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Ngāti Kuia

HE KŌRERO TUKU IHO.  HE KŌRERO MOTUHAKE

Ka tiro noa atu au ki a koe Kupe
Runga ana mai Matahourua
Te waka marewa i a koe
Ki te Tauihu o te Waka
O te tipua Māui Tikitiki
Ko te hikinga o te pane Tūtūmāpou
Te panga mai o te whaititiri
Kei runga rā aro Rangi
Kei raro nei aro Nuku
Ki a rongo marae roa
Ki te noninga kumu
Te Aitanga nui a Kuia
E rarau nei, taku tapuwae
Ki te pātaka nui o Te Hora
E tere rā ngā wai whakaripo ki Te Hoiere
Anō taku tangi ki te ranga matua
E oki rā ki kopu parapara
E ngā manu whakateka o te wao nui
Aue taukuri e
Mahue ana mai ngā waihotanga iho
Ki te ao tūroa
Ki te whakaemiemi i te ara rā o Kaikaiāwaro
He Tipua! He Taniwha!
Whakarauikatia mai ki te kōkirikiri
I ngā rau huatau
O te iti, o te rahi
O ngā maramara nui o Ngāti Kuia
Tihei tū, paiahaha!

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Tina tina taku aho
Te ihi o te rangi
Ko koe mau mai na
Nāku anō taku matau i tā


Be firm, be strong my line
With strength derived from heaven
Thou art firmly caught
By this hook of my own making

This incantation used by Māui, is an affirmation of his self-determination, and his efforts to pave a way forward. Māui is a role model with many attributes and feats which Ngāti Kuia hope inspire tauira (students).


Many moons following the journey of Māui, his mokopuna (descendant) Kupe travelled to Aotearoa and is known for his navigation of the coastlines of both the North and South Islands. Kupe is remembered for his journey across Te Tauihu and more locally in place names such as Te Koko o Kupe (Cloudy Bay), Te Pokohiwi o Kupe (Wairau Bar), Kapara te Hau (Lake
Grassmere) and Te Kopi a Kupe (White Bluffs).

Mokopuna of Kupe followed the oral map and returned to Aotearoa. Matua Hautere, through traversing the mountains, sailing the rivers and waterways, finding, discovering and naming became likened to his tupuna as an explorer. A name familiar to some will be Te Hoiere (Pelorus River), a name which derives from the waka which Matua Hautere travelled on, across Raukawakawa Moana (Cook Strait).

 

Guided by Kaikaiāwaro, kaitiaki that take the form of aihe (dolphin). Kaikaiāwaro remains at Te Ana a Kaikaiāwaro, at the entrance of the Pelorus Sounds protecting and guiding the community.


The people of Ngāti Kuia are known as He Iwi Karakia (rich with incantation and prayer). Kaikaiāwaro, called upon through incantation to protect, support and guide both historically and today. Evidence within Ngāti Kuia historical recordings is that the environment was called upon for guidance and support and referred to often in karakia indicating that Ngāti Kuia understood their role as kaitiaki.

 

In Te Tauihu, Ngāti Kuia relied upon and connected with many resources. Pakohe, a preeminent stone was used to make tools for use and trade. Ngāti Kuia continue to have a strong spiritual connection to Pakohe and are often referred to as He Iwi Pakohe.

From the 1820s there was conflict, raids from Ngā Iwi Hou (northern tribes) armed with muskets. Although this resulted in the loss of life, Ngāti Kuia remained steadfast at Te Hoiere. From 1840 the Crown began imposing its authority. Governor George Grey set about purchasing large areas of the South Island dealing firstly with those tribes they deemed to have the greatest rights. In 1856, Ngāti Kuia, as a fait accompli, signed a Deed of Sale with the Crown. The sale included the land on which Motuweka (Havelock) now sits.


In return, Ngāti Kuia were promised schools and hospitals and enough land to cater for the immediate and future needs of the people. As is the story of colonisation, the Crown fell short on its promises.


Ngāti Kuia continued to utilise traditional food sources, however this was undermined through the imposition of a western conservation ethic, with Ngāti Kuia gradually reduced to living on small reserves. Islands that once provided food, would over time become nature reserves and off limits to tangata whenua (people of the land). Two thirds of the original promised reserves were then force leased to settlers - leaving Ngāti Kuia virtually landless.

From the 1880s Ngāti Kuia found other ways to exert their rights and interests in forums such as the Native Land Court and the Kotahitanga Māori Parliament movement with representation by Haimona Patete. Te Oranga Marae was built at Ruapaka to host the Kotahitanga Māori Parliament and forty years on, Ngāti Kuia men joined whanaunga (relations) in the Wairau to serve in both World War One and Two.

With the opening of the Marlborough College in 1899, Ngāti Kuia whānau began travelling to the local college from Te Hoiere to further their secondary education beginning a long association between Ngāti Kuia and the school/s.


During the 1950s and 60s some whānau moved off the reserves that were created on ancestral lands, to towns due to the ongoing impact of colonisation. However, Ngāti Kuia resilience and determination to hold onto their culture remained evident. Whānau joined groups such as the Māori Women's Welfare League, Māori Committees and Kapa Haka to support the building of local marae Omaka, Te Hora, Waikawa and Whakatū. These groups also assisted with the revitalisation of te reo Māori and supporting the establishment of kohanga reo.


In 2010 Ngāti Kuia negotiated a Deed of Settlement with the Crown alongside close relations Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and Rangitāne o Wairau as a Kurahaupō collective.

 

Today, a key objective for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia is provide opportunities for whānau to connect through wānanga (method of learning), to learn waiata, to partake in tikanga, to speak te reo o Ngāti Kuia and to visit whenua. This learning connects tua whakarere (distant past) with te ao tūroa (enduring world), affirming the potential and opportunities within one's whakapapa.


The Marlborough Schools project enables Ngāti Kuia whānau to share mātauranga and Ngāti Kuia worldviews.

This mōteatea, (lament) Ka Tiro Noa, composed by Tipi Wehipeihana takes us on a journey across areas of significance for Ngāti Kuia. The composer guides us through lines of genealogy and shares significant historical events. This narrative is steeped in the whakapapa (genealogy) of Ngāti Kuia people thus affirming their relationship with those places, spaces, and tūpuna.


Waiata (songs) are critical tools to disseminate historical accounts, whakapapa and mātauranga (knowledge) from generation to generation. Waiata are a source of the reo (language) of tūpuna (ancestors), emotions, experiences, aspirations, traditions, tikanga (guidelines), soul, and character.

This mōteatea firstly calls to the Ngāti Kuia ancestor, Kupe, a descendant of Māui Tikitiki a Taranga. Māui is remembered in place names such as Te Tauihu o te Waka a Māui and Te Ika a Māui. He has also been immortalised through pūrākau (stories). Two pūrākau are the separation of the sun and moon giving people day and night, which guides an understanding of time; and fishing up Te Ika a Māui from Arapāoa using the matau (fish hook) Piki mai ahea.

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