Motueka – Whakarewa: 8 unique ways to connect with your homeland

Posted by Ropata Taylor on 14 July 2016

Motueka - Whakarewa 8 ways to connect

The revitalisation of Māori culture over recent decades has seen increasing numbers of us reconnecting with our roots, and our iwi reaching out to provide a path for us to do this.

It’s not always easy to reconnect with your homelands – we live all over Aotearoa and for some of us in different parts of the world, so if you’re not based near your marae it can be a challenge when you want to connect and get closer to your history, land and people.

With this in mind we’ve put together a list of ways that the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa ki Motueka hapū – whether you live in Motueka, further abroad in Te Tau Ihu, or elsewhere in Aotearoa – can connect with our whenua (land) and learn about our tūpuna (ancestors), the kōrero tuku iho (stories of the past) and our whakapapa.

  1. Learn the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa ki Motueka pepeha.
  2. Visit the marae - Te Awhina Marae in Motueka.
  3. Connect with the maunga – if you’re local plan a trip up Tuao Wharepapa (Mt Arthur) or Pukeone. You could also go on a virtual tour on Google Earth to these places.
  4. Make plans to attend next year’s Ohu Maatu here in Motueka. Click here to watch a video of Ohu Maatu 2016.
  5. Extend your mihimihi to include your Motueka tūpuna, awa (river) and maunga (mountain).
  6. Research your whānau genealogy using the list of the original 109 owners of the Motueka land and the Whakapapa Club website.
  7. Read and learn about the stories of our tūpuna and the origin of our Trust, or suggest a key event to be added our timeline.
  8. Help other whānau reconnect by checking out our current list of owners who we do not have an email addresses for. If you know any of them or have an email address for them please let us know by email to

Let us know on Facebook if you have other unique ways to connect back to your homeland here in Motueka. 


Te Whenua – a meaningful experience

Posted by Ropata Taylor on 1 July 2016

Te Whenua - a meaningful experience blog title


Toitu he kainga, whatungarongaro he tangata.

The land still remains when people have disappeared


On Friday last week (24 June) the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Trustees visited a number of cultural sites significant to our tūpuna (ancestors) stretching from Kaiteriteri to Raumanuka in the Tasman Bay area. 

Thank goodness for a sunny day because the Trustees and I toured our lands on mountain bikes, which provided a more personal and in-depth experience of our whenua, and a better understanding about the journey our tūpuna undertook to get here.

A good example of this is a story that I think really connects our hapū to this place. It’s the one of Merenako, a Te Ātiawa o te Waka-a-Maui kuia who in the 1830s was exploring these lands – in particular the Riuwaka Valley. Starting at Puketawai and climbing the hill to area now known as Dehra Doon, Merenako travelled through what was mostly swampland at the time, which gave Riuwaka its original name of Turi Auraki, meaning ‘tired knees’.

Like Merenako and many of our tūpuna who explored this area over 180 years ago, we travelled through the whenua including Pukekoikoi, Puketawai, Turi Auraki, Hui Te Rangiora, Whakapaetuara and Pounamu.

We also visited Kaiteriteri, the site of the hui our ancestors had with the NZ Company in 1841. At this hui our tūpuna were adamant that Te Maatu be excluded from Pakeha settlement. Of course it wasn’t excluded and this particular event is where our story begins, and is the origin of our legacy as the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust. 

RidingPhoto cropped

When we arrived at the Motueka bridge, the Trustees acknowledged the mana of our awa with karakia, and paused at Raumanuka to consider the new cycle trail that crosses our whenua on the beachfront.

This group bike ride gave Trustees both context and direct contact with our land, and gave us all a heightened awareness of what we are trying to achieve with the hapū – the descendants of the original land owners in Motueka.

If you’re looking for a way to connect with your lands a cycle ride around the whenua is a good way to go.


Focusing on jobs of the future

Posted by Rōpata Taylor on 15 June 2016

Focusing on jobs

This month we launched our new education funding programme with a new focus – a focus on supporting education for jobs of the future.  

Our scholarships are now more focused towards subjects in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and also business management related subjects.

For our descendants and for all of Aotearoa, STEM subjects are the future required skills and knowledge needed to fulfil jobs, innovate and create new products and services, but currently our country has a skills shortage in these areas.

Over the last three years the numbers show more graduates are completing their degrees in the STEM subject areas but there is still work to be done, so we want to encourage our rangatahi to explore these subject areas closer when embarking on tertiary education, and talk to the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust about funding support towards their study.

We also expanded the funding grant options to support all our hapū wanting to further their education and training that isn’t considered a graduate degree. Our hapū can now access funding support for trades training, te reo and other adult education, as well as learning support for secondary and primary school tamariki.

These changes are largely a result of what we heard our hapū asking for during our Project Ipukarea road show. You can find out more about our education funding here.

It is also encouraging to see the high school in our rohe, Motueka High, receiving a $1 million investment to grow the capacity of the school. This investment will see new classrooms built that will support new ways of teaching and learning, and will feature the latest technology infrastructure to support digital learning.

He rei nga niho, he paraoa nga kauae
One must have the right qualifications for great enterprises.

Rōpata Taylor
Chair, Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust


Wakatu Wananga

Posted by Ivan Tava on 14 November 2013

Our development manager Ivan Tava was delighted to be invited to take part in a recent rangatahi wananga run by our sister organisation, Wakatu Incorporation.  The week-long event was designed to advance the personal and cultural development of rangatahi through self-motivation, outdoor pursuits and traditional values.  Alongside visits to homelands associated with Ngati Tama, Ngati Koata, Ngati Rarua and Te Atiawa, it was a great opportunity for participants to get to know their tupuna and cousins and learn about their history against the wonderful backdrop of the Abel Tasman National Park and our Motueka homelands.

Of the 16 young men who attended the wananga, 12 were descendents of NRAIT, along with adults Bentham Ohia, Jarrod Buchanan, Kapahau Matthews and Eru Morrison. We were proud to be able to provide the group with our very own basketball-style reversable singlets that feature our homelands Te Maatu and Motueka.  A special honour for NRAIT was having the wananga led by Ropata Taylor, a member of our Board and a prominent leader among NRAIT people.  



Supporting a whānau class celebration

Posted by Ivan Tava on 14 November 2013

The end of year hui for the Motueka High School Whanau Class was a great opportunity for NRAIT to show its commitment to supporting educational achievement among our people.  The whanau class is made up of 60 students representing iwi and hapu from throughout Aotearoa and includes a number of NRAIT owners. 

The hui was held at Te Awhina Marae, with NRAIT taking the opportunity to sponsor lunch and breakfast for the students and staff. 

Motueka High School also counts a number of well-known NRAIT owners among its alumni, including our very own Miriana Stephens, who recently featured as guest speaker at the school’s senior prize-giving.

Whanau Class


Update on our superstar Tailah Love

Posted by Ivan Tava on 14 November 2013


Left to right: Tailah, Trish and Ivan

I had the pleasure of hearing about one of recent grant recipients Tailah Love and his achievements in the States.  His mother, and biggest supporter Trish informed me that he is doing really well and has 11 offers to attend university in America that include top universities Harvard and Stanford.  NRAIT proudly supported Tailah to travel to the US and attend scouting camps and we are so happy to see our investment in his future has led to even more success for our talent Tailah.

Tailah has recently been nominated as a finalist for the Tasman Secondary school sportsman of the year.  Unfortunately missed out on this award however I'm sure he is satisfied with the 12 awards he has recieved including Marlborough Boys College Sportsman of the Year and the Marlborough District Council Youth Civic award that is presented by the Mayor Alistair Sowman.

We are very happy that our financial support has helped Tailah achieve his goals and very excited to watch him succeed even further.  Good luck Tailah from all of us and your NRAIT whanau!

Read our first story about Tailah here.


Ohu Maatu Art Competition - runner up

Posted by Ivan Tava on 1 October 2013

Congratulations to Lucia Banks for winning the runner up prize for the Ohu Maatu art competition we held over the weekend. Her painting showed us what she learnt from the morning korero in our tour of our homelands, toi whenua.

Lucia won a voucher to spend at Smiggle, so she can buy some cool new pens and stationery for school.

Here's Lucia at work.




High Flyers

Posted by Ivan Tava on 25 July 2013

A chance to test their skills and nerve on a high-speed, high-wire obstacle course through the tree tops of Adrenalin Forest was just one of several highlights at a reunion event held this week in Christchurch for Wakatu and NRAIT scholarship alumni and students.

For NRAIT, the event was an opportunity to reconnect with our alumni and identify ways we can provide further value and support for them in the future.  Of the 19 alumni who attended, 12 whakapapa back to NRAIT.  We see these students as excellent role models for our young people and great assets for NRAIT in our drive to provide more support for our rangatahi.  

big group4

 A memorable and moving feature of the event was a tour around Christchurch’s red zone and the opportunity to witness the blessing of the Cathedral site, along with meetings with some of the local business owners, a number of whom had been through our Tai Wananga. The two-day event also took in a rugby game and a discussion session with Ngai Tahu’s social and cultural programme manager.

We look forward to picking up on the many ideas the group put forward to add further value and attract more applicants to NRAIT’s scholarship and grants programme.



iPad Winner

Posted by Ivan Tava on 24 July 2013

Congratulations to Marama Takao from Wellington who was the winner of our iPad draw offered to everyone who sent back their email address to us. We are still really eager to get your email addresses so rally the whanau and send your email addresses to

ipad winner


Aiming high

Posted by on 17 July 2013

To support the educational achievement of our people, NRAIT offers all owners the opportunity to apply for an NRAIT scholarship or grant. Read about our recent award winners in issues of Eke Panuku. The aim of the programme is to help young people achieve their potential by supporting them to accomplish their educational aspirations, and to encourage them in turn to contribute their skills to the wellbeing and advancement of NRAIT’s people.

Changes are being made to the current funding programme to make it more accessible and effective, and NRAIT scholarship and grant manager Sacha Macdonald wants to see more students going for it.

“I encourage you all to have a go: work out what would help you get ahead with your education, then put your best foot forward and apply for funding. The Board allocates educational funding every year for this purpose and they’d like to see more of you seizing the opportunity.”

Applications for 2014 open in January and close on 30 April.