Tēnā koutou e te whānau,
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Rangitāne with the Tuia 250 ki Tōtaranui events that were held in the rohe.
We started with a Haka Pōwhiri to welcome the arrival of the Tuia 250 flotilla at Meretoto. Rangitāne were well represented by kaumātua, rangatahi and iwi representatives. It was a memorable day and the weather was beautiful. To me, the significance of the waka and Endeavour meeting for the first time in 250 years at Meretoto seemed to be appreciated by everyone. It was an opportunity to reflect that although the world is very different today, manaakitanga and people remain the same.
The following day thousands gathered along the foreshore to greet the flotilla as they arrived at Waitohi harbour. Rangitāne iwi members were there to welcome home Paora Mackie and Suz Tawaka after their journey with the waka hourua. It was a spectacular sight to see the waka and waka hourua as they came onto shore.
Last Tuesday we had a great turnout to the pōwhiri to welcome the voyagers who were staying at Ūkaipō. We would like to thank whānau who came along to help welcome and manaaki our manuhiri.
An evening focussing on First Voyagers – Maui and Kupe was held at Ūkaipō on Wednesday night. Guests heard presentations by Rangitāne Trustee Dr Peter Meihana, who talked about the cultural history of the Wairau, and Otago University Professors Richard Walters and Lisa Matisoo-Smith, who shared kōrero on the biological, cultural and DNA links throughout Te Moana a nui a Kiwa (the Pacific) extending to South America and Hawaiiki and the timeline and logistics of settlement in the 13th century and how this was unique in the history of man. The studies on the reason for migration and what happened after this are still at an early stage but are exciting. Suz Tawaka and Paora Mackie also spoke about their experience sailing down from Paihia on the Waka Hourua, Haunui and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti.
The Hīkoi to Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe on Thursday was a very emotional trip, particularly for the Fa’afaite waka crew. Our manuhiri heard kōrero on the history and significance of the site by Rangitāne Wayne Abbott and Peter Meihana, along with kōrero from Professor Richard Walters and Lisa Matisoo-Smith.
Later that evening Rangitāne hosted a Tupaia evening with a Māori and Tahitian themed dinner. Guest speakers, Professors Anja Schwarz and Lars Eckstein, gave talks on Tahitian navigator, Tupaia and the methods he used to navigate the Pacific. Their studies included unravelling an understanding of Tupaia’s navigation, and how it was based on sailing times and winds rather than longitude and latitude on a map that stretched from Hawaiiki to Aotearoa. It was an incredible and fascinating presentation.
Poroporoaki for our manuhiri was held immediately after the Tupaia dinner as the waka crew had to depart at 2am the following morning for Pōneke. I must congratulate Trustees on the success of these events. There was a lot of discussion last year on how Tuia 250 could be commemorated in a meaningful way and without a loss of mana. The decision was made to focus on the stories and significance of Te Pokohiwi-o-Kupe and the first voyagers, Māui and Kupe. Tuia 250 ki Tōtaranui also gave us the unique opportunity to renew Rangitāne relationships with our whanaunga from around the Pacific.
We will have more photos of the Tuia 250 ki Tōtaranui events on our website later this week.
The Trustees met on Friday 22 November. It was a long day with a focus on governance and management. It was also the first hui for our new trustees Peter Meihana and Tony MacDonald. Their perspectives and input were valuable and strengthened the Iwi governance structure.
I spent last Friday afternoon with the Council discussing the proposed Wairau River Regional Park. This included a field trip showing the work on weed control and planting more native trees and shrubs.
Te Ipukarea is coming up this Saturday. The inter-Iwi sports event will be held at the Recreation Centre, Old Wharf Road inMōtueka from 8am-5pm. It’s going to be a great day and we need your support. If you would like to participate or need transport please call the office on (03) 578 6180.
It’s that time of the year again. The Rangitāne Whānau Kirihimete Party is coming up on Saturday 14 December. This year we will be celebrating at Pukatea and would like as many Rangitāne there as possible. It will be a fantastic day with some fun beach activities, BBQ lunch, plenty of shade and gifts for our tamariki and kaumātua.
We will also be celebrating Kirihimete in Horowhenua on Saturday 14 December at the Levin Aquatic Centre from 11am-5pm.
We will need numbers for both Kirihimete parties for catering and gifts so please RSVP to the office on (03) 578 6180 or email@example.com, including tamariki names and ages.