or names about their location and people in the photographs.

The images are part of the Ngāi Tahu Collection at Macmillan Brown Library, and the information attached to the images told us that the photographs were taken at a hui held at Te Maungungu Marae, Hutt Valley in 1979 which was convened by the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board to set up the Māwhera Incorporation.

We have received a couple of responses to these photographs so far. We would like to thank and acknowledge Tim Dyer and Tā Tipene O’Regan for making contact and sharing further information. Tim Dyer advised that the 4th lady from the left around the table, in the second photograph, is his aunty Jill (known as Mai) Fairbairn, who lived in Wellington. The lady second from left around the table is Molly Agar (an aunty to Tim’s father). Tā Tipene advised that either the date recorded against the photographs is wrong, or the suggested kaupapa of the hui is wrong.

He went on to say:
“As the Te Ika a Māui member of the NTMTB, I used to regularly hold beneficiary hui in the lower North Island and less often (but at least annually) in Taranaki and Auckland. As nearly two-thirds of our beneficiaries were in the Wairarapa and Wellington regions the two venues most regularly resorted to were Papawai Marae in Greytown and Te Mangungu in the Hutt Valley. We used Te Mangungu, also, for Māwhera gatherings simply because the biggest concentration of Māwhera owners lived in nearby Stokes Valley. If these are 1979 photos, however, then they are not of a hui convened to ‘setup’ the Māwhera Incorporation. Māwhera was established in 1976 and was well on the way and up and running as an entity in its own right by 1979.”

Tā Tipene then went on to identify the gentleman second from the right in the first photograph as being the noted historian Michael King, and suggested that the photographs are of a general Ngāi Tahu Beneficiaries meeting, rather than a Māwhera gathering.