This year Ōraka Aparima Waka Ama entered the Waka Te Tasman event at Kaiteriteri as a mixed crew. Most of the crew departed Invercargill on Wednesday 12 November at 4.30am to begin the journey north.

We arrived in Kaiteriteri on Thursday 13 November and had booked an awesome holiday home, which looked out over the Kaiteriteri beach and bay. [Read more…]

On Thursday 16 October, we held a greats and grands afternoon tea party at Takutai o te Tītī Marae, Colac Bay. Fifty-two folk from Colac Bay, Riverton and surrounding districts came together to enjoy the lovely afternoon.

The ukulele team lead by Frances, Robin, Nan and another Robin and Rangimarie entertained us by singing beautiful waiata – old and new. The guests sang along and they even got up and had a dance. They certainly loved the Māori items, so thanks ladies. [Read more…]

On Monday 27 October, Stewart received a call from Ros Cole from the Department of Conservation, saying there was a whale ashore at Rarotoka Island. Stewart then informed me that a helicopter was going to pick up Sandra Cook and her party, who had located the washed-up whale. Stewart asked me if I would like to go and check it out – It was an easy question to answer.

We thought that we were going out to assist Sandra and her party to try and re-float the whale but on arrival we landed beside the whale and the helicopter flew up to get the others who were already there. To our surprise, the helicopter took-off for Colac Bay, leaving just Stewart and myself to move the whale. [Read more…]

In the week leading up to Labour Weekend, a wānanga was held at Takutai o Te Tītī Marae, at Colac Bay. The purpose of the wānanga was to continue the customary mahi that was carried out earlier in the year when nine orca stranded and died at Kutu – Awa on the western shores of Te Wae Wae Bay.

To better inform ourselves about orca, Ramari Stewart (He tohunga – iwi expert on customary recovery of whales), Dr Ingrid Visser, from the Orca Research Trust, Sophie White, Carolina Loch da Silva, Moyna Muller from Otago University, Shaun Wilson and Jean Claude from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa were invited to attend the wānanga and share their understanding, knowledge, experience and expertise. This was the first time that they had attended the same event sharing their knowledge and expertise which was hugely appreciated by all who attended. [Read more…]

Lucy Carter (Ngāi Tahu) was overwhelmed when she heard she had won a Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award, which will enable her to complete a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Sociology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, USA. [Read more…]

Kia ora whānau

As Tokerau throws four seasons at us in one day, we can be thankful we are not suffering the flooding and extreme conditions being experienced by whānau further up the country. Our thoughts are with whānau affected by adversity at this time. If you have enjoyed a birthday in the last month or have new additions to your whānau, congratulations and here is wishing you all good health and prosperity for the year ahead.

Riverton Primary School kapa haka group

Riverton Primary School’s kapa haka group performed at the school’s memorial concert, which was held at the Riverton R.S.A. Throughout the term the school has been learning about the war, and the concert was a way of commemorating Anzac Day. [Read more…]

Whaikōrero wānanga

The dates for the whaikōrero wānanga to be held in 2014 have now been confirmed and are as follows: 27-29 June; 26-28 September; and 28-30 November. All wānanga will be held at Takutai o Te Tītī Marae and will be tutored by our guest Ngāi Tahu orators, Piri Sciascia and Tahu Pōtiki. These will be noho marae, beginning on the Friday evening and leaving around lunch time on each Sunday.

The whaikōrero wānanga is open to all our Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka men including our non – Ngāi Tahu men, who may have married in to our widespread family of Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka wāhine, who wish to learn and understand more about the art of whaikōrero.

Murihiku Mahinga Kai regional forum

The Murihiku Mahinga Kai Regional Forum will take place at Takutai O Te Tītī Marae on Saturday 24 May at 10am.

Nurses’ clinics

Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust are holding their next nurses’ clinic at Takutai o Te Tītī Marae on the Thursday 26 June from 10am – 2pm. The registered nurse can support you with blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol checks, cervical smears, sexual health education, general health checks, health and wellness plans, linkage and referrals. Appointments are preferred, so please phone 0800 925 242 for an appointment.

Our extended working trip to Rarotoka on Waitangi Day began early at Te Takutai o Te Tītī Marae in Colac Bay. The six participants (Sandra Cook, Cathy Onellion, Christopher Brankin, Joan Fluerty and David and Carol Clapp), had to have everything prepared for a 9am flight to the island.

While it was a short trip with a small group, a trailer load of roofing and building supplies was being lifted over with us and securing that to be helicopter safely was a priority. However the problem was solved when pilot ‘Hannibal’ Hayes decided the easiest method would be to lift the load, trailer and all. That gave us the opportunity to get good photographs of a trailer soaring over the bay.

Once the team had landed on the island, the settling-in process happened quickly and everyone set to work. All the team members had visited Rarotoka before, some as recently as Boxing Day, so pet projects were revisited [Read more…]


Over the last two months the office has been in a bit of turmoil as the refurbishment of the building gets underway. These alterations have created more space and will provide a much needed meeting room.

The general monthly meetings take place on the second Sunday of each month and the dates are as follows: 13 April, 11 May, 8 June, 13 July, 10 August, 14 September, 12 October, 9 November, 14 December. All members are welcome to attend these general meetings, so please feel free to come along and find out what is happening. If for any reason these dates change, we will notify whānau as soon as possible. [Read more…]


Savanna Steele recently took part in the 2013 First Nations Touch Tournament in Gold Coast Australia in October 2013. She also competed in the NZ Maori Nationals and even though her team didn’t do as well as they wanted she had some personal success, as she was selected to represent New Zealand again in the New Zealand open mixed touch team. She has also been selected for the Under 16 youth team. [Read more…]

Over the past six months a considerable amount of work has been progressed on the digitisation of print photographs held within the Ngāi Tahu Archives at the Macmillan Brown Library. As of the end of July, 536 photographs have been digitised from the photograph albums stored in the Ngāi Tahu Archives, and are now saved on the Ngāi Tahu server with back-up photographs held on external hard-drives. [Read more…]

Position of alternate Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka Inc are calling for candidates for the position of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Alternate. All nominations to be in writing please and received by the office no later than 5pm Friday 28 June.

For further details on criteria please contact the rūnanka office on 03 2348 192 or [email protected]

Please note: Anyone wishing to apply for, or to have voting rights for this position must be a member of Ōraka Aparima rūnaka. The final day for registration is Friday 7 June. To confirm your registration is up-to-date please contact us at the office.

Voices from the past

Ngā manu were the only ones who stirred early at Ōraka Aparima’s Takutai o te Tītī Marae, when whānau got together for a weekend of traditional music and learning in March.

Everyone had slept soundly after concentrating hard and putting a great effort into learning and up-skilling on traditional Māori instruments, bringing beautiful voices, tuku iho, back to our southern marae. [Read more…]

The restoration work on Rarotoka has taken big leaps forward. A new roof was put on the main house last year to go with the new roof we put on “house three”, and next we’ll be working on the spouting on both. Here are Stewart Bull and Phil Fluerty putting up freshly painted fascia boards before the spouting goes on. It’s looking great.

One of the aspirations for the island is to increase the tītī population, so we planted a lot of tūpare last winter. Tūpare forest is the natural breeding habitat for tītī. We’re experimenting with plant protectors to help tūpare survive their first year in windy areas. So far, it seems to be a big success with good growth and high survival rate. In a few years, we hope this forest and trees we’ve already planted will attract more tītī.

From left: Stewart Bull and Phil Fluerty.

Experimenting with plant protectors.

Kia ora whānau,

Over the last month the office and executive have been busy organising and attending various hui, some of which have been held in the marae. As March approaches our thoughts are on the forthcoming tītī season. We wish whānau who are going to the islands a safe and bountiful journey.

Department of Conservation (DOC) hīkoi maumaharatanga

DOC organised a hui to visit culturally significant sites and to acknowledge and bless the deed of recognition interpretation panels in the Murihiku area. It was also seen as an opportunity to strengthen the working relationship between iwi and DOC. The trip included an element of local history and an insight into projects undertaken by DOC in Murihiku. Whānau who attended had a most enjoyable time. [Read more…]

We hope that you all had an enjoyable Christmas break and that you are now back into the swing of things ready to meet the challenges of 2013.

If you have enjoyed a birthday in the last while, got married, had a celebration or had new additions to your whānau, congratulations. Here is wishing you all good health and prosperity for the year ahead. [Read more…]

Well, we are well and truly into spring. Labour Weekend has come and gone and the windy conditions are playing havoc with the gardens. We hope that you are all keeping warm and well and that any of you who celebrated a birthday enjoyed your day. During the last month the office has finally had a new phone system installed. [Read more…]

Update from the marae

Kia ora whānau. Well springtime has finally arrived and we hope those whitebaiters amongst you are enjoying a bountiful harvest. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner! [Read more…]