Te Tira Haere o Rereahu Maniapoto

In just over a year, Te Tira Haere o Rereahu Maniapoto have made an enormous impact on the kapa haka scene, and they were once again, a crowd favourite at this year’s Koroneihana Celebration of Kīngi Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII.

When the call was made last year for all of Rereahu Maniapoto whānau whānui to come together for tō tātou Kīngi, it was met with such response that the group continues to grow in size. And those who stand range from the very young to those who have experienced performing on stage many times before. Focusing on bringing together the wider iwi whānau for the support of the Kīngitanga and the love of whakangahau kapa haka, is what draws in members.

There is no restriction or criteria on joining, or whether one is a seasoned performed or new to kapa haka, the rōpu is becoming renowned for being a group that calls to the four corners of the tribe and everywhere in between.

Practising for months in the lead-up to each Koroneihana, the bracket consists of popular Rereahu Maniapoto waiata and haka. And it’s those “old-school favourites” which soon gets the crowd up on their feet joining in, with the media taking a keen interest in the rōpu. Having featured on national Māori television last year and being showcased on ‘Kīngitanga LIVE’ this year, their popularity certainly precedes them.

At this year’s Koroneihana, the iwi was certainly well represented with Te Waikowharawhara taking to the stage immediately beforehand and then followed by Te Tira Haere o Rereahu Maniapoto filling the stage of Kimiora with the biggest group of the night.

A job was well done and another year over which the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board has been proud to support alongside the Haereiti whānau who have made specific resources and transport available for this rōpu to travel and represent everyone that is Rereahu Maniapoto.

“Ā muri kia mau ki tēnā kia mau ki te kāwau maaro whanake ake, whanake ake”

Ngā Kawe Mate o Tainui

As the fog settles on the dew of a dark and still August morning, whānau from across the iwi gather in anticipation of the day ahead.

Friday was Ngā Kawe Mate o Tainui – the official starting of the 11th Koroneihana for Kīngi Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII.  And for many whānau, meeting at Te Tokanganui-a-noho in the early hours for the bus journey to Turangawaewae Marae, is an annual pilgrimage that has been undertaken by many generations.

 

Kawe mate is a long-held tradition which has been part of Koroneihana celebrations since its inception where people gather under the warm embrace of Mahinārangi to grieve collectively for their loved ones who’ve passed away during the year.

Te Aroa Pou (Ngāti Te Kanawa, Ngāti Peehi, Ngāti Huiao, Ngāti Kinohaku) says that “it is important that Maniapoto attends the Koroneihana, especially Ngā Kawe Mate o Tainui, as it brings our loved ones together so that we mourn together.  As rangatahi not only do we help our kaumātua and that all of Maniapoto have the opportunity to attend Koroneihana, but we also learn of our Maniapoto connections with the Kīngitanga”.

Maniapoto have been staunch supporters of Koroneihana since the Kīngitanga emerged in the 1850’s as a symbol of unity.  Aside from the sadness of the day, Ngā Kawe Mate o Tainui is also a time for renewing bonds with relatives and strengthening family connections,  and the sight of sorrow soon makes way to the sound of laughter.

The Maniapoto Māori Trust Board has provided support in recent years by putting on a bus that enables Maniapoto whānau attend Ngā Kawe Mate o Tainui.  Departing from Te Kūiti Pā at 7.00am on the morning with stops in Ōtorohanga and Te Awamutu, the bus arrived in time for Maniapoto to join the multitudes descend onto Turangawaewae Marae to be received by Mahinārangi and Turongo.

Nanaia Mahuta’s Speech – Maniapoto AIP Signing

Nanaia Mahuta’s – Lead Negotiator
Te Huatahi: Agreement between Maniapoto and the crown.

Mihi

Today we mark the next step on our journey towards resolving the historical injustices of the past as we must, to build a bridge towards a future our tupuna had envisaged for the next generation.

That has only been possible because of the kaumātua represented here today (our technical advisors) who have committed themselves to making sure that bridge gets built.

Minister and representatives of the Crown, the hopes and aspirations of Ngāti Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha is shining a little brighter today.

Our negotiating team has been supported by many people and we take this brief opportunity to thank them. Livestream now gives us a direct link into the homes of our whānau and we are pleased they are able to join us today.

This has been an ambitious timeframe but our team were determined to have the right conversation with ourselves first in order to have the right conversation with the Crown.

We acknowledge as has previously been mentioned an engaged Minister makes a critical difference to getting things moving.

Maniapoto like so many other iwi have been challenged with this process and we are encouraged by the potential of a Waitangi Tribunal Report being released sometime next year.

We believe that by taking a broad interests based approach to this phase of the negotiations, our ability to craft an inclusive settlement which helps to support the aspirations of the iwi can be achieved.

Minister your visits and those of the officials into the rohe give you an appreciation of a place that is largely considered on the fringe of the ‘golden triangle’ but it is the place that the Rereahu and Maniapoto people call home. It is a special place and although many of our people live outside of the rohe our ahi kaa hold space for the rest of us. We are keen to see the next lot of conversations leverage improved regional economic development opportunities so all may benefit.

Our people are our greatest asset and we are encouraged by the way in which our AIP reflect a commitment to crafting an approach to invest in a strategy of wellbeing defined by the iwi and partnered with the Crown. Sure its not a quick fix but a committed relationship going forward between Maniapoto and the Crown is a start.

Our approach will build on early visioning of Maniapoto 2050 and will develop into our 40 year plan (or a two generation turnaround). I am encouraged by the positive signals from Crown agencies to be part of this project.

Minister if we focussed on a wellbeing strategy that supported the productivity of Maniapoto whanau a marked improvement in household incomes would result. We think this can be done better and we shouldn’t have to spend all of our settlement capital to do this but rather work in tandem with the Crown to create a targeted, social investment framework which can be implemented, evaluated and measured to demonstrate success in improving wellbing.

Our relationship with several government agencies will underpin the aspirations within the rohe of Te Whare o te Nehenehenui. Our ahi kaa uphold kaitiaki responsibilities for all of us. While this (by and large) will be underpinned with the relationship with the Department of Conservation, it includes care for our waters (both freshwater and coastal), the resources in the rohe (such as kai) and potentially innovating a common platform to bring these responsibilities together in a more coherent way.

On the matter of waters Ngā Wai o Maniapoto, We acknowledge representatives of Waikato and Te Tupua o Whanganui here today with whom we share a common cause. Our worldview seeks to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of wai and ensure that we, in our own rohe, are able to assert our commitment and responsibility to our waters. This is a conversation we are committed to and we will take forward our learning from the current arrangement in the upper Waipa.

There are some special and unique factors to our negotiations and we are encouraged that there is movement in relation to rail, setting aside Kawhia harbour, taking a special approach to Tokanui and committing to a purposeful conversation regarding Waikeria.

The speed of this part of the process has not in our viewed dimmed our ambition or intent to ensure that we have secured the important aspects of a settlement for the iwi, while keeping in mind that much of our ambition relies on other parties such as local government. We are keen to be at the forefront of that conversation to ensure that the localised benefits of our regional approach builds a wider community of support. We want to acknowledge Local Government leaders – Chair Alan Sampson and his Deputy who see the potential of a maturing relationship with Maniapoto.

Commercial redress opportunities can be an area to support this conversation and we will need to consider how our arrangements with Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise can support us. We do however have much of the current land investment of our people tied up in farming and if we (like the rest of NZ) are to seriously consider alternative uses for our tribal and maori owned lands, we are keen to develop stronger links across the Crown Research Institutes which for the most part has not been a feature of settlements. Minister we would like to be the first iwi to figure out how that can work for multiple benefits.

Alongside the financial redress package we believe that being smart to grow the settlement is absolutely necessary and we wondered whether a future conversation about an escrow arrangement might help our cause?

Lastly, these negotiations originated during the 1860s – 1880s when tupuna across te rohe potae, with Crown officials and to Parliament to seek justice for the undertakings that had never been upheld by the Crown. There have been ups and downs, and round and rounds, but now we are here. Our tupuna envisioned in a Kawenata they agreed to amongst themselves that Ngāti Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha needed to consolidate for the benefit of the next generation.

Our culture, our language, our identity, our worldview as Ngāti Maniapoto must be the enduring legacy in the weeks and months ahead as we move to the next stage. We want to thank your team of officials who have worked hard to get to this point also.

No reira, Tēnā koe, tēnā koutou.

Ngā Pua o te Kowhara sights set on Matatini 2019

After two years, Maniapoto has a new Kapa Haka rōpū who have their sights set on getting to Te Matatini 2019.

A number of performing stalwarts have taken heed of a call to come home and to take “Ngā Pua o Te Kowhara” to both the local, regional and hopefully, the national stage of Kapa Haka.

Under the tutelage of Walter Temapo (Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Wahiao Tuhourangi), Te Aroha Papa (Ngāti Huiao, Ngāti Peehi, Ngāti Te Kanawa) and Paora Anderson (Ngāti Kinohaku), the key focus was to establish a senior group to actively promote Maniapototanga – ‘Kia Maniapoto te tu, te reo, te kawe’.

Walter hopes to bring the members together to embrace their Maniapoto identity.  “Our hope is to enable our members to understand what it is to be Maniapoto and also to support our Maniapoto connection to the Kīngitanga”.

With four noho to go before making their first stand, Walter says they are looking at Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival, making a memorable first stand, and one that will gain support from the iwi.

Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival was agreed as the appropriate platform to mark the first standing of “Ngā Pua o Te Kowhara” as the festival aims to contribute to the preservation and longevity of local traditional value systems, practices and compositions on all Rereahu and Maniapoto marae and kura.  It also enables members an opportunity to stand when their marae does not have a team to enter.

With an open door policy for recruitment and the ‘kumara vine’ as their main avenue of communication, Walter encourages everyone to join up.  “Bring your kids along, because our stand today is for them tomorrow, its about growing ourselves, growing Maniapoto.  Don’t forget to bring the babysitter as well”, quipped Walter.

Te Aroha Papa is excited that so many seasoned performers have decided to make the return home to support this new rōpū, and is overwhelmed at the support that has been given both internally and from the wider whānau to achieve this.