Thursday, 31 May 2012

Big Weekend

God Save the Queen - but we've got a big weekend ahead too! On Saturday morning (10.30am) we have the unveiling of a specially made pounamu plaque at the Arahura Urupa dedicated to the memory of the dozens of Ngati Mahaki whanau buried there in the 'Bruce Bay Plot'.

Afterwards, we're off to the marae with a crew to replenish the marae tunnel houses, and especially to build a new fence around our Papakeri Urupa. We'll be flash!

Our Olympic link

Ngati Mahaki/Ngati Waewae carver and artist Jeff Mahuika has just finished 350 amazing taonga - one for each of the entire New Zealand 2012 Olympic team! Carved from Tahutahi (formerly known by that dirty word 'snowflake'), they are simply stunning. 

The opportunity was facilitated through Ngai Tahu, and the pounamu released by Te Runanga o Makaawhio. It's good karma because Jeff was one of the very first carvers to sign up to the Ngai Tahu pounamu authentication scheme - no stolen pounamu here! 

Each piece was handcrafted in Jeff's Hokitika workshop, and will now be loaded on to the Ngai Tahu pounamu website. On Saturday, he'll bundle them up and take them down to Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae at Bruce Bay for blessing, and in a couple of weeks the New Zealand Olympic Committee will travel down specially to pick them up! 

The kudos for Jeff and Makaawhio is HUGE - we are all so proud! Read more about it in tomorrow's Hokitika Guardian. (Thanks to Rebekah Lyell of the Guardian for the photo)

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hall saved!

Rob Wilson in action at the Bruce Bay Sports, Labour Weekend 2011, with Ye Olde Hall in the background.

News flash! The Westland District Council really does have ears! Our combined submissions against the madcap idea of putting the Bruce Bay Hall into the council's property company as a 'commercial entity' was thrown out yesterday. Common sense prevailed, it would seem.

To quote the council's formal response: "Council did note from the submissions that Community Halls are an asset the community does not want to transfer to the property company. Community Halls will be kept within Council. Council would like to remind the community that it does not fund the maintenance or renewal of halls; therefore, it is up to the community to support the upkeep of their local halls in the future if they want them to survive."

Whanau Sports Day

A flashback to our summer sports day held at the Woodstock Domain, at the start of the sack race for the little ones. Great fun!

And one too many sausages, Mr Upoko! (And Tipene!)

Copland Track

The Copland Track waharoa (under construction): Susan Wallace, Kara Edwards and Maxie Duncan in his Sunday best!
Cheeky tourists have parked their cars under it and others have lit campfires there, but in fact this is the incomplete waharoa, which will soon be the main gateway to the Copland Track, alongside the Karangarua River, halfway between Mahitahi and Fox Glacier.

This is part of a long project between the Runanga and the Department of Conservation to recognise our very long and personal association with the track, today the most popular trans-alpine traverses from the West Coast to the east coast. So long in fact that it dates back to when Hinetamatea and her sons discovered this path through the mountains, and then continued early last century when Ngati Mahaki whanau including Ruera Te Naihi, Pahikore (Butler) Te Koeti, Taane (Dan) Te Koeti, Maaka Te Koeti, Teoti (George) Te Koeti, Bill Paitoto Te Koeti Bannister and his brother George, helped build a formal track and the huts at Douglas Rock and Welcome Flat. Later, other whanau members were involved in the track too, including Bob Wilson and Jack Bannister.

For other whanau members, it was also a favourite haunt for the hot pools - and for weka catching!

The waharoa shown here will soon be adorned with a koruru carving at the apex depicting Hinetamatea, and kowhaiwhai down the sides. With fencing and signs etc, it will be clearly defined as the entrance to the track, which starts directly across the creek - and it will be blocked off to prevent people parking their cars under shelter while they head into the hills!

The final stage of the project involves four poupou to be installed at intervals along the track. It's coming together, slowly.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Winter's here

Heavy rain, thunder and lightning in South Westland today, and when the clouds lifted, there it was - a dusting of snow like icing sugar on a sponge cake. It was the first decent sprinkling of snow of winter, down quite low on the hills. This view is taken from Wahapako (Lake Wahapo), looking towards Whataroa and Te Taho. Can't see the snow so well - it seems to 'melt' into the white of the clouds!

Māori Bread

Māori Bread

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A day on the Makaawhio River

A day on the Makaawhio River

Motu Taumaka

Taumaka, with Popotai to the right, looking back towards the Okuru River valley.

Named by Captain Cook in 1769 as the Open Bay Islands, the two small islands 5km offshore from the Okuru River mouth are, of course, Taumaka (the larger island) and Popotai - together known as Motu Taumaka. 

Because James Mackay didn't travel any further south than Mahitahi, the islands were left out of the Poutini purchase in 1860. When the Crown realised this in the 1970s they referred it to the Maori Land Court. A court hearing was convened in Hokitika - I remember, because my grandmother and mum went, and they wanted me to go too! The hearing was led by Uncle Kelly Wilson, who related whanau stories and successfully argued for the ownership of the islands. It is thanks to Uncle Kelly that they are today owned by Ngati Mahaki and the Mason whanau.
From Taumaka looking north towards Haast and the distinctive Mosquito Hill. (Paul Madgwick photos)

As for the islands themselves, they're not much chop really. Taumaka is matted with kiekie (gege in old West Coast speak!) that is so thick it's nigh impossible to get through, apart from a small area at the northern end that was cleared for helicopter landings and the DOC hut. The hut is used periodically when DOC goes out there to count seal numbers. (Oh yes, the seals! For anyone who has had the privilege of visiting Motu Taumaka can probably still smell the stink of hundreds and hundreds of seals - they aint that cute!).

Separated by a narrow channel at the southern end of Taumaka is Popotai, much smaller but also steeper.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Te Owai

Aunty Letty, left, and Aunty Rora.

Cousins, Aunty Letty and Aunty Rora, were determined to have their photo taken outside Te Owai's hut at Makaawhio (Jacobs River). This is about 1993.

Both had a very personal connection with dear old Te Owai, better known among the whanau as "Chowai", such was the local dialect! For Aunty Letty, Te Owai was her mum's aunty and mentor, remembered by all our kaumatua of the day as a kindly lady, steeped in the old ways. For Aunty Rora, Te Owai was more than an aunty, she and her husband Ruera Te Naihi (Taringaroa) raised her mum at the Old Pa - and Aunty Rora's whanau remain indebted to them both to this day!

Te Owai

This hut, which is still standing right behind the Jacobs River School, was specially built for Te Owai by her brother in law, Wi Katau Te Naihi, after her husband Ruera drowned at Waiatoto while returning from Motu Taumaka (the Open Bay Islands). After Te Owai, the hut remained in the whanau, including Maaka Te Koeti, and today is still owned by whanau, though it is no longer used. 

Sadly, Te Owai has no living descendants. She is buried at Wairewa (Little River), where she died in the 1930s while visiting whanau (Kini) there.  


Friday, 25 May 2012

Picnic in the Bay

Wow! This was a day or two ago. Maybe 1992 ... I think it was our New Years celebration when a heap of us went "into the Bay" to ring in the new year with a picnic in the corner of the bay - at Bill and Eva Bannister's place (at least, where it used to be!). 

Can identify Paul Madgwick, Niki Wilson, Helen Rasussen, Maree Wilson ... who else?

Time we did it again, don't you think? 20 years is a looonnnnggg time between drinks!


Not much more to say but beautiful - Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae on a lovely winter's morning, looking from Kaipo across to Poke (in other words, from Kaipo the wharetipuna across to Poke, how wife, representing the wharekai).

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Royalty meets Mahaki

Uncle Bob Wilson has just finished his speech, supported in waiata by June Robinson, Gordon McLaren, and a host of other Mahaki whanau behind them.

As the Queen celebrates 60 remarkable years on the throne, here's another memory of when her husband Prince Phillip (now 90 years) visited Bruce Bay. It was 1990 and as the Runanga didn't have a marae at the time, decided to hold the powhiri on Maori Beach 782. Bad idea. 

Firstly, although the Runanga invited a number of Waewae kaumatua, who turned up and joined our kaumatua on the paepae, another group of Waewae was not invited and they turned up anyway - and sat themselves on a 'new' paepae in front of ours! The musical chairs continued until, in the end, with the Prince only five minutes away, the police stepped in and escorted them off the site. They had every right to be there too, because they are also shareholders in 782.

The second point in this bad idea is that no one actually checked the tide - and by the time the powhiri rolled around the tide was coming in strong, with waves crashing loudly on the beach! Otherwise, the powhiri went ahead without another hitch. The mere fact of hosting royalty at Mahitahi was a matter of pride, but altogether, this was not our proudest moment.

Bruce Bay Hall submissions

Further to the last posting, here's the link that will take you to the Westland District Council website and page about the long-term plan, as well as a link to the consultation document for making submissions. Please do. Last day for submissions THIS SUNDAY at 5pm.,339,0,0,html/Long-Term-Plan

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bruce Bay Hall - help!

Bruce Bay Hall 1990 when Royalty visited! Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh is shown receiving a pounamu taonga from Aunty Letty, watched by MC Melvin Wilson. Watching in the doorway are Helen Rasmussen and June Robinson, while the two girls at left are Nicky Wilson and Ginelle Fraser.

Pre-Te Tauraka Waka a Maui (2005), this was our marae. Ever since the Runanga foundation hui in August 1988 the Bruce Bay Hall was kept warm and occupied by whanau happenings - hui, christenings, tangihanga, parties (big parties!) etc. For many years we actually worked in concert with the Bruce Bay Hall Board, and it was the Runanga that funded the replacement toilets and showers etc.

Since the marae opened seven years ago, our focus has been very much at 'our place' just up the road, but regardless we all still hold a soft spot for the Old Hall. When the Bruce Bay community rallied to buy the hall from the Public Works Dept in the 1940s, Mahaki whanau dug into their pockets as much as anyone else - a register of donations clearly records the Wilsons, Mahuikas, Bannisters, Cadigans and Rochfords. So we all have a stake in the Old Hall. (Even my own parents were married in the hall - it served as the Catholic Church too, as well as the wedding reception!)

Now the Westland District Council proposes in its draft long-term plan transferring the ownership of the hall into the council's property company - which is obviously required to make a profit! How can a hall that is barely used turn a profit? It can't, of course, and this is why the Hall Board is urging everyone who cares for the hall to make a submission to save it, to keep it in local ownership.

Submissions on the draft long-term plan close at the end of next week. Even if it's short and sweet, send your thoughts to the Westland District Council, Private Bag, Hokitika. I'll advise the email address later.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Charlotte - riding on her own at Lake Mahinapua today!

Is there anything more joyous in life than mokopuna? This is what life is made for, builds up to - the joy of watching every step of the next generation growing into bigger shoes. 

Today was Charlotte's turn to learn to ride a two-wheeler bike, so Taua and Poua took her to Lake Mahinapua, to the very same ground we taught Te Ahu to ride his bike 19 years ago! Same with every child when they find their balance and trust - after a little while they find their wings. Precious memories for us, and we hope for Charlotte too.
Proud Taua Susan with Rongomaiwahine, and Karera looking a little put out!

It's a weekend for mokopuna. The Runanga Tumuaki Susan Wallace is also a proud Taua, enjoying the weekend with Mahinaarangi, Tutoko's chubby little baby. 

Life's great moments to treasure.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Whare tawhito

Janine, Shannon and Jeff Mahuika (in doorway), and Ian Duncan (in window), about 1989.

This whare stood at Makaawhio (Jacobs River) for the best part of 70 years before it met its final destiny at the hands of Thomas Rochford, when it became unsafe and totally derelict. It served a number of Mahaki whanau over the years, including Tati and Hinepare Mahuika and their tribe, later Dick Trevathan and Puai Kini, and in later years Bill Tauwhare? and then various others until it was eventually abandoned.

Curiously, in the 1980s it was still sound enough that when there was talk of building a marae, dear old Aunty Letty was determined that this whare could be easily converted into a marae whare! She even had some second-hand windows set aside and an old coal-range stove - "you don't need electricity!" she said in all sincerity.

Bruce Bay School 1946-48

Who of the whanau can we spot here? Wilsons, Cadigans, Rochfords and Mahuikas - in amongst the local Pakeha families of Adamson, Watson, Scott and Condon.

Bruce Bay School was situated across the Mahitahi River on a site that in recent years has been claimed by the sea, replaced by the Jacobs River School.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Russian greetings! Why? Because according to Google stats, this blog has a substantial - and loyal - following in Russia. Bizarre, but true!   Da-svi-da-niya (goodbye).

Hokitika wedding

In another example of the Arahura-Makaawhio relationships - anei the wedding photo of Hoani Tainui (son of Ihaia and grandson of Werita) and his new bride Emma Pyvus, or Paipeta, from Rapaki. The other lovely young wahine sitting in the carriage is Emma's bridesmaid, Miss Kini, from Bruce Bay. Hoani and Emma were married in All Saints Church in October 1882, and then went for a whirl around town in their wedding carriage!

"The limited number of natives in this district assembled in full force, and the townsfolk attended in such numbers that every seat in the church was filled," the newspaper wrote.

"The bride appeared at the altar dressed in white silk, lined with broad white satin, veiled, and wreathed with white orange blossom. The bridesmaid, Miss Kini, wore an ecru sateen dress ... after the ceremony at the church, the united couple drove round town, followed by a number of their native friends in vehicles."

The wedding was followed by luncheon at Arahura, then later in the day "a number of invited friends partook of cake, fruit and wine" ... "dinner was laid about dusk, when a plentiful supply of fish, flesh and fowl was partaken by all present ... "in the evening the bride again appeared in a pink satin, when dancing..."

Emma Tainui, or "Taua Gran", died at Arahura in 1956.

By the way - the photo is taken in a very familiar part of Hokitika: the wedding carriage is parked straight opposite the Beachfront Hotel, about where the Wine Bar is, and the two-storey building on the corner is the Westland Hotel, now Stumpers! Just thought you might like to know!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Whanau memories

Yeah, yeah, seen it before - but this is such a classic photo it deserves to be repeated! This is another of Captain Mercer's Hokitika Air Travel planes parked on the beach at Bruce Bay (in the old bay), with a throng of the local 'natives' turned out for a Jack Nohi! 

Apart from the well-dressed Pakeha ladies at right (maybe passengers on their way to or from somewhere else, as this plane did the whole Hokitika-Franz-Fox-Bruce Bay-Haast route, and return), are Mahuikas, Wilsons and maybe a Bannister or two. Second from left is Jack Bannister, the big man is possibly Maaka Te Koeti. Anyone know the others?

Ngai Tahu roadshow

Wanna know what's up with the iwi? Where we're at with the 2025 vision? (Remember that hui we held with Mark Solomon etc at the old Kiwi Hall in Hokitika? And we all thought then  '25 years?' phhh! that's a long, lonnnnnngggggg way off'). 

Time for a catchup THIS THURSDAY when the Ngai Tahu roadshow rolls into town. Come to to the St John premises in Stafford Street, Hokitika, at 6pm on Thursday to have a listen or have a say - and have a kai on the tribe!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Uncle Jack

Not sure of the year, but probably about 1991 when I took this photo at Makaawhio of Uncle Jack Bannister, who had a soft spot for Nikora Mahuika. Jeff and Janine Mahuika and whanau were at the time living in Uncle Alex Wilson's old house at Jacobs River.

Jack Bannister's father was William Paitoto Te Koeti Bannister, eldest son of Hera Te Koeti and John William Bannister. Jack's mother was Eve Paurini-Johnson, no Wairewa. Jack's sister Eva married Uncle Bob Wilson, grandson of Rea Te Koeti and Wi Katau Te Naihi. Jack lived all his life in South Westland, mostly around Bruce Bay. He was also the kaitiaki of our whakapapa, and had some great knowledge of the history and connections.

And Nikora? He's living at Haast with cousin Helen Rasmussen, working hard on the fishing boats out of Jackson Bay - and he's just welcomed his first child, Makaawhio Mahuika. Awesome name - can't believe no one took it earlier!

Marae opening memory

Who can believe that seven quick years have passed since all the excitement of opening Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae? It really does seem like yesterday morning! Reality check: it was actually 23 January 2005! 

Here, Te Ahu Russell wields the taiaha during the haka powhiri for the manuhiri.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Once were athletes


Here's Teoti (George) Te Koeti in full flight on the end of a pole vault that was probably carved straight from the nearby bush, at the Okarito Sports Day in the early 1900s. 

George was the youngest son of Te Koeti Turanga and Kawaipatiere. He grew up at the Old Pa, enlisted in the Maori Battalion in World War 1 - and returned home a broken man, suffering the ill effects of German gassing on the battlefields of Europe. 

About 1930, George married his grand-niece (yes!) Ruby Wilson of Hunts Beach and they had one son, Len Te Koeti, but George died of his war ill health within a couple of years, presumably at Westland Hospital, in Hokitika. He's buried in the Bruce Bay plot at Ruataniwha Urupa, Arahura.

It's a sad story of how an athletic, fit young Maori buck from an isolated community that probably had barely even heard of Germany and Kaiser Bill, was somehow swept up in the euphoria and peer pressure of volunteering to fight someone else's war in a foreign land, only to return at the end of the war with the lungs of an old man and a lingering death sentence. 

We'll honour George's story on June 2 when we unveil a pounamu and aotea plaque at the Arahura urupa dedicated to all our Mahaki whanau buried there in unmarked graves.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Bruce Bay Sawmill

The opening ceremony for the Bruce Bay Sawmill, 1940. Is that a young Wilfred Mahuika in the striped jersey watching?

The mill arrived at a time when there was precious little other employment to keep whanau in South Westland, so when it opened in 1940 it was warmly embraced by a grateful community. The fact that they chopped down acres upon acres of Maori land in Bruce Bay 781 for a pittance royalty, is of little consequence, for the mill gave our whanau a reason to stay.

A whole community built up around the mill "in the Bay", and it was probably 80% Maori - Wilsons, Mahuikas and William Paitoto Bannister and their whanau.

Sadly, the mill didn't last too many years, and its closure, hastened when the Mahitahi River bridge into the bay was washed away, led to the irreversible disaspora of Ngati Mahaki.

Aotea ano

Here's our tumuaki Susan Wallace and mum Mere, knee-deep in the Makaawhio with a couple of nice pieces of aotea - as the tamariki frolick in the warm water on a lovely autumn's day.

Check out the old posts ...

If you've got time, go back and check out the older posts on this blog - just keep going back to "older" posts. You just might enjoy the older photos and stories too!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Jackson Bay - Okahu

Jackson Bay - the end of the road for most. Here, the sweeping bay is seen pictured from just off Neils Beach, near the mouth of the Arawhata River and about the site of the old Okahu Pa. Looking straight across the bay Jackson Head, with Jackson Bay village itself straight ahead (it looks further than it is). Nothing more than a fishing village today, and a wharf that the council doesn't know what to do with.

In old times, this was fully alive with our tipuna, with memories of 2-300 people living at Okahu Pa alone at one stage (before wars, dispersal and Pakeha diseases). Tutoko and whanau lived here too, then went to Whakatipuwaitai, then back to Okahu, back to Whakatipuwaitai and finally back to Mahitahi. The reason is easy: abundant kaimoana, lush bush teeming with birds, a gently lapping sea that was ideal for launching waka for fishing trips, and one of the best whitebait rivers in the south - the great Arawhata!

Flashback: Papakeri Urupa

Remember when Uncle Bob Wilson led a work crew to rebuild the fence at Papakeri Urupa, and we engaged Fayne to carve a waharoa? Yep, that was about 23 years ago! This weekend we've got a working bee happening to build a flash new fence right around the back, and to spruce up the waharoa with a waterblast and paint job while we're at it. (No, the totara stake fence at the front is not coming down!).

When we planned the waharoa we asked for it to represent Tutoko, and so ever since Tutoko has kept guard over our urupa. On the unveiling day, pictured here, Tutoko was covered with a lovely korowai and as our now Upoko Richard Wallace did service, the honour of pulling the string fell to the young tamariki of the day - Nikora Mahuika, Tama McLaren, Joshua Mahuika ... and who else? Help me out whanau, who are the other kids pictured? Adults are Steve and Tania McLaren, and Jeff Mahuika (obscured). Everyone else was watching!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bruce Bay transport

From left: Jack Condon with daughter Fay, riding the horse, Alex McEwan with suitcases, Pat Mahuika, Jimmy McLaren, Cyril McEwan, Letty McEwan (crouched down under wing) with daughter Margaret (Wildbore), Captain Mercer, unidentified small girl, and Iris Wilson (Climo).

After waka, there were ... aeroplanes. Isolation was the mother of inventions for remote parts of South Westland, especially Bruce Bay. With no road link all the way to Hokitika (and no bridges anyway!), the locals quickly recognised the benefit of the new arrival in their skies - Captain Mercer's Fox Moths. It all started in 1934 when the Bay saw its very first aeroplane, and continued through the 1940s, until a decent road was opened to 'town'. 

In this famous photo, taken on Bruce Bay beach with Heretaniwha peaking out the side, Captain Mercer has flown his Fox Moth from Hokitika to Okuru, calling in to Bruce Bay beach to pick up some passengers - Aunty Letty and whanau! See the caption above, courtesy of aviation historian Richard Waugh.

Marae Harvest

Now, this is a marae garden!

 Te Rau Aroha Marae, at Bluff, is a model of how a marae garden should work. Inspirational. Click ont his link to see what I mean:

Marae Harvest

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Arahura connections

A double funeral at Arahura in the early 1900s, for a husband and wife of the Tuhuru whanau (aka Williams). The Tairea Hall occupies the very site of the Whare Wananga, and also hosted the tangihanga for our Makaawhio whanau who died while visiting 'town'.Yes, that's the old bridge in the background.

We share a common whakapapa, doubled with inter-marriage, and so it is no surprise that a large number of Mahaki whanau are buried at the Arahura urupa, Ruataniwha. Invariably, this was because the whanau member was visiting 'town' from Bruce Bay, whether for hospital or to visit relatives, and when they died unexpectedly they were taken under the korowai of their Ngati Waewae relatives and buried at Arahura. 

The alternative was a convoluted and expensive trip home on a boat (no roads to Bruce Bay until 1930s, and then it was very rough and no bridges!).
Anyway, the point of this is that we finally have a pounamu plaque carved and ready to go, to be installed in Ruataniwha in the so-called "Bruce Bay Plot", to honour our Mahaki whanau who are buried there in unmarked graves. 

Mark it on your calendars, whanau: Saturday, 2 June at 10.30am. It's Queens Birthday weekend.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bruce Bay rocks!

But the rock stacks don't. The rock stacks that tourists find so alluring that they just have to add another one to, are actually a pain in the kumu because the big tides wash them across the road, endangering unsuspecting tourists who are too busy taking in the view! Otherwise, nice pic Bex!

Remembering our hikoi whakapapa

Aue, already our fabulous Hikoi Whakapapa is a three-month old memory! Booklet due out within a week or so, whanau. Meantime, here's a few memories in photos:
Riki Pitama begins the korero outside the ramparts to Kaiapoi Pa. A tragic site in Ngai Tahu history, and harrowing stories.
Cuppa time at Little River - kaumatua Ben Hutana, left, Richard Wallace and young Tutoko Wallace during our morning tea break.
Waiting to be welcomed on to Wairewa Marae. Note the whare Mako in the background.
Whaea Mata Holliday and Nikora Mahuika soak up the restful view of Akaroa Harbour, from Onuku.
At Wairewa Marae - Richard Wallace points out to kaumatua some of the many Makaawhio connections on the wall.
Typical Canterbury weather, the perfect weather we had enjoyed turned into a bitterly cold, windy and showery day at the Wairewa Urupa. While others waited in the warmth of the bus, a few of us climbed up the hill ... and up ... to reach the ururpa, to pay our respects to the Kini whanau buried there, and especially to Te Owai Ripeka Te Naihi from Makaawhio Pa, who was visiting relatives when she died.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Hikoi on telly 

Waha Huia keen to join us on our next Hikoi Whakatipuwaitai to follow our reconnection with Tutoko's old home. Tumeke!

Hunts Beach ano

Hunts Beach, Manakaiaua, looking towards Makaawhio Point. Around the corner is Makaawhio awa and Bruce Bay.

While we're still at Hunts Beach, here it is again on a recent autumn day. Hunts is situated beachside, with the Manakaiaua River running along the back. This is Wilson whanau territory - tuturu!

Today it consists of two houses - Paul and Maree Wilson, and their daughter Nicky and husband Jeff Harris (the marae caretaker), and moko Maka and Maia Mahuika, and Connor Harris. Plus Aunty Rebecca's old bach. 

Wind back a few years and it was home to Uncle Bob and Aunty Eva Wilson on one side, and Uncle Sam and Aunty Ethel on the other. And Aunty Rebecca's bach down the road!

Hunts Beach's other claim to fame? Mussels. The mussel bed at the foot of the bluff has been a supermarket for Mahaki for hundreds of years - and still is! The kutai just now are big and juicy!

Hunts Beach whanau 1991

Aunty Rora's visits home were always a great time for a catch-up with whanau, including this one at the Wilson homestead at Hunts Beach. 

Left to right: Paul Wilson, Nicky Wilson, Maree Wilson, Aunty Letty, Chris Mahuika, Aunty Rora, and in front, Willie and Nathan Wilson. Priceless!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Way We Were

The boat from Hokitika arrived only monthly (at best), and when it sounded the hooter offshore from Bruce Bay there was always great excitment. A whale boat like that pictured was sent out through the breakers to meet the coastal trader, and cart all manner of goods (and people!) back to the excited throng on shore. Invariably the transfer occurred right in "the Bay" with the benefit of the sheltered anchorage. Note how close this is to Heretaniwha?

In the early 20th century, whanau regularly sailed from Bruce Bay to "town" on board these boats. Sometimes nature called, and some of the whanau were born on the boat - and named after the boat. Witness Hinemoa Mahuika.

Meet the Upoko

Richard Wallace rests on the fence at Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae, during one of our working bees.

Richard Rangi Wallace has been actively involved with our Runanga right from the foundation hui at Bruce Bay in 1988 (he still had black hair and a youngish mo then!).

Brought up at Wairewa with the rest of the Kini whanau after they left Makaawhio Pa, he is a great-grandson of Te Koeti Turanga's eldest son Kinihi te Kaoho and his wife Hunia Te Naihi, so has two strands of Ngati Mahaki whakapapa. His mum's brother, Richard Poipoi Roberts, after whom he was named, lived with his Makaawhio relations and is buried in Papakeri Urupa at Bruce Bay.

In between the endless meetings and marae working bees, Richard can be found in a 'dress' - as the Archdeacon for Te Tai o Poutini in the Maori Anglican Church!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fun at the awa

Want photographic proof that Te Tai o Poutini has been basking in glorious, warm sunshine right up to the end of April, when most other parts of Te Ika a Maui and Te Waipounamu have been experiencing the worst summer/autumn for donkeys years? Anei!

This was on the afternoon of Anzac Day - the Makaawhio River was so warm the tamariki wouldn't get out! Here's Bjorn Mahuika, Karera Wallace and Charlotte Russell splashing about like it was summer! (Sure felt like it!)

Flashback 1992

Whanau (and friends) outside Papakeri Urupa, 1992.

Before we had our marae, we had our urupa! Yep, that was it, whanau. The Bruce Bay Hall was our 'marae' (but it wasn't ours), so when, in 1992, we gathered to celebrate 100 years since the death of the great Te Koeti Turanga, the whanau photo was taken ... at the urupa! Spot the faces, 20 years ago (some were friends of whanau, so that'll save you wondering!).

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


DOC and tourists know it as the Copland Track and Copland Pass, but to Ngati Mahaki this is an ancient route, well travelled. The first, of course, as retold in a tukutuku panel in our Marae, was Hinetamatea, together with her two sons and their wives. Legacy: Ohinetamatea River. 

We've been working with DOC for some time on an iwi recognition project with the "Copland", part of which includes the construction of a waharoa at the western entrance to the valley, near the Karangarua River. Our Mahakitanga Komiti just agreed tonight that the adornments for this will feature a koruru depicting Hinetamatea herself, and maihi depicting the aniwaniwa (rainbows) that feature in our pakiwaitara.