Culture / Ahurea
He Wai Puna, He Puna Aroha
A Spring of wellbeing, a Spring of Love
Article written by Cultural Advisor, Kiley Nepia
On 23 June, a rōpū of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō representatives found ourselves once again at the doorsteps of parliament on a typically wet and windy day in Poneke. This time it was to officially start the vesting and gifting back process of the Rotoiti, Alpine tarns.
In her welcome the Minister of Conservation, the Hon Maggie Barry, and her kaikōrero, Hohepa Harawira, acknowledged the cultural and spiritual significance the tarns have to Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and how we have been kaitiaki over the puna for generations.
The Minister also acknowledged the iwi for our patience and forgiveness toward the Crown. She mentioned how inspiring it was seeing such a large number of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō rangatahi as part of the delegation.
For Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō the occasion marked a rare moment where our mana was being recognised by the Crown. The Crown itself admits in its apology in the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Settlement Deed that historically it failed to adequately recognise the customary rights of the iwi.
Our Pou Kuia, the late Kath Hemi QSM, was also acknowledged for her role in rebirthing Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō in contemporary times and forging relationships with government agencies such as the Department of Conservation. Other kaumatua, such as Aunty June Robinson, were also acknowledged.
From a Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō perspective it was a conscious decision to include a representative group of our emerging cultural leaders in the delegation as they will be the future kaitiaki of these taonga.
All of the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō representatives agreed that it was an auspicious occasion for the iwi. Pete Mason, who led the negotiations for the iwi, said it was a great day for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and it goes towards the mana of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō being recognised.
The vesting and gifting back is recognised in the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Deed which was signed on the 29th October 2010 at Omaka Marae. Some of the puna include:
Rotopōhueroa (Lake Constance) and Rotomairewhenua (Blue Lake) were traditionally where hauhanga (bone cleansing) ceremonies were carried by out by tupuna. Rotomairewhenua is also the clearest fresh water in the world.
A celebration is being planned in the summer period at Rotoiti where we will be able to celebrate further our spiritual and cultural association to these significant taonga.
He wai puna ariki
The divine source
Final Mana Rangatahi Update
Registrations for the next Mana Rangatahi close in one weeks’ time so parents looking for something awesome for your Rangatahi to do over the school holidays register them for the Mana Rangatahi wānanga 11 – 16 July. The wānanga is for rangatahi aged 13yrs-19yrs, however, younger rangatahi will be considered upon parental request.
This wānanga will be travelling down to the West Coast and we will be white water rafting on the Kawatiri River. We want to encourage rangatahi who haven’t attended this wānanga before to come and give it a go especially our whānau from Puaha te Rangi hapū.
Registrations close: Tuesday, 4th Hōngongoi (July)
* Please remember that spaces are limited.
One Day Whakawhanaungatanga Wānanga
This year we are piloting a new cultural initiative to encourage more of our whānau to participate in the cultural space.
The 'one day whakawhanaungatanga days' are a taste tester if you like for whānau to experience our wānanga.
They will be fun and interactive with a mix of history, reo, waiata, whakapapa, sharing kai and meeting more of our big whānau. They will be held anywhere around Aotearoa where we can pull together a cluster of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō whānau.
If you are interested in having one delivered in your area then please contact
Cultural Advisor, Kiley Nepia. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matariki hunga nui
As many of us know, Matariki is a very significant star constellation in the Māori maramatakasignalling the Māori New Year. Matariki has many rituals and meanings associated to it. One of these is remembering our loved ones who have passed since the last time Matariki rose. The star associated with this is Pohutukawa. Another important star is Hiwa-i-te-rangi. She is connected to promise and prosperity - think of her as the star you wish upon when making a New Year’s resolution.
In his book Matariki: The star of the New Year, Dr Rangi Matamua suggests we are celebrating Matariki too early. Instead of the full moon after Matariki rises, we should be celebrating Matariki while the moon is in its Tangaroa phase which is 17 – 22nd July this year.
So take some time out this year with your whānau. Put away your devices and take a moment to lament your loved ones and plan for the future.