I’ve been back in the ‘real’ world now for two weeks and the memories of Aoraki Bound are still fresh.  Our group is still keeping in contact and the practises are still a part of me, from wearing a watch and going for a quick dip after a run to daily karakia, using my reo and continuing with my own wānanga. My desire to learn, connect and stay true to my values and goals is still strong. So is my dislike for canned corned beef. That’s probably the only experience I’m not keen to repeat. I knew I’d learn and experience a lot but I didn’t expect this hīkoi to have such a profound impact. I knew I’d follow in the footsteps of my ancestors, that I’d get fitter and not smoke and not touch my phone for a whole 20 days. I didn’t expect to let so much go. You are given a lot and you give a lot of yourself. It’s a humbling experience. The sharing of knowledge, experience, feelings and understanding from our facilitators and group-mates was really special. It is the kind of special that can sound a bit cheesy when you’re trying to explain it back here in this world, but that doesn’t detract from how cool it was and is. If you get the opportunity to go – take it.
Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua. Nā Saelyn Guyton. [Read more…]

Mātauraka Mahaanui
Ko Te Poho o Tamatea, ko Maungataniwha ōku maunga
Ko Rāpaki o Te Rakiwhakaputa, ko Mangamuka ōku marae.
Ko Ngāi Tahu, ko Ngā Puhi ōku iwi
Ko Ron rāua ko Elaine Dell ōku mātua
Ko Janina Konia tōku ingoa. [Read more…]

Kia ora koutou katoa, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke funding for charitable purposes will be available in April. To be eligible for grants you need to be a non-profit organisation or an individual who will not gain profit from the grant, with involvement in activities within the Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke takiwā in the areas of health, welfare, environment, youth, religious, arts and culture. For more information please contact the office on the number listed below. Planning is underway for this event and we will advise full details in the next Te Pānui Rūnaka. [Read more…]

It is with much sadness we acknowledge the passing of Rima Subritzky, a beloved kaumātua within our hapū, who will be fondly remembered for her kindness and supportive nature to all those that came in to contact with her. Her tangi was held on 21 January.

Rima Subritzky.

Rima Subritzky.

He pēpi

Hayley and Matthew Ashley are delighted to announce the birth of their beautiful daughter, Peyton Jada Ashley. Peyton, sister to Heavyn, L’Amour and Luca was born on 23 December at St George’s Hospital.

Peyton Jada Ashley.

Peyton Jada Ashley.

Hemi Te Rama Pita Kerepeti Paraone was born 12 August and is the beautiful son of Kerepeti Paraone and Savanah Tukariri, loved greatly by his big sister Miere, this big boy loves to pekepeke and kōrero.

Hemi Te Rama Pita Kerepeti Paraone (left - 12 August, right - 24 January).

Hemi Te Rama Pita Kerepeti Paraone (left – 12 August,
right – 24 January).

Koha-o-Rangi Cohen Iwi Maire Mackey-Harrison Parata is the first-born son of Michael Parata-Peiffer and Caityln Mackey-Harrison. Koha-o-Rangi was born four weeks early and is happily growing bigger and stronger every day.

Koha-o-Rangi Cohen Iwi Maire Mackey-Harrison Parata (left - 24 October, right - 25 January).

Koha-o-Rangi Cohen Iwi Maire Mackey-Harrison Parata
(left – 24 October, right – 25 January).

Marae update

Wheke Marae has kicked into gear again with a number of maintenance jobs including new paintwork on the marae ātea, to ready us for the year.

The wharekai development, along with the site works, have begun. I have received many enquiries as to when we are able to consider marae bookings again and at this stage it will be the beginning of June this year. I have needed to postpone some bookings so there may be limited dates for new enquiries. More details will be available in next month’s issue of Te Pānui Rūnaka.

Wheke Marae update.

Wheke Marae update.

Manawa Tītī

The nomination for the Manawa Tītī programme 2017 goes to Jaunita Hepi – congratulations Jaunita. We look forward to your report back to the rūnanga on completion.

Portfolio reports

Cushla Dwyer – Marae portfolio holder
We are still under construction as you will see in the photo above. The only issue to date has been dealing with traffic as the large trucks currently on site require a bit of precision and maneuvering up or down our narrow roads. I have received a request from a member of our hapū asking for any supportive photographs she can use associated to events inside our previous wharekai. If you have any please send them through.

I am currently looking at obtaining a very good irrigation system to assist with all our māra kai. This has been a very laborious job for our maintenance man and although a much needed part of the maintenance, not necessarily a good use of time management.

Christina Henderson – Health portfolio holder
Care-Plus funding has been replaced by Enhanced Capitation as from the 1 October 2016. This helps people with high health needs eg. chronic conditions, acute or medical or mental health needs and terminal illness.
Māori and Pacific scholarships are for Christchurch-based tertiary institution students who are studying a health-related NZQA accredited course and have whakapapa/cultural links with Māori communities and genealogical/culture links and Pacific communities and is also planning to work in the Canterbury District.

Many thanks to whānau and manuhiri who come to mahi and facilitate hui on the marae and engage with the tikanga and kawa practices. For any booking information please contact the office on 03 328 9415.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke office

Finally! The new office is now officially operating from 18A Rāpaki Drive. A blessing was carried out by our kaumātua Te Mairaki Pitama in the presence of our general manager Kopa Lee, myself (Cushla) and Elizabeth Kereru on Friday 2 September.

The confirmations of all committees and members were confirmed at the October general rūnanga meeting and are as follows:

  • Education – Brett Lee
  • Health – Christina Henderson
  • Marae – Cushla Dwyer
  • Culture and Identity – Ripeka Paraone
  • Resource management – TBC.

Join us in welcoming our new Chairperson, Manaia Rehu, our new Treasurer David Tikao and still standing Secretary Elaine Dell. Our previous Chairperson June Swindells, held the position for just over three years and engaged in some critical discussions and kaupapa in her term and maintained the role of Chair to a high calibre, it was a pleasure to learn and work alongside her over the last 12 months.

Upcoming rūnanga meetings

  • November 13 Sunday, 9am
  • December 11 Sunday, 9am


The wharekai build is now at the solid structural stage. If you have been, like us, observing closely, it may not look like much is being done. However, all the builders are hard at work and by the next report I am sure we are going to be amazed at the change taking place. There have been some site meetings involving the constant eye and fine details discussed between the general manager, architect, project manager and site foreman.

Wānanga whaikōrero

The wānanga have reportedly been consistent and well-managed. The final wānanga is coming up and we look forward to celebrating the learning and commitment to the kaupapa. The paepae plans to host further wānanga to transfer the tātai kōrero of Wheke to the paepae whaikōrero process.

Many thanks to all those actively involved in the marae and all those who carry in their hearts the love of our very special place.


Our focus to support and progress the marae with our māra kai beds has finally come to fruition! It was brilliant timing having the nurseries available with our supply of plants for the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu kaimahi visit. We hope the team who chose to come out enjoyed their visit, I thoroughly appreciated their time helping with our spring plantings and the beginnings of us becoming even more sustainable. The plants came through a māra kai fund provided by Te Puni Kōkiri. I can now finally provide a report to show we are well on the way to making our marae more sustainable. The programme of encouraging small work activities with our rōpū has been welcomed with groups seeing the marae beginning to flourish and very much looking forward to being fully available to assist.

We have hosted a number of rōpū receiving their cultural professional development and board meetings over the month. All were well provided for with kai Māori specially requested through our preferred caterer for their lunch – as well as humble offerings of the first catch of the West Coast whitebait caught and cooked by Richard for those who jumped on the bus to Rāpaki from Ngāi Tahu. A very enjoyable day. As part of our environment and the building of the new wharekai we are now at the point where bookings may be affected due to the works taking place. We may therefore have to cancel some bookings – this will be decided on a case by case basis dependent on requirements. [Read more…]

It is with sadness we farewelled one of our own this month. A true gentleman from Rāpaki, Dudley Couch, very kind and always had a smile on his face. Love and support to his family.

Apologies for the very brief update on all that is happening this month. Needing to meet so many deadlines – but please always feel free to provide a pānui you may wish to share.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke current portfolios

Health: Christina Henderson.

Mokopuna Ora Seminar Program

Where: Rehua Marae
When: Wednesday 12 October
Keynote speakers include our own June Swindells, chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke and myself, Cushla Dwyer. We look forward to seeing you there if you can make it. Also, for Christina to hold another of her fabulous Health Days back here in Rāpaki.

Marae news

After just missing the cut off for last month’s Te Pānui Rūnaka to share the fantastic news at least three of our kaumātua have managed to kick the addiction of cigarettes. It has now been at least a couple of months. Support is available here in the office for those wishing to utilise the Quit Card Cessation Program.

I have also handed out some freebies to those wishing to utilise natural options. Very happy to provide further information here and look forward to scheduling some events. Please remember the marae is a non-smoking environment which includes all the facilities attached.

Upcoming rūnanga meetings

  • October 9 Sunday, 9am
  • November 13 Sunday, 9am
  • December 11 Sunday, 9am

Wānanga Whaikōrero

Many thanks to all those actively involved in the marae and all those who carry in their hearts the love of our very special place. Ngā mihi. Cushla Dwyer.

New wharekai

Our wharekai is taking shape. Full credit to all those working on our facilities. And thank you Elaine for taking this photo. I am dreadful at photographs through the fence.

Our new wharekai here at Rāpaki is taking shape.

Our new wharekai here at Rāpaki is taking shape.

Hoe synchronistically sink into the wind-tipped waters, pushing the waka towards the shores of Rāpaki. The doors open and we are welcomed to Wheke.

On our backs, looking up to the colourful roof, we can clearly see the tāhuhu (main ridge of the whare). There is Ranginui with his first wife, Pokohārua-te-pō.  There is the waka of Aoraki, anchor rope severed and swaying — the waka that became our island. [Read more…]

MR875 Rāpaki trustees nominations

MR875 Rāpaki Reserves Trustees wishes to call for nominations for Trustee(s) for the MR875 Rāpaki Reserves as pursuant to the Maori Reservations Regulations.

All nominees must reside within the Waitaha/Canterbury Region and descend from the Hapū of Ngāti Wheke. There will not be a postal ballot, all nominees must be over 18 years of age. All persons eligible to become, or vote for, a trustee are encouraged to apply to be registered as a member with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Incorporated. Members of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Incorporated who have previously been registered are encouraged to ensure that their contact details as held by Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Incorporated are correct. [Read more…]

Ngā mate

We would like to acknowledge the passing of three whānau connected to the hapū; Andy Hamilton, Te Whe Phillips and Judith Wilson (née Rakena) passed away through the month of May. We send prayers of peace and strength to their families through this time.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke office

We will remain on the south side of the marae for a few more weeks. We are still expecting the main service providers (Chorus) to prepare the selected new office space with the appropriate cables before the Ngāi Tahu BIS Team can come in and make the relevant connections to the network. In the meantime, we are also utilising the resources of Lyttelton Library for administration services. It has been exhausting on our resources and time for the last two months and will be another month before we are happily settled into the new office premises.


This refers to the recent purchase of 18A, the property across the road from the marae. We are currently awaiting full council consent for commercial purposes to support the marae.

Water quality

Every week we have Environment Canterbury monitoring the quality of the water and we are very happy to report there has been no need for concern.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu representative and alternate

Interviews are currently taking place and we will report the final decision in the next issue of Te Pānui Rūnaka.

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke incorporated

Funding closed 31 March and the next application closing date is for the funding round ending 30 September 2016. A very short and brief report, please do not hesitate to contact the office for any further information.

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Nā mate

I would just like to acknowledge the recent passing of Elaine Couch and wish Uncle Doug and all his family peaceful wishes through this time.

The update on the marae is as follows:

Bushnell Builders have been working productively on the wharekai. The final poroporoaki prior to demolition was held on Monday 18 April and was attended by a handful of whānau. Please watch this space for some photographs collected in next month’s Te Pānui Rūnaka.

The previous taonga room within the marae is still hosting office space for both the general manager and the office manager until the space is available for the Ngāi Tahu business services team in conjunction with Delta (phone company) have the office space wired for use. This is possibly going to be the end of May or mid June 2016.

We are currently taking public marae bookings for day-hui only, noho bookings will be by the end of August. However, it is case by case depending on the construction going on with the wharekai.

Rāpaki has approved the purchase of a fishing net/boat for whānau to go fishing in Whakaraupō monthly. Pōua Rik Pitama will oversee the fishing whānau day.

Rāpaki is committed to a weekend wānanga for whaikōrero/whakapapa over a 10-month period. More details will follow so if you are interested please let the office know.

Our recent funding application for our māra kai garden beds has been approved by Te Puni Kōkiri. This supports ongoing recognition of rongoā as a key focus in Rāpaki.


Next month we will announce the lucky recipient of the Mobil Oil offer to sponsor a female from Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke to a Leadership and Capacity Building course at a five-week seminar in Indonesia. The trip will be all expenses paid. That lucky person will engage in a course facilitated by the world-recognised Plan International USA. The invitation was a result of our relationship building with Mobil Oil and is offered to selected guests across the world. This is a great honour for us as only one other Māori position was offered in New Zealand.

Health portfolio

World Smokefree Day 31 May – we are hosting a kaumātua/whānau 2km walk in Hagley Park. Everyone is welcome and there will be shared kai afterwards at Rehua Marae and the Rockers of Ages will not only be walking but entertaining with awesome voices.

Sign up for the free ‘Healthy Home Improvement Plan’ (insulation, heating, lighting, ventilation and glazing).

Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre brings you a great range of courses including: family inclusive training, grief, loss and trauma plus courses on relating well to men who attend health services and understanding and managing children’s anxiety. These are worthwhile training courses and run professionally.

Christchurch is on the agenda in June (tentative) for the next Protecting our Mokopuna seminar. Another kaupapa you are welcome to contact the office for more information about.

Mark your calendars

Funding Rounds Open: Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke: Criteria and grant applications are available from the office. Applications close on 31 March and 30 September.

Aroha mai, for this being quite a brief report. I will endeavor to provide a lot more information next month.

Recently, we had our first opportunity to bring in the local Kidsfirst pre-school group. It was a wonderful learning opportunity for staff, children, parents and caregivers. We offer well organised visits and have access to awesome teaching resources which are significant to our rohe.

Having fun at the marae.

Having fun at the marae.

Wheke Marae kicked into gear with a number of maintenance jobs including new paintwork of the marae ātea ready to face the year. Members of our hapū welcomed the HMS Protector into Lyttelton Port for the first time and we worked at maintaining a number of healthy relationships in our hapū including the blessing of both the Cashin Quay 2 Wharf and the Lyttelton Recreational Centre.

The ship arriving into the port.

The ship arriving into the port.

Riki Pitama speaking at the welcome ceremony.

Riki Pitama speaking at the welcome ceremony.

All new staff of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu were welcomed to our marae this month including Hana O’Regan, who is the general manager of Oranga Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Hana speaking during the mihi whakatau.

Hana speaking during the mihi whakatau.

[Read more…]

The portfolio reports

Staff from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu recently spent time at Rāpaki during their noho marae.

Staff participating in a harakeke weaving wānanga.

Staff participating in a harakeke weaving wānanga.


A Māori kaupapa services and community providers list has been created from the earlier health day hui and is readily available via this office, please email [email protected]. It was a well-received day with a variety of health issues covered.

Rāpaki Pā kids

We are proud of the rōpū who come and utilise the marae for all levels of learning as we know our environment is conducive to happy, healthy and successful outcomes. I am personally looking forward to sharing news of a hui held here, which focused on the migration of the Takitimu waka. My father bought his whānau from Pirirākau/Ranginui to hear to stories of that journey – maybe I’ll share that next month.

Again, many thanks to all the whānau and manuhiri who come out to mahi and facilitate hui on the marae and engage with the tikanga and kawa practices.

For any booking information, please contact the office on 03328 9415. Nā Cushla Dwyer, Rāpaki office manager.

From left, back row: Mariata Couch, Pamela Couch, Maria Couch, Teacher, Billy Hutana. From left, front row: Henry Couch, Suzy Rehu, Johnny Rehu, Moeroa Tauwhare, Melville Rehu.

From left, back row: Mariata Couch, Pamela Couch, Maria Couch, Teacher, Billy Hutana. From left, front row: Henry Couch, Suzy Rehu, Johnny Rehu, Moeroa Tauwhare, Melville Rehu.

Nik Randle (Manihera/Paipeta whānau) along with his partner Kim Hotop, recently returned from a lengthy trip overseas that included Turkey, Spain and India.

While away Nik and Kim spent time visiting the Gallipoli Battlefields National Park to further Nik’s research into the men from Rāpaki who served at Gallipoli in WW1. [Read more…]


Congratulations to Doug and Elaine Couch, who recently celebrated their 60th Diamond Anniversary.

The happy couple.

The happy couple.

Office hours

The office will be closed from 24 December until 11 January 2016. From all the staff at Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, we wish you and yours, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.