Whakapapa - Knowing who you are and where you belong
He mea nui ki a tātau ō tātau whakapapa
Our genealogies are important to us
Whakapapa is important to us as it connects us with our tūpuna, whānau, whenua, iwi and marae. It’s how we learn about our family history and trace our genealogy, and it’s knowing who we are and where we’re from. As the core of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), our whakapapa provides us with identity and history, and connects us with our tūpuna and the whenua.
As with most communication, whakapapa was traditionally recalled through kōrero and waiata, as well as shared through carvings and karakia. In each iwi, hapū or whānau, whakapapa experts were responsible for recounting the genealogy of the whole iwi, hapū or whānau. They often held rākau whakapapa, a stick similar to a walking stick – with small ridges running down the length of it, representing ancestors and generations.
Rākau whakapapa – images from Ahua – New Zealand’s online Māori art gallery
This knowledge was incredibly important in the Native Land Court hearings, as land claims were often based on take tūpuna (ancestral rights), so being able to recount the lineage across a range of people was necessary to demonstrate particular land rights.
When writing was introduced, whakapapa was also documented in books. However, these books were considered tapu and were often buried alongside their owners. This has meant we’ve relied on the passing down of information through kōrero and waiata to trace lineage.
How to trace your whakapapa
Start a discussion with your whānau and begin recording the history and tūpuna you may already know. Each whānau typically has one person who may have a family tree or holds other research into your whānau history, so open the conversation so your whole whānau can learn and connect.
Gather as much information as possible from your whānau and iwi, and begin documenting it. There are a range of online family tree builders where you can not only store all of your family history and genealogy, but link up with other family trees and ancestor information from extended whānau and relatives.
Registering as an NRAIT owner and engaging with the Trust as well as other owners is also a way to learn more about your tūpuna and history which contributes to your whakapapa. Learn more about becoming a registered owner and what it means to be part of NRAIT here.
Taking the time to trace your family’s history and recording your whakapapa helps to preserve this knowledge for future generations, and makes the information more accessible.
What's happening in 2019?
2018 brought an exciting calendar of events, especially with Hoki Mai Ra – our 25th anniversary celebrations at Ohu Maatu.
This year is set to also be exciting with many events and celebrations to look forward to. Here are some key dates to add to your 2019 calendar.
Waitangi Day - 6 February
Waitangi Day is a chance to learn more about our tūpuna and history as it marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 179 years ago, is largely where the story of our lost land begins.
You can review the background issues of NRAIT relating to the Treaty here.
Te Āwhina Marae is holding a Waitangi open day this year with a powhiri starting at 3pm and finishing with a takeaway hangi at 6pm.
Make sure you follow Te Āwhina Marae on Facebook to stay up to date!
Kai Fest – 7 April
Kai Fest is back for 2019!
Kai Fest is always a great day to not only celebrate the abundance of kai – but to learn more about where and how it is sourced.
The day also features performances from a range of groups such as kapa haka, musicians and other cultural groups.
We’re looking forward to a beautiful sunny day to enjoy some great company and great kai!
Ohu Maatu – 26-28 April
Last year we celebrated our 25th anniversary with friends and whānau, welcomed new faces and shared great memories.
This year at Ohu Maatu we hope to see more of you who are attending the AGM for the first time, as well as returning owners, so we can share kōrero and get more of you involved in the business and community sides of the Trust.
Matariki – 25 June-3 July
Every year we celebrate the Māori new year marked by the reappearance of matariki, a cluster of seven stars – also known as Pleiades.
25 June marks the beginning of matariki for New Zealanders with many events running throughout June and July across Aotearoa.
Māori Language Week – 16-20 September
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is an opportunity to celebrate and learn our unique language. It allows us to encourage others to learn and incorporate te Reo into our everyday conversations, which helps us preserve the language and ensure it doesn’t get lost.
Running from 16 September to 20 September, the week is all about keeping the Māori language strong. There are parades and other events on and many New Zealand companies get involved by sharing kupu (words) to help people learn more te Reo.
We’re looking forward to the year ahead, and can’t wait to see you all around the rohe throughout the year as well as at Ohu Maatu.
Maramataka - The Māori lunar calendar
The first calendar or recording of time is believed to have come from hunter-gatherer communities from around 8,000 BC. Since then, a range of cultures and communities have developed their own ways of recording time and different versions of a ‘global’ calendar have been developed.
While these days most of us use the Gregorian calendar, our tūpuna used the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) to mark time and the recording of days. The maramataka, which translates to ‘the moon turning’, follows the movement of the moon throughout each month rather than the sun.
Traditionally, the maramataka didn’t mark months as we do now, it followed two seasons, Raumati (summer) and Takurua/Hōteke (winter). These days the maramataka aligns with the Gregorian calendar we now use, so it’s easier to understand and follow.
How the Māori calendar was used
The maramataka was an important marker of time for our tūpuna, as it provided information on the best times of the day, month and year for certain activities.
Typically, the maramataka was consulted for nearly every activity taking place, such as hunting, fishing, planting and harvesting, as well as rituals including baptisms or for important hui. One could also identify key times of the year, from matariki to seasonal events like harvest.
Like most kōrero and other knowledge from the days of our tūpuna, the maramataka was an oral tradition. Fortunately, early ethnographers recorded this knowledge while it was still in use.
As a lunar calendar, the maramataka followed the phases of the moon throughout the month – each day with a different name, holding different information. The month started with Whiro (first night of the new moon), following along the phases of the cycle (which lasted roughly 29 days) until Mutuwhenua, the last night.
This maramataka was taken from a 1918 book by ethnologist Elson Best. It was provided to him by Rev. Metara Te Aomarere of Ōtaki, but the calendar itself was credited to Mita Te Tai. It names the 29.53 nights in the lunar calendar and the symbols next to each night represent how favourable the night was for certain food gathering activities.
How maramataka is used today
Today, we still use the same knowledge passed down from our tūpuna by recognising events like harvest and matariki, as well as looking to the moon phases for information on tides and the most favourable fishing times each month.
Below is a list of a few articles and pieces of research on the maramataka and how it was used, so you can learn more about the history of the Māori lunar calendar.
Learning to live by the maramataka:
The year in review - Our wrap up of 2018
This year was a significant one for us at the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust as we celebrated 25 years since the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust Empowering Act 1993 was written into legislation and your tūpuna’s land was rightfully returned. We had some memorable occasions and events this year such as our celebrations at Ohu Maatu, running another year of our successful education programme, among many other activities in the community we were excited to be a part of.
We’ve had many opportunities to connect and grow with you - the owners - the manawhenua ki Motueka this year so thank you to all of those who have engaged with the Trust, whether that’s online, at Ohu Maatu, or in and around the rohe. We have recently reached 1,000 likes on our Facebook page. It’s great to connect with so many more of our owners across Aotearoa and the world. If you haven’t yet joined our online community, you can join us on Facebook here.
Once again, we would like to thank you all for connecting and engaging with us throughout the year.
Here are some of the highlights from 2018 at the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust.
Hoki Mai Ra - Ohu Maatu
Ohu Maatu is a special and significant time of the year to remember our tūpuna, reconnect with whānau, learn and celebrate, and 2018 was no exception. It was a huge milestone for the Trust, celebrating a quarter century.
It was outstanding to see the support from the hapū from across Aotearoa who joined us on 27-29 April for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Trust. We had an action packed weekend with activities for all of our whānau to enjoy, and continued the celebrations with our gala dinner.
Thank you again to all of those who joined us in Motueka, our homelands to celebrate, learn, and connect over this very special weekend. We enjoyed our time with you all, and were pleased to see so many new faces.
Read our wrap up of Ohu Maatu 2018 here.
The Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust were pleased to again offer our education funding programme this year including a variety of grants and scholarships available for NRAIT registered owners.
Our 2018 scholarship recipients were: Pohe Stephens, Benjamin Kaveney-Gibb, and April Tahi Hohaia. You can read their stories here.
We also had a great number of owners applying for grants and education assistance. It’s fantastic to see so many of our whānau getting involved in a range of additional learning and cultural and sporting activities.
The following are our 2018 education and sports and cultural grant recipients: Alexandra Morris, Andrew Howard, Renee Hayes, Te Wainui Witika-Park, Rangi Kaveney, Lucy Gotty, Beatrice Korewha, Kahu Schofer, Turanga Morgan-Edmonds, Moana Oh, Hayel Niwa, Kristin Sadd-Peawini, Shana McLeod-Bennett, Manahi Gardiner, Delane Luke, Linda Southee, Paris Studd, Zayed Studd, Ramsey Glasgow, Denim Chase, Chase Ferrel, Petra Ferrel, Tayla Ferrel, Samantha Good, Taiapo Piggott.
We are pleased to provide our owners with support in their studies, and always encourage more of our owners to apply for next year’s education programme.
Tautoko Putea GrantsPhoto by Melissa Banks
The Tautoko Putea grants programme enables the Trust to promote its charitable objectives by providing financial assistance to individuals, groups and organisations participating in extra-curricular activities.
In 2018 the Trust awarded grants to Renee Thomas, Joy Shorrock, Te Kapa Haka o Te Awhina Marae, Te Whareporera Hare-Herbert, Haelyn Ngaia, Te Whatukura Kapa Haka and Kingston Reihana.
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
From 10-16 September, Aotearoa took part in Te Wiki o te Reo Maori – a week where we celebrate te Reo, and incorporate it into our daily lives. This year in particular was more engaging, with a range of online tools making it easier for New Zealanders to learn more te Reo.
We hope to see more people incorporating te Reo into their everyday conversations and to support the retention of our language for generations to come.
Thank you all for being part of our online and offline community. It’s so special to connect with our whānau, learn more about our history, and to be a part of a positive community. A big thanks goes to those that make the trip to Motueka each year for Ohu Maatu, and most importantly those that are always around helping to make every hui a success, it makes all the difference to our mahi.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou!
Pohutukawa - Aotearoa’s rākau Kirihimete
Filled with aroha, the pohutakawa tree is well known as Aotearoa’s rākau Kirihimete (Christmas tree). Used as Christmas table decorations, and lining our beaches for a shady spot to rest, pohutukawa is a summer time symbol for us kiwis.
However, the pohutukawa symbolises a lot more than Kirihimete and summer time, it ties into both our sense of spirituality and our kōrero.
Connecting with our history
As well as being an iconic part of the kiwi summer, the pohutukawa also holds a prominent place in Māori mythology.
Legends tell the story of Tawhaki - a young warrior who attempted to find heaven in the hopes of seeking help to avenge the death of his father. During his journey, he fell back down to earth. It is said that the crimson red of the pohutukawa flowers represent his blood.
Pohutukawa is also a significant symbol of our spirituality - connecting the beginning and end of life.
A pohutukawa tree upon a clifftop in Cape Reinga, the northern tip of Aotearoa, is known as the place of leaping, where spirits begin their journey to our traditional homeland, Hawaiki. The 800-year old tree is known as the guard of the entrance to a sacred cave, where spirits pass on their way to the underworld.
While the bright, crimson red of pohutukawa means summer time to many of us – it has a special meaning to Māori all year round. This Christmas, why not share the meaning of pohutukawa with your whānau?
From all of us here at the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, Meri Kirihimete!
Check out this list of Reo Christmas words to use in everyday conversation this December.
kāri Kirihimete Christmas card
Meri Kirihimete Merry Christmas
hākari Kirihimete Christmas feast
pepa ruruku wrapping paper
rākau Kirihimete Christmas tree
koha gift, present
tōkena Kirihimete Christmas stocking
Hana Kōkō Santa Claus
mārama Kirihimete Christmas lights
hīmene Kirihimete Christmas carol
Raranga - sharing the knowledge of our taonga
Raranga (weaving) has always been a large part of our culture. Not only is it a way to create practical everyday items and decorative pieces, woven works are also a way in which we share our kōrero and history. These pieces are taonga (treasures), and we need to encourage the passing on of knowledge of raranga so future generations can continue to create taonga.
How was it used?
In the early times, the art of weaving was essential to how our tūpuna lived. Our tūpuna created whākariki (floor mats) as basic floor covering, as well as creating finer whākariki for sleeping, the birth of a child and tangi. Our tūpuna also wove kete (woven baskets) for carrying items such as kai (food). However, weaving wasn’t only used to create practical items like whākariki and kete, it was also a way our tūpuna shared kōrero, and preserved history for future generations. By using a range of patterns and colours, our rich history is shown through woven pieces of art such as the tukutuku panels you see in the wharenui.
Harakeke (flax) was primarily used to create these taonga, which were in abundance across the rohe. Once it is cut, it goes through a long preparation process before it can be used to weave.
The harakeke gets split so the tough edges are removed, then is divided into strips and sorted into even lengths. These strips get scraped, making the harakeke flexible and soft, ready for weaving. Sharp mussel shells were often used to soften the flax, which helps to draw out excess moisture.
The colour of the harakeke is also incredibly important as different colours create patterns which helps to communicate the kōrero. Mud and tree bark were typically used to colour the flax, although today dye is used instead.
One of our 2018 Tertiary scholarship recipients April Tahi Hohaia, is currently studying a Bachelor of Art – Raranga at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Studying a bachelor’s degree in weaving is enabling April to gain knowledge of the traditions and tikanga handed down by her tūpuna, which she can then pass on to future generations.
During her study of Maunga Kura Toi, her individual project was to create a Purekereke, a name belonging to tūpuna who wore a Paakee (rain cape) every day. These were a practical garment, worn by warriors as they were waterproof, robust and dark to aid concealment from their enemy.
This piece of art has had a very successful exhibition in Rotorua with much positive feedback given and has set a very high standard of toi in a public pop up gallery.
Raranga is a great way to connect with the past and our tūpuna and keep our culture alive.
It is important that we learn the art and pass down this knowledge for future generations. Reach out to your whānau or kaumātua, to see if they can pass on their knowledge to you so you can help to keep the art of raranga alive.
Staying connected – keeping in touch with our whānau
This year at Ohu Maatu, we reconnected with each other, met new members of the NRAIT whānau and revisited our homelands. Events like Ohu Maatu are great opportunities to see our whānau, engage with the Trust and learn more about each other and the whenua.
However, we don’t need to be limited to these events to keep in touch. It’s important to connect and stay engaged all year round, especially with those that live outside of Motueka, or even Aotearoa. Take a look at a few ways you can stay engaged with NRAIT.
We are active on Facebook and are always sharing updates, opportunities, events and our stories for our whānau to keep engaged with the Trust. Make sure you like our Facebook page and visit regularly for the latest news and updates!
We also share kōrero of our tūpuna and our whenua on the Our Stories section of our website, as well as our blog Te Whanake, which is a great place to learn more about your whakapapa and the history of your whānau.
Make sure you also sign up to our ePanui list to receive updates on scholarships, events, and news. To join the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address using ePanui in the subject line.
If you’re not in the rohe yourself, connecting with us online is a great way to stay engaged with the activities of the Trust and wider NRAIT whānau. Make sure you also check out this blog for other ways to keep engaged with your whānau and the Motueka homelands.
Register as a member
The best way to stay engaged is to become a registered NRAIT member. If you’re a descendant of one of the original 109 owners, registration and connection with the Trust means more than just being a name on a list. It’s a sense of belonging, opportunity to access benefits like scholarships and grants, being part of the kōrero around how we work and the Trust’s role, and learning about your ancestors.
For us to continue thriving as a people we need to continue telling our kōrero, and that relies on an engaged next generation, so we encourage you to reach out to your whānau if they’re not registered with the Trust to start their applications. Every two months the Board gathers for a hui, where we review and approve applications for new registered members.
Share your kōrero
As a Trust, we want to continue to share the stories that make us who we are, such as the history of the Trust and how it was established, as well as the efforts from our tūpuna that form our history.
If you have information or kōrero that has been passed down to you about our tūpuna, whenua, or history that you would like to share, please contact us at email@example.com.
If you’re already doing all of these things to stay connected, ka pai! It’s great to share our kōrero and stay in touch with our owners. Make sure you share this blog to inspire others to get connected.
Motueka – Whakarewa
Connecting Ourselves, Our Lands and Our Legacy
Te Moana - the legacy of our taonga
As the essence of all life, water holds great significance to Māori culture. Te moana (the sea) in particular is important as it allowed our tūpuna to make their journey to Te Tau Ihu as well as providing kai (food) and other resources. The moana around us is a taonga revered by our ancestors that brought our tūpuna and continues to bring us opportunities.
Te Tau Ihu is an abundant food basket and it isn’t just limited to the whenua (land). The remote environment and sheltered bays around our rohe are perfect conditions for gathering kaimoana such as tuangi, pipi and kutai.
Part of our cultural heritage is the ability to feed our whānau and friends and having the moana as a source of kai is something to celebrate and respect.
For hundreds of years our tūpuna lived off the whenua and moana, becoming skilled gardeners and fishermen. We have maintained this legacy, and many mana whenua ki Motueka are involved in the sustainable exports of our kaimoana through local businesses. However, providing healthy and delicious seafood remains the hallmark of our hospitality at our marae, Te Āwhina.
The moana was not only how our tūpuna completed their journey from Kāwhia to Te Tau Ihu, it was also how they travelled around Aotearoa trading the produce and crops cultivated in the nutrient-rich whenua of our rohe.
The arrival of Europeans in Motueka in 1841 and the following rapid settlement was a great opportunity for tangata whenua economically and commercially. By the 1850s a third of the sailing ships registered at Port Nelson were owned by local Māori who worked both the surrounding bays and those further afield, trading their produce.
The moana was a huge part of the lives of our tūpuna and our lives today. As a taonga, we are all responsible for the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of our moana, whether that is through sustainable fishing or choosing reusable products over single use items to reduce our waste.
Education Programme - Our 2018 scholarship & grant recipients
As a Trust, one of our objectives is to provide opportunities, and make education accessible to all of our owners, including tamariki, rangatahi and adults too. We aim to support our children and young people to become employable adults with skills that will benefit them and society. To ensure all owners feel supported through their education journey, rather than just focusing on tertiary education, we also offer grants towards trades training, adult education, and study assistance for primary and secondary students.
An important focus area for us is developing people to work in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. STEM subjects are the future required skills and knowledge our whānau need to fulfil jobs, innovate and create new products and services. Aotearoa currently has a skill shortage in these subject areas. We were pleased to receive applications from a range of NRAIT owners all across Aotearoa, fulfilling several of these high-need roles.
We are pleased to announce our 2018 education programme winners.
The supreme scholarship is awarded to one recipient each year. It is open to any NRAIT registered owner, enrolled with a New Zealand tertiary institute or training provider. This scholarship is awarded to students studying at postgraduate level whose programme of study or research contributes to the business objectives and social deliverables of NRAIT.
Pohe is currently studying a Master of Business and Management at Waikato University. He chose this qualification to broaden his knowledge base, and with the combination of his previous degree and experience, it creates the perfect formula to work for his Iwi.
The Master of Business and Management has deepened his understanding of both business and management and he is developing and expanding on his professional skill set. Pohe is driven by the notion of working for the betterment of his people and sees NRAIT as the perfect example of a place where this is possible.
Ben is another recipient of a tertiary scholarship. He is currently a third-year medical student at Otago University in Dunedin, and is another year closer to completing his degree and joining the health workforce.
During his third year of his studies, he completed a week-long placement focusing on community contact, where he learned about the health needs of the community around him. Ben has been exposed to many options the medical world has to offer, and is trying to keep as open minded as possible, but still sees himself strongly driven towards becoming a Māori GP with a keen focus on Māori health.
April Tahi Hohaia
Also a recipient of a tertiary scholarship, April is currently studying a Bachelor of Māori Art – Raranga. She is committed to carrying on the legacy of passing on tohu and taonga and making a better future for the next generation.
Our grant winners are all on the pathway to furthering their education. The grants applied for were across all areas of education including education grants and study assist grants for primary and secondary school students wanting additional education support.
Congratulations to the following recipients of our 2018 grants; Alexandra Morris, Andrew Howard, Renee Hayes, Te Wainui Witika-Park, Rangi Kaveney, Lucy Gotty, Beatrice Korewha, Kahu Schofer, Turanga Morgan-Edmonds, Moana Oh, Hayel Niwa, Kristin Sadd-Peawini, Shana McLeod-Bennett, Manahi Gardiner, Delane Luke, Linda Southee, Paris Studd, Zayed Studd, Ramsey Glasgow, Denim Chase, Chase Ferrel, Petra Ferrel, Tayla Ferrel, Samantha Good, Taiapo Piggott.
We are very proud of all our winners and are excited to see how they progress in their careers.
Preserving Te Reo
While Te Wiki o te reo Māori has wrapped up for this year, the week-long celebration of the Māori language serves as a good reminder that we should never stop working to revitalise the language. Whether you want to ako (learn) and become fluent, or simply use small amounts of te reo more frequently in your daily life – these are great steps in keeping the language alive.
It’s vital to preserve te reo, so future generations can continue using it, just like our tūpuna did, and there’s a role we can all play. Simply incorporating te reo into your daily conversations with whānau and friends is an easy way to help preserve one of Aotearoa’s official languages.
Here are a few ways you can help to preserve the language:
Share kōrero with your whānau, use some reo in day-to-day conversation. Using reo words throughout your conversations can also help others to learn te reo.
Māori TV have a great range of shows designed for those learning te reo such as Kōrero Mai and Ako. You can also listen, as well as sing along to waiata to work on pronunciation.
Find stories you can read with your whānau, visit the local library and find books written in te reo, or go online. Don’t forget you can sign up to newsletters with Kupu o te rā for a word of the day, or download the new free app, also called Kupu, where you can take photos of objects and have them translated to you in te reo.
Involving reo during play is also a great way to begin learning te reo, and there are great apps out there to help everyone at any stage of their reo journey.
Plink Software have created an app called Tipu, to help you learn more reo. They also have resources for schools, such as flash cards, through their Tipu for schools programme.
There are also other apps designed for tamariki to learn reo through, such as He aha tēnei?
'He mauri te reo Māori nō Aotearoa māu, mā tātou katoa'
‘Make te reo Māori an essential part of New Zealand for you, for us all’
Even if you start off small, you can help preserve te reo by incorporating it into your daily life.