Ohu Maatu 2020 - Important notice

Posted by on 19 March 2020

E te whānau – Tēnā koutou

The health and well-being of our whānau is of utmost importance.

After a lot of consideration about the current situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and thinking about our wider community as well as the potential health and wellbeing risks of running an event in our town Motueka, the Trustees have decided to take a responsible lead and postpone this year’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for 25 April 2020 as well as fully cancel our Ohu Maatu celebrations for that same weekend.

The Board haven’t taken this decision lightly, but a pragmatic decision has been made nonetheless, noting that this will be the first time in 27 years that the Annual General Meeting has been postponed.

We are currently unable to provide a new date for when the Annual General Meeting will be held, this will depend ultimately on the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

We will still provide access to the 2019 Annual Report once it is finailised later this month.

Once a new date is confirmed, we will pānui this information out to you.

If you have any questions about the annual general meeting, please contact the office directly either via email info@nrait.co.nz or via phone 03 548 0770.

As I write this today, I want to emphasise the importance of the global issue, but also offer a sense of unwavering optimism for the future. How we each respond at a time like this is a reflection of who we are and what we stand for.

Noho ora mai

Rōpata Taylor


2020 - The Year Ahead

Posted by on 12 February 2020

The year ahead blog image2

2020 marks the beginning of a new tekau tau (decade) and as usual, there are many things to look forward to this coming year. We’ve listed a few events to keep a look out for, and to get involved with, and welcome input from our owners on what else is on this year’s wātaka.

Manawaroa: 14 Feb – 16 Feb

Last year we ran our first NRAIT wānanga with a small group of registered owners who supported us in designing an official wānanga called Manawaroa – open for a limited number of registered owners to apply to join. Excitingly Manawaroa 2020 is this weekend. Participants will learn deeper about their identity, the rohe and significant places and about our history through a weekend of workshops, exploration and waiata.

Be sure to follow our Facebook page to learn when applications open for Manawaroa 2021 later this year.

Check out the video from our inaugural wānanga held last year to see what it’s all about.

Ohu Maatu: 24 – 26 April

On the weekend of 24 - 26 April 2020, whānau and the descendants of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust will come together for Ohu Maatu 2020. This is a weekend where we gather for our hui-ā-tau and reunite with our extended whānau and friends. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be on 25 April where three Trustee elections are up this year including two Ngāti Rārua Trustees and one Te Ātiawa Trustee. More information on this to come.

Education programme applications: 1 June

Details for grants and scholarships on offer for 2020 will be available soon and applications open from 1 June. Education grants are open to any NRAIT registered members studying Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, trades training, te reo, or adult education.

There are also some great stories of our successful applicants and their journeys on our website here.  

Matariki: 13 July

Every year we celebrate the Māori New Year marked by the reappearance of Matariki, a cluster of seven stars – also known as the Pleiades. This year Matariki begins on 13 July. We’ll share a few more events happening in Te Tau Ihu and other material closer to the time. Be sure to follow the Facebook page to see updates.  

Māori Language Week: 14 – 20 September

This year, Māori Language Week is 14 – 20 September. 14 September marks the day in 1972 when the petition for te reo Māori was presented to Parliament, which asked for active recognition of te reo. It had over 30,000 signatures and became the starting point for a significant revitalisation of our language. The theme continues on from previous years as ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori’.

General Election: 19 September

During Māori Language Week, Aotearoa also holds its 2020 general election – to be held on Saturday 19 September. Be sure that you’re enrolled to vote. You can enrol, check your enrolment details, or update them here:  http://www.elections.org.nz/voters/enrol-check-or-update-now

Other NRAIT events

Our lease reform negotiations have continued with the Crown and we hope to make an announcement to owners on this when we have more information.

Whether you follow and engage with us online on Facebook, share your story on our website, or join us at Ohu Maatu, we’re looking forward to connecting with you.

If you have recently moved, have a new email address, or there’s been a new member join your whānau – please ensure you update your details with the Trust. You can send these through to info@nrait.co.nz.


Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Posted by on 11 September 2019

Blog Images 8

In the early 1970s many Māori people reasserted their identity as Māori and an emphasis was put on the language as an integral part of Māori culture. Māori were increasingly recognising the danger that our language would be lost if nothing was done. New groups with a commitment to strengthening Māori culture and language emerged and in 1975, and every year since, Aotearoa has marked Te Wiki o te Reo Māori as a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te Reo Māori and to use more in everyday life.

In recent years, te Reo has undergone a resurgence in popularity with more people learning to speak the language. The number of people enrolled in Māori language courses at polytechnics, universities and wānanga has grown from just over 16,000 in 2014 to nearly 25,000 in 2018. Beginner level 1 and 2 classes have nearly doubled in that time, from 7,134 to 12,835, with the majority of growth only occurring in the past three years.

But it’s not just at learning institutions where you learn te Reo. Over the years there have been more and more te Reo resources becoming available and making it easier to learn and understand, and most of them are free, so let’s take a look at some of the ways you can keep learning long after Te Wiki o te Reo Māori has finished.

How to get involved

We encourage all NRAIT owners to get involved this Māori Language Week, whether that’s through encouraging others to learn te Reo, sharing posters on social media or heading along to an event.

 'Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori' - 'Let's make the Māori language strong' 



Celebrating Waiatia - NZ Music Month

Posted by on 27 May 2019

Blog images NRAIT

The month of May is Aotearoa Waiata Marama (New Zealand Music Month) where we celebrate music in New Zealand and the talented artists who make it. Waiata (songs and chants) are an important part of our culture. The words and expressions in waiata can preserve the wisdom and knowledge of ancestors, events and places.

There are many forms of waiata used for different purposes including oriori (lullabies), waiata tangi (laments), waiata aroha (songs of love), ngeri (a style of chant), manawawera (a form of challenge) and waiata poi (poi songs).

Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa ki Motueka have their own waiata and music video that was created by NRAIT whānau. The music video was exclusively premiered to whānau at a movie night during Ohu Maatu 2018. NRAIT owners Adrian Wagner, Jayme-Rae Anae and Tamai Henry wrote, performed and produced the song together.

This waiata highlights our whakapapa, our whenua and our people. Check it out below. 


Adrian Wagner, who helped produce the music video, and his wife Toni Huata are celebrating NZ Music Month of May with the release of their new music video, Tahuri Mai. The duo were interviewed by Māori Television about their love of music and how music brought them together.

Many of Aotearoa’s favourite waiata range from traditional to nationalistic to even 80s disco party waiata with Poi e, Tihore Mai, Tutira mai ngā iwi, Maisey Rika and E Ihowā Atua being some of the most popular.

Do you have a favourite waiata, chant, anthem, artist?

How you can get involved in Aotearoa Waiata Marama:



Ohu Maatu 2019

Posted by NRAIT on 1 April 2019

On the weekend of 26-28 April, we invite our whānau and the descendants of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, to join us at Ohu Maatu 2019. This is a weekend where we gather for our hui-ā-tau (annual general meeting) and reunite with our extended whānau and friends.

Ohu Maatu is not only where we gather as a Trust and make important decisions, it is a weekend full of opportunities to connect with whānau, learn about the whenua and history of the Trust, and share kōrero with each other. Registrations are now open, so make sure you register now to secure your place at Ohu Maatu 2019.

Download the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust 2018 Annual Report here.

We are looking forward to an exciting weekend packed full of activities for the whole whānau, as well as the most important part of Ohu Maatu, the hui-ā-tau.

For more information on what we’ve got planned, have a look at our programme here.

Activities for the whole whānau

The weekend will kick off on the Friday evening, with a pōwhiri at Te Āwhina marae followed by kai. Check out the programme timeline below.

Friday 26th April

5.00pm: Powhiri - Te Āwhina Marae

6.00pm: Kai - Wharekai

7.00pm: Whakawhanaungatanga - Turangapeke (Wharenui)


Saturday 27th April

8.15am: Registration for AGM

9.00am-12.30pm: Annual General Meeting, Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu, Motueka High School

9.00am – 12.30pm: Tamariki Bus hikoi

1.00pm: Hākari - Wharekai

2.30pm - 4.00pm: Te Uma Urupā - Whenua planting, Ki o rahi, Waiata Face-Off

6.00pm: Kai - Wharekai


Sunday 28th April

7.30am: Parakuihi - Wharekai

9am-10.00am: Church - Te Āhurewa, Te Āwhina Marae

10.30am-12.00pm: Open Forum Discussion - Tokomaru

12.00pm: Kaimoana lunch and poroporoaki


Te hui-ā-tau

The most important part of the weekend is the hui-ā-tau, where registered owners gather to address the governance requirements of the Trust, appoint trustees and make decisions as a Trust. This year it will be held at Te Whare Taikura o Te Maatu, Motueka High School.

It’s a chance for you to have your say, and to ensure your whānau is represented and connected with the business activities of the Trust. Learn more or watch a video about the history of our hui-ā-tau here.

If you’re a registered owner but can’t make it along to the AGM - no worries! We’ll be live-streaming the hui-a-tau again this year, so you can still tune in. More details to follow. Email info@nrait.co.nz if you’re interested.

Travel Subsidy

We are once again providing a travel subsidy to encourage and assist whānau to attend the AGM on 27 April and the associated activities throughout the weekend.

This year we have increased the subsidy to enable more owners to attend!

If you’re a registered NRAIT owner, live outside Te Tau Ihu and register and attend the AGM, you’ll be eligible for a $150 travel subsidy (one per adult). Whānau coming from outside Te Tau Ihu with tamariki aged under 17 who are registered with NRAIT will also be eligible for a per child travel subsidy of $50.  Owners living in Te Tau Ihu can apply for a subsidy to offset the costs of travel. 

All subsidies are paid on receipt of application, and proof of eligibility if requested.

For those who haven’t attended Ohu Maatu before, take a look at our recap video of last year’s Ohu Maatu for an insight into how the weekend goes.

Ohu Maatu 2018 from Ngati Rarua Atiawa Iwi Trust on Vimeo.

Registrations and accurate numbers make it easier for us to plan the weekend, so make sure you secure your place at Ohu Maatu 2019 by registering as soon as possible.

All details and registration information is available here or email info@nrait.co.nz

We are looking forward to an exciting weekend where we can reconnect with our whānau, learn more about our tūpuna and history, and reflect on the past 26 years as a Trust.


Important links


Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust Cultural Wānanga

Posted by on 15 March 2019

Blog header image for cultural wananga

Recently, several of the Trustees went on a roadshow around Aotearoa to meet with manawhenua ki Motueka families to learn about what was important to them. A theme emerged that our owners want to learn about their history, culture, identity and whakapapa. So, the Trust has been working in the background to design a pilot programme, and in February the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust ran its first cultural wānanga.

Participants for our inaugural wānanga were selected to represent a broad range of whānau and iwi from around the country. We brought them back to their homelands, to Motueka, to learn and experience a range of activities built around the concepts of identity, culture and whakapapa and to engage them directly with the legacy of NRAIT and instil a strong sense of hapū identity.

“We’re excited about using this pilot programme as a platform to learn about what works, what our people find of most value to them, and to open it up to more and more of the owners of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, so they too can experience a cultural wānanga through the lens of their own rohe, Motueka.”

– Ropata Taylor, Chair, Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust. 

Participants attended workshops on traditional history, whakapapa, NRAIT’s unique history and waiata and learnt about their identity and the role of NRAIT as an entity.

Through the weekend we explored the rohe by land and sea, seeing sites of significant importance to us in the Motueka area. It was an opportunity to also hear the kōrero from families in the rohe. Being present where each story took place gave the kōrero powerful context.

Participants were then encouraged to take what they learnt back to their whānau, to engage them on the themes, and become ambassadors of the Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust.


We were privileged to have the wānanga facilitated by Bentham Ohia, and humbled to have kaumatua Uncle Rore Stafford with us for the weekend, whose kōrero was enjoyed by all.

When we asked what skills, knowledge or attitudes had changed for participants here’s what some of them had to say:

Te hononga ki a Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, me ōu koutou manaakitanga.  Kei runga rawa atu koutou ngā kaimahi o NRAIT.

Learnt new waiata, more aware of the sites of significance in the Motueka rohe.  Core values such as relationships, responsibility, reciprocity, redistribution, respect.

Increased knowledge about our whakapapa, whenua and moana.  Increased skills in regard to a sense of place and how our tūpuna and whenua are expressed within our haka and waiata.

Based on feedback from everyone involved with the wānanga, we have concluded the weekend was a resounding success, and we’ll will be running it again next year. This time we’ll be calling for applications. The wānanga will be held on 21 – 23 February 2020, so watch out for the ePānui and Facebook for details on how to apply to join us for the 2020 cultural wānanga.



Whakapapa - Knowing who you are and where you belong

Posted by on 15 February 2019


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.

Rakau whakapapa

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?

Posted by on 29 January 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

Posted by on 23 January 2019


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.


elson best maramataka te papa 1000

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.

What is the Maramataka
Nights in the Maramataka
Months of the Maramataka

Learning to live by the maramataka:

-          Kohitātea

-          Mahuru

-          Whiringa-ā-rangi

-          Whiringa-ā-nuku

-          Aponga

-          Hakihea


The year in review - Our wrap up of 2018

Posted by on 19 December 2018

Year in review3

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 GrantsTe WhatukuraPhoto 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! 


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