Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When I was a youngster we were still harvesting the fruits of our moana in the traditional manner and in traditional places. One of Ngai Tamanuhiri’s tribal delicacies is dried shark and we tended to use another of our local delicacies (crayfish) as bait. During our diving expeditions to Taikawakawa and Orongo the fishing fraternity amongst us would often collect extra crayfish to use for that very purpose. In all honesty the crays would have struggled to pass today’s strict measurement regimes BUT… we’re talking about customary practices here… 6 hundy years or more.

Our favourite shark fishing rock was called Te Kaupapa and it was situated about half way along the northern face of Te Kuri about 400 meters from Papatewhai. There is an ancient pa site called Tunga-Kaka directly above it and they were probably using this fishing spot when that pa was active. Te Kaupapa or ‘The Rock’ as we called it was a flat boulder approx 4m by 8m and we’ve been using it as a taunga-ika for well over 600 years. It was about twenty meters from the main cliff face and was only accessible for an hour each side of low water. It was a flat platform about 4 meters off the low water mark but at high tide the water level would rise to within a meter of the top and surrounded the whole rock. The path to Kaupapa ran along a vertical wall of sandstone about 100 meters long and 4-5 stories high. At low tide there was a small corridor of sand to access Te Kaupapa but within an hour of the turning tide… the waves would be lapping against the rock wall and by mid tide the water is 10 feet deep with waves surging against the rock face… it was now impossible to pass until the next low tide.

We weren’t exactly technical fishermen… but tikanga is such a comforting support mechanism… and we all started in the same way. We came with our tuakana and we done what they done… and when they were young they done exactly the same as us… that’s how tikanga works. My older cousin Nuna always took me fishing and diving with him. He taught me all about our moana by showing me our way of doing things, our system and our special places. Nuna (Rapihana Hawaikirangi) is a first cousin on the Wyllie side and he has an absolute wealth of knowledge about our coastline including the names of every nook and cranny from Muriwai to Mahia. He’s spent his whole life diving and fishing along our coastline and has an intimate knowledge of our tikanga e pa ana ki te moana me nga tini taunga-ika o Tamanuhiri.

We would always fish the summer morning tides. We knew that if low water was at 6am… we needed to be there no later than 7am. High tide would be at 12 noon and the next opportunity to leave the rock would be about 5pm… so don’t forget your lunch. There was enough room on kaupapa for 5 fishermen… and we all needed to be on-2-it. We’d take our equipment… we had thick-as line (bootlace thick). We had huge hooks… and our anchor collection was quite impressive too (chains, nuts & bolts, diving weights)… and of course heaps of cotton. When we got there we’d bait our lines… taking a whole crayfish tail… threading our hook through it… and then use the cotton to secure the bait to the hook… E ai ki nga tohunga hi-ika… this would discouraged the smaller fish from nibbling our bait to bits.

Then we’d take turns throwing our lines in. It was like a bloody hammer-throw competition… we’d stand at one end of the rock and start swinging our anchor round and round to build up momentum. By the time we were ready to launch we’d have about three meters of line with a heavy metal weight swinging wildly over head… and hopefully… you’d release the weights in the right manner… and more importantly in the right direction. Nine times out of ten it was sweet but I did witness a few tenth time close calls… ANYWAYS… when we finally got our lines out there… the waiting game began but usually It wouldn’t take long before we’d get some company… Could be a shark or maybe a stingray… or if we’re a bit unlucky a Snapper or Kingy. We were after shark on this rock and anything else was a bit disappointing… shark was our favoured fish for drying and storing… my old man loved it.

When ever you hooked up… you knew all about it. They weren’t huge sharks… mainly schoolies up to 6 foot but it was fun and they could fight. We were old-school and you usually had two options… you either pulled it in… or you didn’t. We didn’t play the fish…. there was no give & take or letting it run… just pulling it in… or not. And there was no such thing as ‘catch & release’ either … there was catch & use for bait… catch & have for brekky… catch & give to nanny… but catch & release was never an option on this rock. I went fishing at Te Kaupapa with many whanau members … fulla Nuna, fulla Tu, fulla Jody… Uncle Viv, fulla Taro, fulla Mita, Uncle Bub, fulla Mud, fulla Snoop and my tuakana Solly & George.

We caught heaps of shark, plenty of rays and the odd kingy… life was sweet. I felt good contributing to our household and I enjoyed taking home kaimoana like… koura, kina, paua, pupu, pipi, whitiko, kutai, karengo, inanga, tuna, haku, kanae, kahawai, tamure, patiki, araara, tawatawa, kuparu, rawaru, hapuka, moki, whai, wheke and of course the tribal power food… mako. I knew where to find them… I knew which beach was best for each… I knew how to collect them and what to look for… it was knowledge passed from generation to generation…knowledge that links us to Tangaroa Whakamautai.

We are the moana… and the moana is us.

Growing up next door to my grandmother Takotohiwi... I saw how she dried many different foods in prep for winter. She would dry karengo in the sun and store it in bundles for the colder months. She would dry pipi on a big sheet of iron then store them in her pantry. She even dried some of the small kumara... they were awesome. In summer she would have eels hanging on her fence... fish frames drying on one line... and shark strips hanging on another. Dried shark is a tribal delicacy in Muriwai. We gut and bone the shark... then cut the meat into long strips (about 2-3 feet long and about an inch thick) leaving the skin attached. These are then hung over a line in the hot summer sun to dry. It is important not to get the strips wet once your start the process so the shark is always taken in or covered during rain storms or at night. It will take at least 10 really hot days to completely dehydrate the meat.

When ready the shark strips are stored in a dry place and will keep for a year or more. The strips can be eaten as is (like jerky) or the meat can be re-constituted with boiling water. It’s the same with some of the other dried food like fish and karengo... they can also be reconstituted or added to another meal. My grandmother was born in 1900 and lived a life before electricity... before fridges and freezers... and before any supermarkets. Her thinking was always focussed on our future and summer was spent preparing for winter. Tikanga dictates that in times of plenty you prepare for times when there’s less. The storage techniques devised by our ancestors were born out of necessity and form the foundations of the iwi survival strategy. Drying or dehydrating food was important in that survival plan and as long as the stocks are kept dry... they will easily see you through the winter months...

Unfortunately Te Kaupapa was covered by a huge landslide recently. The erosion around Te Kuri-a-Paoa has completely changed the coastline. Taunga-ika like Te Kaupapa and Rua-Koura are disappearing and all that remains is our fond memories. Since Paoa arrived onboard his waka Te Kaupapa has been central to our survival plan... Noreira... e Te Toka-Tu-Moana o Nga Pari E Ma Mai Ra... Kia eke... Eke Panuku... Eke Tangaroa... Whano, Whano, Hoki mai Te Toki... HAUMI E... HUI E..............................

Thursday, July 12, 2012


On the 23rd August 1981 a meeting was held at Muriwai Marae. The meeting was attended by a number of Kaumatua including… Hopa Te Hau, Ada Tamihana, Rangitahi Kaimoana, Moana Kemp, Bertie Ngarangioue, Cooper Carrington, Kaa Matenga, Mars (Mataiata) Pohatu, Kui Emmerson, Oke Raihania, Zoe Winitana, Hine Kemp, Ene Hawkins, Moana Kemp, Rata Pohatu, Maura Matenga, Rimu Pohatu(convenor), Dave Ngarangioue, Murray Raihania, Wi Ngarangioue, Dawn Pomana, Temple Isaacs And Heni Sunderland

The minutes read… “At this point Moana Kemp called for nominations, but before opening it to the meeting, asked that some thought be given to the method of electing those required… i.e. whether nominations should be called from the floor or whether this should be done on the basis of whanau representation. The meeting unanimously agreed that the later suggestion be adopted” …and it was, with the proviso that each whanau select their own representatives.

Those Kaumatua identified five major hapu/whanau of Ngai Tamanuhiri. They are Ngati Rangiwaho and Ngati Rangiwaho-Matua who obviously nominate Rangiwaho as their focal ancestor. The other three are Ngati Te Rangitauwhiwhia, Ngati Tawehi and Ngati Kahutia who all inherit mana whenua from Paeaterangi via Tapunga. It seems these five are groupings of smaller hapu/whanau. At the same meeting the following people were selected as representatives of those respective hapu/whanau

Ngati Rangiwaho: Mataiata Pohatu, Dave Ngarangioue
Ngati Rangiwaho-Matua: Okeroa Raihania, Ene Hawkins
Ngati Rangitauwhiwhia:Zoe Winitana, Maura Matenga
Ngati Kahutia: Moana Kemp, Kui Emmerson
Ngai Tawehi: Toi Wilson, Rangi Wilson

It is interesting to note that those present nominated Toi and Rangi Wilson as representatives of Ngai Tawehi even though they were not present. This indicates a prior understanding of whanau associations as that particular branch of Wilson’s (Te Keepa Wirihana) are indeed the core of Ngai Tawehi. The actual hand written notes offer more clues to hapu origins by listing Ngati Rangitauwhiwhia as the “Waaka/Rangitauwhiwhia whanau” and then lists Ngati Rangiwaho-Matua as the “Rangiwaho-Matua (Wirihana) whanau”. Moana Kemp moved, 2nd Mars Pohatu – carried that the names of those representatives be submitted to the Maori Land Court forthwith.

Since that meeting there has been much discussion about the hapu lines.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Quoting myself... beat that...lol....

Sometimes saying nothing 
says so much more...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Everyone from the coast should know... there's ONLY 5 names linking Porourangi and Paikea (including the 2 we just used). Indeed there are only 3 more names to ADD and you have the basis of your east coast whakapapa... thus linking the Whale-rider with the seed of Ngati Porou whanui. It's a male line (father to son, father to son) and its the focal point of any whakapapa to the TAIRAWHITI. 
IF YOU WANT TO LEARN.. start here >>> >>> >>>
Anyone who claims to be Ngati Porou... shares this core whakapapa... because it's the whakapapa of Porourangi himself. It's the Ure Pukaka... or senior male line... (eldest son to eldest son - please note Pouheni is the eldest son of Hamoterangi but he's not Paikea's eldest.
Heres the 5 names... see if you can learn these 5. .. and build your knowledge from there.

Of course anyone who claims to be Ngai Tahu/Kai Tahu shares the same whakapapa... as Tahu and Porourangi are brothers and have equal conection to Paikea. And those connections travel far and wide across the motu... even to the Kawai-Ariki of Tainui.
Heres the 5 names... see if you can learn these 5. .. and build your knowledge from there.

If you learn these 5 names till you can recite them backwards... you can then add more names. It's another 4 names to Kahungunu, 4 names to Rongowhakaata, 4 names to Tamanuhiri, 5 names to Hauiti and Taua, 6 names to Mahaki and Rakaipaaka... Slowly but surely you build up your knowledge... and on average it's about 25 generations from ourselves to Paikea and every generation you can fill bridges that gap in your understanding
Every journey starts with a single step
The whakapapa to Paikea spreads all over the motu... the following iwi connect to the whakapapa above... Ngati Porou (of course) Ngai Tahu, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Whakatohea, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Rakaipaaka, Ngati Kahungunu, Tainui, Raukawa, Ngati Toa, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Tuhourangi... and many more

P.S. everyone knows"Paikea" is the national anthem of the east coast...and everyone joins when ever it's sung... have a listen to it and remember he's the great, great grandfather of Porourangi. He lived about 80 years before him.
Maurioa I'll be adding to the whakapapa above in future posts

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Described as the most amazing species of all by the BBC... we have long considered ourselves the masters of our own realm and by all accounts its a realm with no known boundaries. No matter what this world throws at us man will always prevail... we reign supreme over terrain, climate or even another species... man is the apex of all consciousness. That's how we see it... but the reality is man can only control man... and not doing so has led us to this point...If we can't or won't control ourselves... every other species will pay the price of our arrogance and be the cost of our ignorance. The following documentary shows our understanding of the so called HUMAN PLANET with comprehensive explanations about the role other species play in our survival.

Stunning documentary... see more  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/humanplanetexplorer/
I believe you can learn a lot about how man sees the world... by taking a look at how man see's himself. Many indigenous cultures all over the world reflect there environment in their artwork and themselves. The land, climate, birds and animals feature in both their traditional costume and/or their personal adornments. They become symbols of spiritual power or physical prowess. Have a look at some of these mask from around the ancient world. They are so cool and really inspirational... plus it shows that no matter what colour, shape or size... we all have 2 eyes, 1 nose and 1 mouth... he iwi kotahi tatou (we are one people)... HUMAN.

Tau mai te mauri... tau mai te marama... tau mai mohio

Friday, January 6, 2012


Drawing at home tonight with the cuzzy... doing a little bit of a wananga for my cuzz... he's keen to learn more about his genealogy. I beleive art is a potent tool in terms of learning about your culture. As I drew the image I told my cuzzin the story below... I also pointed out the icons used in the illustration. The stingray represents Papatewhai... his home before and after the battle... at his feet is Te kuri-a-Paoa his sacred mountain and his father's pa Rangihaua stood at the top of Te Kuri... The tewhatewha represents the mana of his ancestors who kept the fire burning before him. The short stabbing sticks in his hand represents the warriors who came to his aid including Awakopiko and Kaipoho... the whale bone tiki represents his whakapapa to Paikea Ariki and the (8) triangles that touch his right shoulder represent his whakapapa to Tahu-Potiki... (Rangiwaho, Tamaraukura, Tamanuhiri, Rakaitotorewa, Uenukunui, Tahumurihape, Rakaroa... Tahu-Potiki) As the artwork emerges from the page it is infused with the wairua of knowledge and understanding and thus it becomes a vessel of learning. Armed with this knowledge the drawing now becomes a take home wananga for the bro... mauriora
Heres the artwork...

Taitimuroa started as an attack on Tapui pa near Te Arai... A chief named Tukapuarangi and his son Te Aiorangi attacked Tapui over some mana issue and completely sacked the pa. At the time of the attack one of Tamanuhiri's grandsons Puraho was visiting with his heavily preganant wife Te Aomate (it was her family)
As would be expected Puraho took part in the battle... to help his in-laws... but the invaders were too strong. They overwhelmed the pa but Puraho fought hard to protect the people. Te Aomate was able to escape with others and they made their way to safety around Te Wherowhero. Puraho and the warriors fought bravely but eventually he was killed... and the pa defeated.
Tukapuarangi and his army then turned their attention to the survivors and his scouts pointed out their escape route. Tukapuarangi and Te Aiorangi were not done and decided to pursue the refugees... he headed off to Te Muriwai and Tekuri. These were completely different people from the Tapui iwi and had no involvement other than offering shelter... Tu and his army gathered at the foot of Te Kuri
The refugees ended up at Rangihaua on top of Te Kuri... This pa belonged to another of Tamanuhiris grandsons called Rangiwaho. He was Puraho's first cousin. Rangiwaho offered his cousins wife and her family shelter. When Tukapuarangi arrived Rangiwaho and his family were surprised to be targeted by the invaders but gathered together to fight for their land. Tukapuarangi and his army launched their attack.
Rangiwaho and his men fought bravely but Tukapuarangi had too many warriors and eventually they gained the upperhand. Again the women and children were led to safety down the back way and headed off to Maraetaha. They stayed at Te Koutu with other relatives. Rangiwaho and his men were chased down to Papatewhai where they made a stand against overwhelming numbers... Eventually Rangiwaho was killed and Tukapuarangi claimed Rangihaua as his own.
The survivors all gathered together. Rangiwaho was killed, Puraho was killed and these were the two senior chiefs of the Ngai Tamanuhiri clan. Rangiwaho was head of the Ngati Rangiwaho hapu and Puraho led the Ngati Paea section... the tribe was in disarray and many wanted to leave the district.They packed what they could and decided to go to Te Kahanui-a-Tiki to stay with family and consolidate their position as a tribe.
Just after they left... Tutekawa arrived in Te Muriwai. He had been on a journey to Te Waipounamu to get greenstone... There was no one around. His family were all gone. He met with Rakaikui and asked him... "where are my people?" ...Rakaikui was shocked to see him and told Tutekawa of the attacks... he had the un-enviable task of telling Tutekawa that not only was his father killed... but also his uncle... and all your family have run away to Te Kaha...
Tutekawa went to find his family including his mother Rongomaiwaiata. He made his way to Te Kahanui-a-Tiki where he found his family. To his releif many of his cousins and extended whanau had survived including Kaipoho... He gathered his people together to talk about what happened and they told him of the defeat. Tutekawa rose to his feet and recited his whakapapa back to Paoa, to Paikea, to Toi and to Maui... he pleaded with them to return to Te Muriwai and re-ignite the ahikaroa of his ancestors. He ended his speech by saying "Kei mate tatou... mate ki te kainga"
Tutekawa and his ope taua returned to Turanga. The Tamanuhiri warlord called in favours and whanaungatanga from the people of Turanga "kia haeremai" ...His army assembled along Oneroa and marched toward Papatewhai where Rangiwaho had fallen. Tutekawa split his men... and half went with Awakopiko to the southern side near Orongo. They attacked first... from the south and Tukapurangi reacted to stop them. Then Tutekawa rushed his men in from the north. In no time at all they had Tukapurangi trapped between them... the battle was vicious.
Tutekawa was a man possessed and nothing was going to stop him returning to his land. Eventually his war party annihilation the enemy and it wasn't long before Tukapuarangi and his son were dragged before Tutekawa. After a short victory speech where he berated the father an son who had murdered his innocent family... Tutekawa beheaded them both... he then sent the heads around Turanga to show locals Ngai Tamanuhiri was back in the house... and back in charge. The ahikaroa was re-ignited.
Shortly after this Puraho's wife Te Aomate gave birth to a son and he was named Te Tapunga-o-te-Rangi... to remember the father he never met. Tutekawa made sure his young cousin inherited the mana, land and privilege of his father and Tapunga became leader of Ngati Paea. Mean while Tutekawa and his children took charge of the Ngati Rangiwaho clan.

That is the battle of Taitimuroa as we remember it and since that battle our mana has remained in tact and our ahikaroa still burns today.







Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One of my favourite artistic symbols is the sun... I have an affinity with the sun and all it represents in terms of life, light and learning. I was born on the sunshine coast of New Zealand (Tairawhiti) and spent my childhood within a stones throw of Te Urunga o te Ra (the rising sun). The Maoriboy logo is Tamanuitera (Sun)... and my art is focused on the Te Ao Marama (the world of light).Obviously it is important to me and important to my culture. The origins of this land are linked to the sun and the story of Maui and his great fish. When Maui hauled his huge catch toward the surface... the first point of land to brake through and see the sun was the summit of Hikurangi. Ever since then the symbolism of being first to see the light is repeated each and every morning. As the sun rises... the first point of land to see sunlight is Hikurangi... and despite Samoa and Rarotonga re-positioning the dateline, for us that fact does not change anything... and our cultural understanding remains intact. 

As I said the Maoriboy logo is Tamanuitera - the sun - and represents Te Urunga-o-te-Ra or the rising of the sun. Its also about light, knowledge and life... as far as we are concerned all knowledge comes from this light and all light enters this world via Te Urunga-o-te-Ra... thus creating the world of light... the world of understanding... A world that turns forever (or as we say...Te Ao Hurihuri). My basic philosophy in life is "Ka huri te Ao, ka huri ahau" (The world turns, I turn with it)... it's about progress and moving forward.

Other Maori artists like Derek Lardelli, Sandy Adsett and James Webster have also drawn on the power of the sun, the light and knowledge... to create their own fantastic representations of Tamanuitera, as can be seen above. Ka mau te wehi these are inspirational peices that illustrate our collective pride and passion (nga mihi ki nga ringa tohunga)...
All over the world the ancient cultures of man knew the sun was central to all life and reveered it as a symbol of power and spiritual energy. Below are a small collection of artworks and symbols from all around the world to show how important the sun is to all cultures. From Apollo and Belenus to Surya to Kinich Ahau to Shen Yi to Tonatiuh to Viracocha... as far back as the Egyptian god Ra and beyond... for well over 5000 years (over 4000 years before Maori arrived in Aotearoa) man has worshipped the sun... and I find it fascinating... have a look

Since the beginning of human existence, civilisations have established religious beliefs that involved the Sun's significance to some extent or other. As new civilisations developed many spiritual beliefs were based on those from the past so that there has been an evolution of the sun's significance throughout cultural development. Even as late as the 17th century the development of tarot cards for fortune telling included a card that represents the Sun's influence on the life of man.
If we examine history we see that the religious beliefs of the very first civilisation, the Sumerians, weren't totally focussed on sun worship but they did have a Sun god. While the Sumerian's Sun god wasn't the most powerful deity in their culture it initiated the development of future Sun worship. Over the centuries the Sumerian Sun god's influence grew while other god's influence diminished.
By the time the Egyptian civilisation was at its peak, the Sun god had reached a supreme position. However, Sun worship reached its height and most involved form with the Aztec, Maya, and Inca civilisations of South America. The Inca culture was totally based on worship of the Sun.