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So far Katherine Barry has created 55 blog entries.

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.


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.

Wharekura Kaiako speaks at World Indigenous Peoples Conference

Hohepa Hei, kaiako from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto has been selected to make a presentation at the Worlds Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education which is being held in Toronto, Canada this week.

Hohepa (Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-ā-Mahaki) will present his abstract submission on “Education and Guardianship in the 21st Century, kootuia Te Aka Matauranga, Kaitiakitanga Hei Tikitiki Moo Tonu Mahunga”.  His paper focuses on building and creating Innovative Indigenous Teaching Spaces and Learning Methodologies through the sustainability of the environment and teaching our whānau how to provide kai for themselves, with a future focus of establishing entrepreneurial opportunities and job prospects for our iwi.

Hei believes education within Maniapoto is better enhanced after the implementation of recent projects that have allowed tamariki to work more collaboratively with the iwi in all areas of the education curriculum. Within Environmental Sciences, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto worked alongside the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board who were able to invite specialists from organisations such as Landcare Research, NIWA, Environment Waikato, Maraeroa C Incorporation and others to assist in teaching the tamariki.  This includes our own talented weavers and carvers who are able to provide education services and teachings that have only be seen with rural communities and schools.

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) is a major international event that attracts Indigenous experts, practitioners, scholars and students of Australia, Africa, Hawaii, Norway, Nicaragua, Mexico, Taiwan, Indonesia, Aotearoa and many more countries, who collectively come to share, diffuse and promote best practices, successes and strategies in education policies for indigenous peoples across the globe.

Te Wharekura o Maniapoto is also sending a small delegation to WIPCE with a focus on understanding, learning and acquiring key aspects of Indigenous teachings which can positively influence governance and leadership improvements at Te Wharekura o Maniapoto.

Aotearoa previously hosted WIPCE in November of 2005, and this year, the 11th tri-annual 5-day conference will be held in Toronto, Canada began on Monday 24th July and ending this Friday.

Ngā Whakataetae mo ngā Manu Kōrero 2017

The freezing temperatures in Tokoroa was certainly a talking point recently when more than 21 secondary schools gathered to compete in the Tainui Waka Ngā Manu Kōrero Regional Competition 2017 last Friday.

Ngāti Haua welcomed Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki, and the largest number of entries of speakers for the competition and their supporters into the South Waikato Sport and Events Centre Complex.
For Paparauwhare Campbell and Makarena Te Moanapapaku-Stephens from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, taking the stage for their first time was a thrilling challenge. “It was definitely nerve-wracking but also exciting to be up their amongst their peers from other schools”, they said. Paparauwhare started the Te Reo Pākehā stage for the Senior section with her topic ‘Without foresight or vision, our people will be lost’. Following close behind her was Makarena for the Junior section.

Making a return to the stage was Tangirau Papa, also from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, who last year won the Rāwhiti Ihaka Trophy (Junior Section Te Reo Māori). Tangirau was feeling the usual nerves but was also more excited about this year. “It takes our speech to a whole new level, especially competing in the Senior Section. But I’m happy and really looking forward to what our day brings”, says Tangirau.
Congratulations to both Makarena for gaining second place in the Te Reo Pākeha Junior Section, and to Tangirau for gaining second place in the Te Reo Māori Senior section, who also placed first as Top Senior Female Te Reo Māori.
It was inspirational to see other Maniapoto kura taking part in the competition and congratulate the following rangatahi:
• Laykin Crown (Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumarunui)
• Te Kūiti Stewart, Matariki Hughes & Te Mata-a-Riki Raro (Te Wharekura o Ngā Purapura o Te Aroha)
We look forward to next years competition where we hope to see yet another talented group of Maniapoto rangatahi taking the stage.

An end for a new beginning.

More than 70 people gathered recently to say farewell to a historic classroom that is set to make way for a brand new complex.

In November 2015, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto were given the green light to redevelop the school grounds which will see existing buildings replaced with a brand new two-storey building that will provide students with a fresh, bright learning environment.

As the school bell rung for the final time recently, former students and staff reminisced about the good old days with their current counterparts and the iwi at a special karakia whakamutunga led by Ministers Te Pare Joseph and Solomon Nelson.

Longest serving staff member, and wearer of many pōtae over the years – Les Koroheke, was speechless after being given the honour of ‘turning the sod’, symbolising the start of construction for the new re-build.  He spoke about the greatest asset to our tamariki, is te reo māori and the importance of continuing to speak it.

Whānau then dined for the last time in the oldest building at the school.  Due to new earthquake guidelines, the building was not able to be saved as part of the new $6 million multi-purpose space, containing specialist learning spaces and a covered, all-weather outdoor playing area that will be built.  There will also be an improved site layout, with an upgraded car park and drop-off area, paved areas and improved drainage and playing fields.

The Learning Spaces at the Wharekura will be flexible so they can be easily reconfigured, with good internal connections and access to outside learning areas.  Acoustics, lighting, technology, heating and air quality will all be of a high standard to help students focus on the learning.  As well as meeting the needs of current students, the new facilities will also allow for future roll growth.

Tumuaki of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Hirere Moana says “the students will remain on site as the re-build occurs with the completion expected to be day one of Term 3, 2018”.

Maniapoto make their mark in China

Flying the Maniapoto Flag at The Great Wall of China was something five Rereahu-Maniapoto descendants, never expected to do.

Since its inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has become revered as one of the world’s most challenging marathons along one of mankind’s greatest monuments.  This sellout event attracts runners from over 60 nations.  For Tammy Kara, Erina Wehi-Barton, Ulysis Kara, Lynette Stafford and Mary Tapu, to be selected from 2500 applicants from around the world, and only 88 of those from Aotearoa, the team certainly took a step into history!

The team completed the 21km section of the marathon in 47c temperatures, running The Great Wall with its breath-taking surroundings and views.  Part of the course leads them through the lower valley and into villages, where they experienced the indigenous hospitality of the cheering locals and the festive atmosphere that was created for the runners.

For Erina Wehi-Barton, it was a culmination of a year’s dedicated training and preparation for the whole team but helped her realise the important things in life.  “This marathon, and connecting with the haukainga, certainly makes you appreciate that it’s not what you need, but what you have.”


To stand atop of The Great Wall and fly the Maniapoto flag was truly a special moment in which hopes to serve as inspiration for Maniapoto rangatahi.  “Don’t limit yourselves, make the most of your life, get out and explore the furthermost reaches of the world.  If my aunties and cousins can do it, then so can I, and surely you can too!” says Erina.

For Erina, she has her sights set on competing in the Hawaii Marathon at the end of the year but for now is preparing for Tri-Māori, a kaupapa that is for all age groups and fitness abilities.  “Let’s do this Maniapoto!”, says Erina.

The Maniapoto Maori Trust Board were proud to support this roopu in this awesome kaupapa. If you are interested in seeing what grants are currently open, check out our website www.maniapoto.iwi.nz

Tamariki celebrate Matariki and Te Reo

Since starting in 2001, early childhood centres, kohanga reo, primary and secondary schools, high schools, colleges, tertiary agencies and community groups gather to celebrate Te Reo Māori through activities and presentations.

For the Tumuaki of Te Wharekura o Maniapoto and one of the organisers of Whikoi mo te reo, whaea Hirere Moana, it is one of the most important kaupapa of the year.  “Kia whakarauora tō tātou reo me ngā kōrero o Matariki.  Kia mōhio te hāpori whānui kei te ora tō tātou nei reo ngā taonga tuku iho a Ruruhi ma ā Koroheke ma.  Kia whakaohōho ā tātou Uri kia mau ki ngā taonga tuku iho o Maniapoto he ahai “Kia tu Kahika ki te Pae”

The theme for this year, as is for each and every year was – Te Reo Māori.  “Encouraging our tamariki to stand, to speak and to hear te reo Māori”, says Moana.  The celebrations were held at Te Kūiti Pā and included presentations from schools and kohanga reo, followed by mass kapahaka which the tamariki (children) thoroughly enjoyed.  “Te whakakotahi ā tātou iwi me ngā hāpori o Maniapoto”, says Moana.

What is Matariki?

There are nine stars in the Matariki constellation. Each hold special significance over different areas of te taiao (environment). The stars are; Matariki, Pohutukawa, Waiti, Waita, Waipuna-a-rangi, Tupuanuku, Tupuarangi, Ururangi and Hiwa-i-te-rangi. Each star was viewed to gain insight into the coming year.

Matariki – signifies reflection, hope and our connection to the environment and gathering of people.

Pohutukawa – associated to those who have passed

Waiti – fresh water bodies and food sources that are sustained by those waters.

Waita – associated with the ocean and all food sources within it.

Waipuna-a-rangi – the star that is associated to the rain

Tupuanku – everything that grows within the soil that is to be harvested or gathered for food.

Tupuarangi – associated with everything that grows in the trees: fruits, berries, birds.

Ururangi – the star associated with the winds.

Hiwaiterangi – granting wishes, and realising our aspirations for the year ahead.

Wharekura visit significant historical landmarks

Over 50 tamariki from Te Wharekura o Maniapoto recently undertook what is believed to be the very first educational curriculum haerenga to Rangiaowhia and Orakau. The wharekura has implemented this visit as part of their learnings of particular significant historical landmarks, of which the theme for this term is Kahotea.

Accompanied by Kuia Rovina Maniapoto-Anderson (Ngāti Paretekawa), Rovina spoke of the importance of teaching the NZ Land Wars within the Education Curriculum and how she was proud to be apart of this particular haerenga. The tamariki also visited other significant sites; the Rewi Maniapoto Reserve, Orakau Battle Site, St John’s Church, and the Karangapaihau/Rangiaowhia Catholic Mission & Cemetery.


It was coincidental that the visit to the Rewi Maniapoto Reserve was almost to the day of the passing of the great warrior – 213 years ago.  Whilst at Karangapaihau/Rangiaowhia Catholic Mission & Cemetery, the students were joined by 17 officers of the NZ Army, who were taking part in their own educational programme for new army graduates.

Captain Matthew Fraser (Ngāti Tūmatauenga) also identified the importance of knowing about the NZ Land Wars, “We undertake a trip around Aotearoa to enable our officers to familiarise themselves with some of the historical accounts of the NZ Land Wars”.

Te Wharekura o Maniapoto kaiako Fran Borg said that the ‘Kura-ā-iwi’ educational framework enables the tamariki to connect back to our history. “Our mahi as kaiako is to focus on wellbeing and achieve the pinnacle of excellence for our tāmariki and uri of Rereahu-Maniapoto by using the greatest gifts left to us by our ancestors – our reo, our tikanga, our kawa and our unique Maniapoto history and identity”.

Rovina believes that this is a positive step that Te Wharekura o Maniapoto are making towards actively including the history of the NZ Land Wars into the curriculum, and when asked if she could be apart of the haerenga, she didn’t hesitate.  “This is absolutely wonderful, and I’m proud that our young ones are here to experience this day, we’re making history!”.