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Piopio College commemorate 25th Anniversary of Wharekura

“Whitiwhiti te manu nui I te ata. Pae muturangi I te ahiahi”

Whakaara Kia Mataara, the wharekura that stands front and center of Piopio College has been commemorated this year on Tuesday, 27th of November. Marking its 25th Anniversary, we acknowledge its beginnings as it was opened by the late Honorable Koro Wētere and the late Dr Tui Adams who both opened the wharekura on Saturday, 27th of November 1993.

25 years ago there was more than just a wish to acknowledge the reo, mana, and tikanga of the Maniapoto iwi. There was a vision to build a wharekura that would be set-up with a focus on education for the Māori students of the college and of the community. Education remained the primary focus, a space and place that remembered and honored its rich history that saw the establishment of a whare wānanga by Hiaroa, near Piopio in the 13th century.

The foundation for the success of this building was built on the dedication, engagement and support from the Principals, College Board of Trustees, teachers, students, local contractors, members of the community, kaumātua, all past and present.

Before this came to light, there was a realisation by many, that there was a disconnection and lack of culture within the college. There was no recognition visually of Māori culture besides the name Piopio at that time, no signs, no carvings, nothing whatsoever.


To uphold the Māori value that was often spoken about by those of the college, strong leadership was called upon to create a greater emphasis on stronger tikanga Māori and Te Reo Māori. This came in the form of the late Atiria Takiari, a College Board of Trustee member who found a building at Whenuapai that could be molded and shaped into the great wharekura it is today. Many altercations, developments, restoration projects, and overall maintenance occurred overtime, however, the wharekura, Whakaara kia Mataara, meaning to aim high, to aim for excellence, continues to stand tall.

The commemoration was a day worthy of celebration. Following the pōwhiri, mihimihi and harirū, the whakamoemiti, or prayers were spoken to give thanks and set the sails for a great future that lies ahead for the wharekura and the college. Laughter was free-flowing as speakers told memorable stories and respectful history of what had been experienced and learnt through the ages. With celebration, comes cake, and with cake comes a delicious feast of hangi, waiata, and shared words that gave life to such a special occasion.

The wharekura leaves its paepae ready for when the year closes, and as a new year begins. Maniapoto Māori Trust Board are delighted to be involved and in support of Whakaara Kia Maatara.

Explore this kaupapa further by watching the video below.

Te Kūiti soup delivery kitchen for kaumātua

Te Aroa Pou (Ngāti Te Kanawa, Ngāti Peehi, Ngāti Kinohaku, Ngāti Uekaha ), and the Pou Haereiti/Wright whānau have become a beacon of love for their kaumātua community in Te Kūiti. This year in July, the whānau were deeply saddened by the departure of many ruruhi and koroheke during the cold winters that continue to affect elderly across Aotearoa. Naturally, winter comes with a sparkling chill that creates health issues, this prompted Te Aroa and his whānau to start a Māori soup delivery kitchen every Monday and Friday which begun on July the 11th.

To get the initiative started, Te Aroa and his whānau gathered together to wānanga ways in which they could best achieve this project. Serving warm meals to kaumātua was the aim and the whānau mustered enough money out of their own pockets to put kai on the table for over 50 ruruhi and koroheke. It was agreed that they achieve their objectives as a collective whānau, independent and accountable to no one but themselves instead of depending on well-wishers to support their project.

For that reason, every Monday and Friday from July the 11th to September the 21st, the excited and enthusiastic whānau, which included rangatahi, would drive the streets of Te Kūiti, delivering soups that ranged from pumpkin to potato & leek, and vegetable soup to mussel chowder. With the last delivery of the year, the kaumātua received a special order of deliciously fresh, out of the ground Hangi, each complimented with homemade fried bread and steamed pudding.

This whānau has shown a true act of kindness that embodies the values of Maniapototanga. The manaakitanga and aroha has given absolute joy to the kaumātua whose smiles made all the effort worthwhile.


Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and the wider community recognise and send through the best of wishes to Te Aroa Pou and the Pou Haereiti/Wright whānau.

We would also like to make acknowledgments to the Brown Whānau, Atutahi Whānau, Wehi Whānau, Holland Whānau, Hinerangi Eketone, Kama Taylor, and Tramaine Murray who supported this amazing journey.

Explore this kaupapa further by watching the video below.

Tribal Festival continues to bring Te Nehenehenui together

Tribal Festival continues to bring Te Nehenehenui together

“Haramai tiki kapakapa, haramai tiki ngāherehere ki te pae o Tāne whakapiripiri”

Maximising the relationship between whānau, hapū and marae are at the forefront of Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival. The participation within the iwi is not defined by the competition and kapa haka. Instead the cultural festival is designed to create an environment that has learning as a primary focus which fosters collaboration between whānau and the expertise of individual hapū, marae, and kura.

Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival is an example of revitalising and retaining the language, stories, songs and history of Maniapoto. This is evident through the display of aggregate categories that contain Karanga, Mōteatea, Haka Pōwhiri, and Whāikōrero which includes the newly added tauparapara/whakaaraara.


Another refreshing aspect was the long line of vastly experienced judges who included new additions such as Niketi Toataua, Tupoutahi Winitana, Trent Marsh, Kiri Muntz, Rangitepo Whatarangi-Cassidy, Te Awarahi Whanga, Teiria Davis, Wikitoria Rakuraku and Manawanui Mihaere. With the talented judges ready at sunrise, they took their chance and gave an inviting performance at the beginning of the day instead of the routine prize giving waiata.

Maniapoto values were demonstrated throughout the day with aroha, manaakitanga, and kotahitanga. Rangatahi fundraised for the purposes of travelling to Australia to  increase their indigenous mātauranga and experience later in the year. Another was the supportive atmosphere which saw our elder’s incredible ability to give all their attention to those who took to the stage.

A remarkable day to say the least as the festival revealed new back-drops that represented this year’s theme of Hiaroa, our tupuna who possessed the manu mauri. This was made possible with the efforts of MFM and kapa haka roopu in the karanga pakeke category who gave expressive and invigorating speeches about topical issues and identity.

However, competitions will always remain competitive no matter what iwi you go to, and this year Ngā Marae o Maniapoto ki te Tonga were announced as 1st place in the karanga pakeke category, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto won the karanga rangatahi, and Te Tira Haka o Te Wharekura o Maniapoto (Pōtiki) won the karanga tamariki.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board is excited to see the new theme for next year which will relate to Te Ara o Tūrongo. The top results can be viewed below.


Karanga Rangatahi

1st place = Te Tira Haka o Te Wharekura o Maniapoto (Mātāmua)


Karanga Tamariki

1st Place = Te Tira Haka o Te Wharekura o Maniapoto (Pōtiki)

2nd Place = Te Tira Haka o Te Kura Rautau

3rd Plaace = Te Kura Tuatahi o Aaria


Karanga Pakeke

1st Place = Ngā Marae o Maniapoto ki Te Tonga

2nd Place = Te Kapa Haka o Ngā Pua o te Kōwhara

3rd Place = Maniapoto ki Tamaki

Waiwaia 2018

Ko ngā rau paenga o Waiwaia

Waiwaia, the Maniapoto Secondary School Festival that has been entertaining the iwi for over 30 years has come and gone once more. Taking place annually at different venues, the festival was in high spirits as numerous secondary schools gathered to Ōtorohanga College to come together, perform kapa haka and develop their identity under the shelter of Te Rohe Pōtae.

Once the pōwhiri concluded, the cultural festival saw secondary schools which included Ōtorohanga College, Piopio College, Te Kūiti High School and Te Wharekura o Maniapoto make their presence known on the papa tūwaewae. This year also saw the debut of Te Wharekura o Ngā Purapura o Te Aroha, a kura which started as a rūmaki in 2009 and received wharekura status in 2011.


Ōtorohanga received the mauri from Piopio College, and this year the mauri was passed on to Te Wharekura o Maniapoto. Building relationships between inter-regional secondary schools is what this eventful festival fosters. With the competition card off the table, the festival encourages the rekindling of traditional pūrākau, haka, and waiata with Waiwaia at the forefront of the kaupapa.

Waiwaia, refers to the tōtara tree that once resided near the headwaters of Waipa river, however, it was sent down into the earth and water, thus transforming into a taniwha. The taniwha is still seen in the waters of Waipa today, as it floats and drifts along the mighty river, it is now known to be a taniwha of Ngāti Maniapoto.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board are proud of the success of this festival and will strive to continue the support that is provided to these types of events.

Te Nehenehenui Festival reaches 5-year celebration

Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival will be celebrating its 5th anniversary this Saturday where various Maniapoto hapū and rōpū will be performing traditional whakaaraara, mōteatea, haka pōwhiri and newly composed contemporary waiata.

The iwi festival, which is held annually, challenges the uri whakatupu of Te Nehenehenui to engage and return to their home within Te Rohe Pōtae. These uri are encouraged to participate in the revival of their reo, the revival of their aronga ā-iwi, and the revival of their identity, their Maniapototanga.

With its inaugural celebration and its second festival being held in Te Piopiotanga o Te Rīwai, Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival will stand in Te Kūiti for the 3rd time since its inception. The competition is split into four categories:

• Karanga Ngahau (Curtain Raiser): Age 0-12 years

• Karanga Tamariki (Junior): Age 0-12 years

• Karanga Rangatahi (Intermediate): Age 0-18 years

• Karanga Pakeke (Senior): Open entry

In 2016, a proposed addition was laid by Rahui Papa to introduce the ‘Whakaaraara’ into the whaikōrero aspect of the competition. The proposed idea has now been heeded and for the first time it will be introduced and judged for those participating in the ‘Karanga Pakeke’ section.

With the newly invigorated ideas solidifying itself within the festival, it is clear to see that traditional songs, pūrakau, and Maniapoto identity is being ensured through the waka that is kapa haka. This all comes to fruition from the continuous support of the iwi, hapū, marae and whānau to incorporate creative and innovative ways of revitalising our taonga tuku iho.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board continue its excitement to support this event as it flourishes every year.

To delve deeper into the history of the Te Nehenehenui Tribal Festival watch the video below.

Youth Olympics on the horizon for Rugby Taiohi

Arorangi Sariah Wiripene Totorewa Tauranga, or Aro, (Ngāti Rora, Ngāti Huiao), 18, has performed magnificently in previous tournaments like the Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualifier which has resulted in her selection to represent Aotearoa for the Under 18s Sevens tournament at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October of this year.

It is the very first time that Aotearoa will see a Sevens Rugby side play at the Youth Olympics, of which the incredibly hard-working women’s Under 18 team has qualified out of a competitive one qualification spot contest to perform for the wider Oceania.

The announcement of players was declared in mid-June and with it came the position that Aro worked so hard for. For a player who finds enjoyment in the positions of Middle and Link, the pathway for her has been made As she noted in her statement when receiving the Condor Girls MVP 2017 at the national level, she is delighted at the chance to succeed on the international stage.



Aro, who is one of three Hamilton High School Girls players, will endeavor to push both her physical body and mental strength as she looks to pave the way for her future aspirations and goals in Sevens Rugby.

Evidently, rugby holds a rich culture, history, and story for Aotearoa and Maniapoto. With that in mind, the combination of determination, raw talent, and great potential will serve Aro well as she strives to stamp her mark at the Youth Olympics.

The Maniapoto Māori Trust Board is proud to support a young and inspiring Māori wahine such as Aro who look to accomplish great feats for her whānau and for her people.

Rangatahi Māori advocate for change at the United Nations

“Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi, ngā whetū o Matariki, o te tau hōu Māori”

As Matariki rose, Rangipare Belshaw-Ngaropo (Ngāti Apakura), 24, along with Tamoko Ormsby (Ngāti Rora), 25, flew with a kāhui delegation of 5 other rangatahi to attend yet another forum of the United Nations. He Kuaka Mārangaranga has taken flight once more to migrate, network and engage with the global indigenous community at the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Presenting in April at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, the alert and exciting rangatahi grasped at the opportunity to further their vision of weaving together the global community of future indigenous leaders, and to exhaust all avenues and mechanisms to propose a dedicated forum hui in Aotearoa in 2020.

He Kuaka Mārangaranga had their work cut out for them. Firstly, gathering the incredible support of iwi, hapū, whānau, and numerous organisations to push the delegation towards its goal of reaching EMRIP. Secondly, to gather that support to fundraise and achieve a target of $35,000 in 10 days, which is an amazing feat in itself. Thirdly, to reciprocate the support by presenting at a side event alongside Te Puni Kokiri and directly addressing various issues on Migration, Ōtakiri Water Rights, and Solution-based perspective to the Experts at the United Nations.

Rangipare along with Te Huia Taylor and Waimirirangi Koopu-Stone were at the forefront of the kaupapa as they proudly presented to the United Nations. Whilst this was happening, the new addition to the kāhui, Tamoko, used his creative capabilities and cultural lens to capture their activities in advocating for change and the events throughout the haerenga.

The rangatahi delegation have set out to move their words towards action which they continue to accomplish, and through act they are beginning to implement and promote their fundamental agenda of gathering and hosting the Global Indigenous Community of Future Leaders in 2020.

It is evident that these rangatahi have been chosen because of their skills in leadership through education, unapologetic perspective, cultural competence and determination. With those skills, the continuation to display a key component and pay it forward has been made through a Rangatahi Scholarship which they established for Geneva. The winner being Te Waikamihi Lambert (Ngāti Awa), and with succession planning in focus, this kāhui will fly high with its learning, experiences, and it’s aim of ensuring change for future Māori.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board were privileged to support the Maniapoto rangatahi that attended EMRIP, and look forward to seeing their inspirational journeys continue.


Tamariki & whānau celebrate Matariki and Te Reo Māori

An echo of Te Reo Māori through waiata and wairua filled the streets last Friday as tamariki & kōhungahunga showed their confidence in a collective hāpori march.

Matariki has set and until it rises, we are in the period known as Mātahi Kari Pīwai (the twelfth month, the gleaning month). By its setting, celebrations have commenced and a large gathering of kura and kōhanga reo which included Te Wharekura o Maniapoto, Te Kura Rautau, Te Kura o Aria, Pukenui, Te Kūiti Kōhanga Reo, Te Iti a Rata Kōhanga Reo, Pipopio College, Primary and Kōhanga Reo, participated in Whīkoi Mō Te Reo.

The whīkoi promotes engagement and more importantly recognises the culturally significant time of year for Māori across Te Nehenehenui and te ao whānui. It is a celebration of who we are, our tikanga, our reo, our kōrero, and our spirituality as tangata whenua.

Whīkoi mō te Reo encourages everyone to speak our native language in the kāinga and in the streets. It is up to pakeke to teach Te Reo and mātauranga Māori as a childs development is crucial in the early stages.  This whīkoi, a regular annual event, showcases Maniapoto pakeke, and  kaiako  doing meaningful and significant mahi with our tamariki.

Te Reo Māori will always be the overarching theme of this whīkoi and it is increasingly being included in curriculums and kura activities which shows that there is a positive change. With these changes, our iwi will continue to strive for a higher platform that places the importance of  Te Reo on the level that it deserves.

The tamariki & kōhungahunga were at the heart of the kaupapa as they sang sweet waiata, told interactive pakiwaitara and connected with local kura to perform the annual mass kapa haka.

Whīkoi Mō Te Reo continues to be embraced by Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha and will certainly bring more opportunities that demonstrate strong inclusive values for the generations to come.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board are proud to have supported this kaupapa over the years and look forward to Whīkoi Mō Te Reo 2019.

Nursing student focusing on supporting Māori whānau

Rihipeti Te Atatu Magner (Ngāti Uekaha),  currently in her 2nd year of Nursing within the Tīhei Mauri Ora Stream at Wintec, is focusing her efforts on developing a fulfilling career as a Māori nurse. Te Atatu strives to have the capability to bring all the pieces together and support whānau to navigate and achieve their own wellness.

Prior to her studies at Wintec, Te Atatu worked as an Executive Assistant and studied a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science. Unable to finish her last year, she realised her true passion lied in hauora. This blossomed from her experience with the Waikato Provincial Rugby side and National Waka Ama competitions. Te Atatu clearly loved learning and interacting in this particular space and this has resulted in her promising path to helping her people.

There is a uniqueness to the knowledge base that Māori nurses possess. The Te Ao Māori approach takes a collective stance and focuses on the individual and their whānau, rather than one person. This grows and maintains the important connection of Māori culture, beliefs, values, and principles with their nursing care. Te Atatu draws strength from her identity and these dimensions in the hope that she emerges as a Māori nurse with the strong qualities of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga.

Maniapoto Māori Trust Board will continue to recognise and support youth such as Te Atatu who look to increase the Māori nursing workforce and also the wellbeing of her iwi and people.

Explore this kaupapa further by watching the video below.

Hon. Dr Koro Tainui Wētere CBE 1935-2018

E tangi ana te iwi o Maniapoto ki a koe e koro.

Takahia te ara kūiti o Hine-nui-i-te-pō, te ara tika ki tua o te tirohanga tangata.
Haere, haere, whakangaro atu rā.

Maniapoto mourns the passing of one of our own, Hon. Dr Koro Wētere.  Instrumental in progressing and institutionalising initiatives and knowledge that will continue to capture the aspirations of Māoridom long after his passing, this distinguished rangatira of Maniapoto spent his entire lifetime in the service of, and for his iwi.  There are so many accolades and achievements that can be attributed to Koro’s efforts throughout his working career and no doubt these will be forever recorded in the annals of Aotearoa history. Well into his retirement years, Koro continued to be an influential force and a formidable advocate in the critical affairs of Maniapoto, espousing on those matters that would deliver long-term benefits for Maniapoto whānau, hapū and marae.  The invaluable contribution that Koro has made to his people will continue to benefit and strengthen not only Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha, but Māoridom and Aotearoa as a whole.

Koro once said “…Our people must take responsibility for themselves and develop their resources to create their own enterprises and promote policies that give effect to their aspirations”.  He has walked this talk and has led the way for the many generations yet to come.

E te rangatira, Koro, we thank you – it is time to rest now.  Moe mai, moe mai, moe mai ra.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the whānau whānui; to his wife, Girlie, his children and his mokopuna, on behalf of Maniapoto katoa, thank you for sharing with us, your husband, your father and your grandfather.

Programme for tomorrow – Wednesday 27 June 2018

Turangawaewae Marae:            7am                  Karakia

                                                     8am                  Hakari

                                                    9.30am             Service

                                                   10.30am           Depart Turangawaewae for Te Waipatoto

Te Waipatoto Marae, Oparure:  2.00pm             Depart Te Waipatoto for interment at Whanau Urupa