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Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho Cultural narrative

He Kōrero Whakataki

Whakarongo mai te iwi nei
Whakarongo mai te motu nei
Whakarongo ki te manu o te Tātoru o Wairau e korokī ana

Ānei ngā manukura o te kaupapa o Te Puta ki Wairau tae noa ki ngā kokoru o te Tauihu o te Waka a Māui e mihi nei

Nō reira, Rarangi maunga tu te ao, tu te pō Ko Maungatapu tae noa ki te Tapuae o Uenuku Rarangi tāngata, ka ngaro, ka ngaro. Haere ngā mate, haere, haere atu rā, Koutou ngā mate o te wā, o te mate urutā


Tēnei te mihi o ngā kaitiaki o Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, mātou ko Rangitāne o Wairau ki nga tautiaki me ngā kaipupuri taonga, arā, ko nga kura o ngā kōhine, o ngā taitama, ngā tauira o te kura tuarua o Wairau me te Tahūhū o te Mātauranga.

He kaupapa nunui tēnei hei tiaki i ngā tamariki me ngā reanga o āmuri ake nei. Nō reira, tēnā koutou,
tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

Te Kenehi Teira / Iwi representative and Co-Chair of the Education Partnership Group (EPG) for Te Tātoru o Wairau.

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Taunahanaha is critical to connecting our people with whenua (land), awa (rivers), and moana (oceans). Across the Wairau our tūpuna (ancestors) such as Māui, Te Hau, Kupe, Matua Hautere, Tukauae, Huataki and Tarakaipa and their accounts of events and settlement are written into the landscape. These linguistic devices are key to understanding how our people interpreted and made sense of the world.

Here, in the 13th century, Polynesian ancestors established a thriving community. A new and temperate environment compelled these first New Zealanders to develop other modes of living from that of their ukaipō (origin). A culture developed around the moa and the manufacturing of argillite tools which lasted for approximately 150 years. These ancestors were both innovative and resilient, leaving behind environmental lessons that we in the present must remember and act on.

The iwi and hapū (sub-tribal grouping) of Te Tauihu (the top of the South Island) have described their identities in the following terms: Rangitāne o Wairau and Ngāti Kuia are descendants of the captain and crew of the Kurahaupō waka. For a long time, they were the tangata whenua (people of the land) of Te Tauihu. Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Ngāti Rārua are descendants of the captain and crew of the Tainui waka and migrated to Te Tauihu in the 1820s and 1830s. Today, they are bound together by whakapapa, co-residence, and overlapping customary rights.


These relationships are complex, although there were periods of conflict, extended periods of peace followed. These ancestors demonstrated an ability to bring communities together, they were able to resolve conflict and move their people into a space where all would benefit.

Between 2000 and 2004 the Waitangi Tribunal heard the Treaty claims of Te Tauihu iwi. The Tribunal found that the Crown had failed in its obligations to protect iwi. As part of settling the claims the Crown issued an apology and made available for purchase certain school properties across Te Tauihu. The right of first refusal process was an acknowledgement of the loss
experienced by iwi as a result of the Crown’s actions and omissions. The result of this being Ngāti Kuia purchasing the Bohally intermediate and Marlborough Girls' College sites, along with Rangitāne o Wairau purchasing the Marlborough Boys' College site. Iwi across Te Tauihu have purchased school sites to be actively involved in the benefits education can provide for mokopuna (grandchildren), communities, whānau (families), hapū, and iwi.

It will be critical for each of the iwi, Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Rārua and Ngāti Toa Rangatira to be involved in the teachings of their historical accounts and the connections of whakapapa to people and places to appropriately acknowledge the peoples and history of this area. This is to ensure accuracy and integrity of the narratives are upheld.


Iwi share occupation and use of various areas within the Wairau, governed by whakapapa connections and tikanga (cultural guidance) between iwi. This relationship can sometimes be complex and difficult to navigate, however it will be integral to establish strong and enduring relationships and partnerships for the success of this project moving forward.

Innovation, resilience, tenacity, determination, the ability to resolve conflict and bring communities together are qualities that have been demonstrated over multiple generations and are touched on through the sharing of these narratives. These are the very qualities that Marlborough Schools should instill in their students, and in doing so, help build a prosperous and tolerant community where all peoples are valued. These stories reflect our location, but most importantly the values, spirit and examples of what iwi want children to feel, hear, and see.

This rauemi provides the opportunity to explore narratives of origin, settlement, and progress; identify sites of significance; experience cultural concepts and values, which apply in a historical context; and recreate influences derived from these narratives and concepts.

Through the use of this rauemi, the project design, culture, and values of iwi will be inextricably linked to ensure schools move forward in an uplifting and informed manner.

Woven throughout the fabric of the landscapes which surround us in the Wairau are the enduring
narratives of those who have gone before us, those who walk among us and those who will walk in their


© Copyright 2022 by The iwi of Te Tātoru o Wairau.

The purpose of this rauemi (resource) is to activate and strengthen your understanding of our iwi (tribal grouping) narratives, the cultural constructs, and concepts embedded throughout te ao Māori through the eyes of Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Kuia and Rangitāne o Wairau.

The concepts explored through this narrative collection are significant stories handed down through generations of families. These stories symbolise the intense relationship we have with the environment and our concept of mauri (life force). Our relationships with the physical and spiritual world are integral to our identity as a people.


The Wairau Valley is of national and international significance. Ancestors undertaking the act of taunahanaha (claiming and naming) of significant geographical features and natural phenomena. Then incorporating them into pūrākau (oral traditions), waiata (songs), and karakia (incantations) ensured that information was remembered and made accessible to those entrusted with this vital knowledge.

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