Friday, December 20, 2013


Our house is a living history book. It provides comfort, protection and knowledge to the iwi whanui and stands at the center of our land, in the center of our hearts and as the center of our history. Te Poho-o-Tamanuhiri is the sum total of all our knowledge and is the hard copy of an oral tradition that’s several hundred years old. About 15 years ago my cuzzy Noel and I spent a few months looking at the story the house tells from the koruru ki nga tini kokona o te manawa... he maha nga korero. These are just some of the stories about some of our tipuna... this is their house... this is our house.

TE POHO-O-TAMANUHIRI was originally erected at Pakirikiri (close to the Waipaoa River mouth). It was then moved to Ropa on the banks of Te Wherowhero lagoon... But Ropa was threatened by rising sea levels and in 1917 Tiemi Wirihana led a team of carpenters who re-located the building to its current location in Muriwai. Legend has it that when they moved the house... it was too long for the land allocated. They decided to cut the end of the building off... and they did (about 6 feet). If you have a close look at the back of the house... in the corners... you’ll notice there’s only half a poupou on each side... and the cut looks pretty rough to me... lol... too much our old fullas aye.
TAMANUHIRI is the koruru. This house is his ‘poho’ or chest, these are his arms, his legs, his backbone, his ribs, his heart and the koruru is his face. Our meeting house represents the body of Tamanuhiri and we effectively meet, sleep and farewell our people within his spiritual embrace. Every part of the Tamanuhiri story is connected to the koruru. All stories are linked to Tamanuhiri and thus all stories are linked to each other. In his time Tamanuhiri was a leading chief of the Ngai Tahu clan of Turanganui.
PAEATERANGI: He’s the tekoteko. Paea is the 2nd son of Tamanuhiri and his first wife Rongomaiawhia. For us the tekoteko represents the mana-whenua and Paeaterangi definitely had mana-whenua in this area. When Tamanuhiri died his land was split between his oldest son Tamaraukura and Paeaterangi. Tama took the land from Maraetaha south while Paea took control of the land from Maraetaha north including Muriwai. Like his father, Paea was a Ngai Tahu chief. When I was young the house still had a pillar beneath the tekoteko which ran right down to the porch. In our mythology Paeaterangi was the pole that Tane used to hold up the sky when he separated his parents. And if you have a look at the roof of the porch... you will see a carved figure that’s upside down... that’s Tane pushing up the sky.
THE ROYAL FAMILY: This is the tuakana line of Tamanuhiri. Originally there were 4 carved figures gathered around the poutokomanawa including Tamaraukura, Rangiwaho, Rongomaiwaiata and Tutekawa. According to local legend... one of the carved figures (Tamaraukura) was removed by Kawini at some stage and no one knows what happened after that. The other 3 are still there today and continue to represent the senior (tuakana) line. Tamaraukura was the eldest son of Tamanuhiri and Rongomaiawhia. His eldest son Rangiwaho marries Rongomaiwaiata and has several children including Tutekawa. This is core whakapapa for the Rangiwaho and Rangiwaho-Matua hapu and this cluster of tipuna are quite rightly standing at the very heart of our whare-wananga.
RONGOMAIWAIATA: Her inclusion is no accident... it’s a clear statement about our whakapapa. She is the great grand-daughter of both Rongowhakaata and Kahungunu... and she’s also the great, great grand daughter of Ruapani. These are three of the main whanau lines of Turanga... and they join the Tamanuhiri line creating a solid block of whakapapa that passes to Tutekawa. This is a blatant attempt to illustrate our mana within Turanga... and on top of that... Rongomaiwaiata is the sister of Tutekohi. That’s why the marriage of Rangiwaho and Rongomaiwaiata is a pivotal point in Tamanuhiri history.
TUTEKAWA: He’s the man... he is our knight in shining armour. Basically Tutekawa went off to the South Island to get pounamu. While he was down there the battle of Taitimuroa erupted and several of his whanau were killed. It seems Tukapuarangi and his sons had attacked Rangihaua and Tutekawa’s dad was killed in the fighting. His uncle Puraho was also killed and the rest of his family ran away to Te Kahanui-a-Tiki. When Tu returned he was told the bad news and thus he went in search of his whanau. When he finally caught up with them... he managed to convince them to return and spoke those unforgettable words... “Kia mate tatou, mate ki te kainga” ...If we must die, let us die at home. Then Tu went to meet with his Turanga whanau and played his whakapapa card (the Rongomaiwaiata link). Soon he assembled an ‘ope’ and they duly marched up to Rangihaua. Tutekawa stormed the pa and destroyed his enemies. He then took their heads around Turanganui... to confirm... and for all to see... that Tamanuhiri were back in the house... tena ka whakakaa ano te ahi o Tamanuhiri whanui
PAOA (PAWA): Not all poupou can be identified at the moment but those who are tell a detailed story of the Tamanuhiri links. First and foremost is Paoa. He was the captain of Horouta canoe and according to our traditions the Horouta is buried in Te Wherowhero lagoon. Paoa and his sister Hine Hakirirangi stayed at Papatewhai - at the southern end of Te Wherowhero - where Paoa built himself a house called Ihumea. From his very first footprint, when he jumped ashore, to the digital footprint of this post... we have always stayed at Papatewhai. Some whanau still have houses there today. Paoa also reminds us that we’re the tuakana line of Horouta. We are descendants of the captain (Paoa) and chief navigator (Kiwa). If you look at the local landscape you’ll see that our house stands between Turanganui-a-Kiwa and Te Kuri-a-Paoa... these are monuments to our history in Turanga and clues to our whakapapa connections. Paoa’s daughter marries Kiwa’s son thus joining these two whakapapa lines. Through Ruapani... he uri katoa tatou o te ure-tarewa o Horouta waka... tangi te kura... tangi wiwini... tangi te kura... tangi wawana... he kura tiwaka... he kura tiwaka.
HINETEKAPUA & MATAKANA: Are two of Tamanuhiri’s children by his second wife Hinenui. She is the one he meets in the rua-kumara... and she utters the tribal saying... Taku he ki te huatea, no muri te huauri. Hinenui lived with Tamanuhiri at Pukehaua and had several children to him. Her son Matakana is in the house and connects us to the north western sector of our territory. He lived at a pa near Te Puru and has very close links to our Rongowhakaata whanau of Te Arai. Hinenui’s daughter Hinetekapua is also in the house and links us to the Rakaipaaka chief Tureia. She also has a very interesting connection to Te Kawai Ariki of Tainui. She has a son called Tama-kanohi who has a daughter called Papauma. She marries Rakaihikuroa and they have a son called Te Rangituehu. He then has Tuaka who in turn has a daughter called Mahinaarangi... ara... ka puta mai nga raukawa me nga tini piko o Waikato Taniwharau... tena ka mihi atu ra ki to tatou nei whanaunga ko Kingi Tuheitia...
RAKAIKUI: He has no whakapapa to Tamanuhiri but he’s linked to the Tutekawa story. According to Tiemi Wirihana he was one of three people Tutekawa met when he returned from the South Island trip. On the 22nd of Feb 1912 Tiemi tells the Maraetaha committee the following... kaore rawa tetehi o Ngai Tamanuhiri i te whenua nei e noho ana i te taenga mai o Tutekawa. Tokotoru anake nga tangata i rokohanga mai e ia e noho ana i konei, ko Rakaikui, Rakaihuna, me Tororauaruhe, engari i runga i nga korero, ehara enei tangata i te uri o Tamanuhiri... In our house Rakaikui is seen as a link to the Tutekawa victory and the re-ignition of our ahikaroa. Our kai-korero will use this poupou to re-affirm our mana knowing full well that since Rakakui our ownership and occupation has been undisturbed... Noreira ka tu mai, ka mihi mai, ka whakatau mai nga manuhiri... mai nga pari e ma mai ra... tae noa ki te korowai rawhiti... huri ki te akau o te aroha... mai Kopututea tae noa ki Te Paritu... ko Te Huauri te mana, ko Tamanuhiri te tangata, ko Hinenui te wahine... Nana te korero, Taku he ki te huatea, No muri te huauri... kia tau mai te mana... kia tau mai te mauri... Tihei Mauriora.

TAPUNGA-O-Te-RANGI: Is the grandson of Paeaterangi. Through his mother we have strong links to Rongowhakaata and through his wife we are linked to Rakaihikuroa, the eldest grandson of Kahungunu and Ruapani. These connections were very important and iwi proudly displayed their whakapapa links on the walls of their whare-wananga. Tapunga‘s father Puraho was involved in the battle of Taitimuroa. Unfortunately he was killed in the fighting as was his uncle Rangiwaho. His heavily pregnant mother Te-Aomate was forced to run away with other whanau members. That’s when his cousin Tutekawa returned from the South... he gathered the troops then gained revenge thus regaining mana whenua. Tapunga was born on top of Rangihaua shortly after. From the minute he was born he inherited the mana of his dad and became the infant chief of Ngati Paea. He grew into a powerful leader who had a rahui called Tawhiti Karangi that ran right through to Tuhoe territory. Tapunga’s descendants form the basis of the Ngati Rangitauwhiwhia, Ngai Tawehi and Ngati Kahutia hapu of Ngai Tamanuhiri.
TAWIRI-O-TE-RANGI: He is the younger brother of Tutekawa and inherits his mother’s links to Ruapani, Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata. Tawiri provides an important link to the east coast whanau. Tawiri’s son Tamahurunga marries Ponui and they have a son called Konohi... thus our links to Whangara-mai-Tawhiti... “Ko Whangara te putake o te tangata, Ko Whangara te rekareka o te korero” Then there’s Tawiri’s grandson Rakaiatane. He gets into a scuffle with Tuheke (Tutekawa’s grandson). It starts over a taunga-ika near Papoto and soon escalates into a war for mana-whenua. In the battle known as Pikikautuku Rakaiatane is defeated by Tuheke. He and his whanau are forced to leave and they sail north... eventually landing at Tatapouri. There they settle and eventually adopt the name Ngati Rakai. They soon get involved in the power struggle around Turanga. Rawiri Te Eketuoterangi (Te Poho-o-Rawiri) was chief of Ngati Rakai in his time... he eventually changes the tribal name to Ngati Oneone.
KAUKOHEA: Is an interesting link to the Ngati Kahungunu story. Kaukohea is the son of Rakaipaaka and was born in Turanga... near Waerengahika. His father had an altercation with Tutekohi over a dog (Taku Kuri e). This led to a war between the two factions and Tutekohi was supported by Mahaki. Rakaipaaka and his whanau were out numbered and eventually chased out of Turanga. Kaukohea was involved in the fighting and he escaped along our coastline. Just past the point of Te Kuri there is a rock called ‘Te Ihu-o-Kaukohea’ where he rested. Mahaki and Tutekohi were intent on chasing Rakai into oblivion... but we reminded them they had every right to chase him from their land... but they had no right to chase him from ours... ‘Ka nui’... eventually Rakaipaaka and his whanau arrived at Moumoukai. He was joined there by his brother Rakaihikuroa and his sister Hinemanuhiri. These are the children of Kahukuranui, the eldest son of Rongomaiwahine... that’s why they seek shelter in Nuhaka. While staying at Moumoukai they coin the name Ngati Kahungunu. Kaukohea was a founding member of this new beginning. The battle, the exit, the chase and new start are represented in his pou. Kaukohea is a contemporary of Puraho & Rangiwaho... telling us exactly when these events happen in our history.
MARUHANENE: He has no whakapapa to Tamanuhiri but he’s an important link to our Ruapani neighbours to the west. Maruhanene was a respected ‘ruanuku’ or grand wizard with potent powers. He has direct whakapapa to Ruapani and some say he was placed at Mangapoike (by Paea) to protect the western boundary. Maruhanene had a talking parrot (featured in poupou) and men who could converse with the animal kingdom were revered by chiefs and warriors alike. He had several pa sites around Mangapoike... and on the 3rd of April 1882 Hemi Waaka made the following statement... Taungatara is the name of the pa on the north part of Mangapoike. Orapua is the name of the house, Pa Pokeka is the name of another pa to the south of the creek, and they belong to the descendants of Maruhanene... Hemi Waaka, Matenga Rewiti and Keepa Wirihana are all descendants of Maruhanene.
TUREIA: Is also a very interesting link to Ngati Kahungunu. He is a great grandson of Kaukohea and a great grandson of Hinetekapua... In fact the whakapapa of Mahaki, Rakaipaaka and Tamanuhiri all converge on Tureia who was a powerful tohunga with links to all corners of the coast. Tureia is the father of the famous Ngati Kahungunu fighting chief Te Huki. In fact Te Huki’s interests ran right along the east coast and in his time Te Kupenga-roa-o-Te Huki was an active and powerful network that ran from Whangara to the southern Wairarapa coast. Tureias inclusion in our meeting house is a statement about our southern connections to Ngati Rakaipaaka and Ngati Kahungunu. Tureia is the grandfather of Te Rakato who in turn is the father of the great Ngati Rangiwaho warlord Meke.
RANGITUANUI: He provides an important link to our Whakaki whanau. Rangituanui is the son of the famous Tapuwae and thus is a descendant of Hinemanuhiri through her impressive son Tamaterangi. Rangituanui is included in our house to acknowledge the close links between Tamanuhiri, Hinemanuhiri, Ruapani and Tamaterangi. We have strong links with the Iwitea people and ‘Manutai’ is yet another son of Tapunga. Manutai is the brother of Te Rangitauwhiwhia, Tawehi and Haerengarangi. When Tapunga was attacked at Te Koutu... his children sought refuge with the people of Iwitea. Eventually Tawehi returned to seek utu and re-gain the family mana. Te Rangitauwhiwhia soon followed and re-established himself around Rerepi. Rangituanui was there to support their search for utu. Over the next two generations Te Rangiwahipu and Kahutiaterangi would completely resurrect the mana of Ngati Paea.
MEKE: In a completely unofficial discussion with Aunty Zoe and Nanny Rose back in the 80s... we discussed the Pou-tuarongo (centre of back wall). They both suggested it was Meke... they remember being told when they were young but they couldn’t remember by who etc. If the Pou-tuarongo is Meke... it would make a lot of sense. The whakapapa throughout the house seems to converge on Tureia who is the great grandfather of Meke. From Tamanuhiri to Tamaraukura, Rangiwaho, Rongomaiwaiata, Tutekawa, Paea, Tapunga, Hinetekapua, Tawiri, Kaukohea and Tureia... all whakapapa are focused on Te Huki who married Te Ropuhina (the grand daughter of Tapunga). Together they have Te Rakato who marries Te Ika-Ataahua (he uri no Mahaki) and they are the parents of Meke. It was Meke who confronted Te Wera Hauraki when he tried to settle around Whareongaonga... And Te Wera brought his guns. Yet in a series of clashes Meke forced Te Wera to leave... thus upholding the mana of Ngati Rangiwaho and retaining our lands. Meke was our chief when Capt Cook arrived. Apparently the first thing we ever got from the white man... was a bag of spuds courtesy of the captain... WELL... we looked at the spuds for a sec... Then we asked the obvious question... “Haven’t you got any money eow” ...AND that’s when the Kuki had the cheek to name our beautiful home ‘Poverty Bay’ ...hmmm
HINE HAKIRIRANGI: Is the sister of Paoa and was responsible for the kumara onboard the Horouta. In yet another unofficial conversation with Uncle Moana... he explained that the Pare (panel above the door) is our tipuna Hine Hakirirangi. He told me that she was a ‘ruahine’ and her responsibility was to ‘whakanoa’ the crew when they boarded or left the waka. Her job was to straddle the barge boards at one end of the canoe and when people board or disembark they must pass between her legs. The action of passing between a woman’s legs removes any tapu thus ensuring the tapu of the waka remained onboard and any tapu from the shore was blocked from boarding. This protocol was strictly observed as any breach of tapu would jeopardise the whole expedition. On the pare Hine Hakirirangi is there to re-enact her original role. She is carved with her legs spread and everyone who enters passes beneath her and is rendered ‘noa’ for the duration of their visit. When they leave Hine Hakirirangi is there again to re-instate ones mana and re-engage any tapu. Her purpose is to make sure that what’s in the house remains in the house... and what’s outside the house remains outside... Hine Hakirirangi stayed at Papatewhai. She went to find the perfect garden for her kumara. She and her pet riroriro (grey warbler) found that perfect place near Te Arai. It was so beautiful she called it Manawaru (trembling heart)

We don’t know much about the amo or maihi. We know little about the figures on the porch too... but our research continues and this is our wananga thus far... this is the wananga we should be having in Te Poho-o-Tamanuhiri meetinghouse. The links and connections represented in our house show our whanaungatanga to the south, southwest, to the west, northwest and north of our territory. It also shows our close links to the cuzzies on the east coast. Basically we surrounded ourselves with whanau and formed whakapapa based alliances on all fronts. Te Poho-o-Tamanuhiri is a very public display of our tribal mana and our shared bloodlines... We should be very proud of the statement it makes.
In the same way we display our links to the neighbours... others display their connections to us... For example Te Mana-o-Turanga in Manutuke, Whitireia in Whangara, Takepu in Te Karaka and Takitimu in Wairoa... all have carved depictions of Tamanuhiri to confirm and celebrate our common whakapapa. He whanau kotahi tatou o Turanganui... koina to tatou nei ingoa tuturu... ko Turanga-Tangata-Rite.

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