It was a privilege to attend all of the hui-a-iwi that were held throughout the motu and, from the cultural space, it was good to have the opportunity to provide an update to our people on our successes and what we plan for the future. It was also heartening to receive positive feedback from our whānau on the wānanga and the wider cultural strategy. I was pleased by the importance that our whānau placed on cultural development and their support for the continuation of the cultural strategy.
We have had two media opportunities over the past two months. The first was with a show called Te Araroa, hosted by Pio Tirei. I met Pio at Meretoto as the spokesperson for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō/ Kurahaupō sharing with him our unique connection to the rohe and wishing him well before he journeyed throughout Te Tauihu.
The second media opportunity was with 7 Sharp news with a story on Rotomairewhenua and the connection that we have with this wāhi tapu. The story also talked about our concerns on the increasing tourism traffic to the area and what strategies ourselves and DoC are developing to combat that.
Ngāti Kuia Wharekai opening
E mihi ana ki ngā whanaunga o Ngāti Kuia me ō tātou whare hou. A huge mihi to our Ngāti Kuia whanaunga and their recent accomplishment of opening a new wharekai and refurbished wharemoe.
The opening ceremony from the dawn karakia right through to the pōhiri and hakari in the afternoon was superb.
We had a strong rōpū that represented Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō throughout the hui. I spoke during the dawn ceremony on behalf of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and afterwards we presented our koha which was a kumete or a decorative bowl which was carved by Fayne Robbinson. The kumete is called Ngā Hua a Kuia. The bountiful fruits of Kuia. On one side it has the ancestor Kuia carved and on the other side our Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō tupuna, Rongotamea. Rongotamea married Kuia. The kumete symbolises the close whakapapa connection between Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and Ngāti Kuia.
It was great to have a strong rōpū tautoko and in particular so many of our Mana Rangatahi graduates joining us. We received many compliments from kaumātua and iwi leaders on how well we represented Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and how it is evident that we are investing in strengthening our Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tōtanga.
The kumete took pride of place in the middle of the hakari table and will be a talking point for generations to come – and a reminder to all of us about the close whakapapa connection between Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and Ngāti Kuia.