Te Maingo o Hiwaiterangi

"Matariki, huarahi ki te oranga tangata."
Matariki, pathway to the well-being of people.

I remember as a child being transfixed by the wonder of the wishing star that featured in Disneyland television credits, ‘when you wish upon a star, makes no difference where you are’.

That pretty much sums up the magic of Matariki / Puanga / Puaka – the season of wonderment that represents the start of the new year.

Hiwaiterangi/Hiwa – is the youngest star in the cluster, the star you send your wishes to.  Hiwaiterangi – is connected with our dreams, wishes, hopes and aspirations for a prosperous season.   I think it may just be my favourite star of all stars.

This week we were bedazzled by an array of stunning events being held in Ōtepoti.  Wednesday night we attended the Piata Mai festival.   


The fabulous Te Whenua Harawira cajoled a “stellar gathering” of Māori artists, designers, creatives and entrepreneurs for three days of performing arts, mahi toi, kai and kōrero.   We were pleased to sponsor opening night, which featured the talents of He Waka Kotuia – an amazing troupe of rangatahi performers who just this week went live on Spotify with their brand new album, Te Mahi Tamariki.

Dunedin this year advertised a pretty impressive line-up of some 35 official Matariki events and no doubt many more that didn’t make the pamphlet but symbolise whānau celebrating the turning of the tides.   There was a harakeke weaving workshop; wānaka around uku (clay); an art exhibition, Hopua Whakaata and gazing at the stars at 4am!

Thursday night was Te Maingo o Hinewaiterangi – otherwise known as Marae Idol – organised by Te Roopu Tautoko ki te Tonga.   Sunday night its Matariki Hineraukatauri.

We were literally spoilt for choice.   Inbetween our visits to Wave Nine entities we enjoyed the splendour of a Matariki hangi at Te Kāika and catching up with some wonderful women.


Wave Nine Momentum Builds Up

Part of our reason for being in Dunedin was to sign off some Wave Nine investments.   We loved catching up with Peter Taiaroa and Bridget Coughlan of Ōtākou Smokehouse. Their venture is all about the fish – smoked hoki to be precise!   From catch to process to retail it is an interesting journey about working to create a whānau enterprise.

As our Wave Nine entities start preparing to commence their initiative as of 1 July 2019 (coming Monday), it was thrilling to receive a note from the Kenny whānau letting us know that already their first wānanga has over 120 people registered!

Another Wave Nine agreement we signed up this week was with Maraka Consultancy.   Sisters, Rachel and Alana, have a wonderful dream for Waikawa – to tell the stories, record the oral histories, and preserve the heritage in a publication.   They can’t wait to begin.


Korowai-Pōhatukawa o Matariki

To cap off a beautiful Matariki wānanga at Arowhenua Marae, Hei Whakapiki Mauri were gifted with a stunning quilt that can become a symbolic korowai for our whānau with disabilities who have love and lost family members.  

Ruth Jones and Gary Williams, on behalf of Hei Whakapiki Mauri received the coat of many colours:

Poutama-representing mana tangata 

  • Tui Feathers,Paua colours

  • Hei Whakapiki Mauri Tohu representing unity and diversity

  • The silver water effect fabric chosen to represent tangi roimata,takaroa the wai in which we enter to Te Ao Wairua in,

  • Kawakawa leaves-A tohu of tangi Parekawakawa

  • Heart-symbolising Te Puna Aroha

  • Piwaiwaka: another symbol we recognise during tangi


I’m sure you agree – it is an absolutely stunning gift of love to endure through the most persistent of grief; a legacy of loving for whānau who will always stay true in our memories and our minds.

Te Ara Whakatipu Hikoi 

It was exciting this week to receive the final report from Te Ara Whakatipu.  Te Ara Whakatipu is a rakatahi focused leadership programme that combines Ngāi Tahutanga and connection to whenua, based in the Hollyford Valley/Whakatipu Waitai. This hikoi was developed by Kara Edwards and Mike Talbot (ex-senior guide, Hollyford Track) in 2014. The hīkoi was co-funded by Te Putahitanga Ki Te Wai Pounamu and the department of Conservation.

Rangatahi pictured at the Pike hut with Mount Madeline in the background. May,

Rangatahi pictured at the Pike hut with Mount Madeline in the background. May,

The programme was based on the hypothesis that connection with te ao tūroa (the natural world) would provide a platform to strengthen connections with rangatahi self-identity. It was also inspired by the belief that adding in cultural values, concepts and heritage would strengthen a sense of belonging to Ngāi Tahu. 

The three key pou or foci of the hīkoi are;

  • Connection to Self

  • Connection to Ngāi Tahutanga

  • Connection to Te Ao Tūroa  

Rangatahi and Manuhiri outside of the Martins Bay lodge.

Rangatahi and Manuhiri outside of the Martins Bay lodge.

T AW 2019 Rangatahi releasing Robins as part of the Hollyford Conservation trust program.

TAW 2019 Rangatahi releasing Robins as part of the Hollyford Conservation trust program.

We are greatly looking forward to the video launch event on July 26th at Te Whare o Te Wai Pounamu. 

Initially the programme was only run once a year. This has now extended to three hīkoi per year, two of which are solely funded by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and this year, the third hīkoi was co-funded by the Department of Conservation and Te Putahitanga ki Te Wai Pounamu.   The Whakatipu Waitai - Hollyford valley was specially chosen because of the cultural heritage and importance of the area for Ngāi Tahu as a traditional trail and kāinga. Also, the isolation supports the Kaupapa and enables greater connection within the roopu away from the distractions of the outside world, particularly technology. 

A comment from one of the participants was so unbelievably beautiful that we just had to share it:

“My wairua kete is as full as it has ever been, my heart is overflowing with gratitude, and I feel unbelievably blessed! The whole thing was my favourite part but a couple of my favourite moments was getting the chance to walk on the tracks my tupuna walked / got to visit a site where Tutoko lived and built him and his whanau a whare. The other one was being surprised and told we were going in a chopper with the most unreal views, to let black robins (that were nearly extinct some years ago) back out into Fiordland. It makes me very, very, very happy to think that my nieces, my nephews, my future kids and the future Kai Tahu children will hopefully one day to get to experience what me and all the other past Te Ara Whakatipu Rakatahi got to experience”.

Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu


We have had amazing feedback from the Maranga Mai Te Waipounamu events held last weekend in Kawatiri and Motueka

The final hui in the series is this Sunday 30 June at the HUB Otago Polytechnic 1-4pm.  Come along for a celebration of rangatahi, whānau and community.

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Finally, the beautiful picture of our tamariki rangatahi at the stunning waters of Kaiteriteri.

After a successful first Hoe Kia Rite wānanga run by Ngāti Apa ki te Rā to, the second waka wānanga was held at Kaiteriteri, Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23.   During the weekend the whānau stayed at Te Awhina Marae.

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Luke EganComment