Author Profile: Te Karaka



belindaowen@gmail.com


Posts by: Te Karaka

Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

“Cultural connection” or “connectedness” are terms used with increasing frequency, but what do they really mean? The reality is that cultural connectedness means something different for everyone, and most largely relates to one’s life experiences. In a Ngāi Tahu context, does being culturally connected mean living in the takiwā and being actively involved in the local activities of the iwi, or can one have a meaningful connection living in the North Island or further afield? With more than 50 per cent of the iwi living outside of the takiwā, this is an interesting consideration.

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From the CEO

So whose responsibility is it to build engagement? Members themselves? Or should Te Rūnanga widen its net? It’s a debate that has been around for a while, as we have our ahi kaa who are religious volunteers protecting and practicing the kaitiakitanga responsibilities of tikanga on the marae, while at the other end of the spectrum we have our whānau who live away, and over the generations some have become further disconnected. The overwhelming feedback from our road shows is that whānau are motivated to be involved, and they are hungry for more information.

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Whenua

Te Hakapupu Te Hakapupu (Pleasant River) rises in the hilly forested country before flowing in a generally eastward direction entering the Otago coastline between Matakaea (Shag Point) and the Waikouaiti River. The prevalent estuary situated at the river mouth has historically been a rich source of mahinga kai with extensive Māori archaeological sites situated nearby.

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Toi Iho

Ngāi Tahu artist Nathan Pohio (Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu – Ngāi Tūāhuriri) is currently exhibiting his work, Raise the anchor unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun! at one of the most prestigious art events in the world, documenta; both in Kassel, Germany, its traditional home, and in Athens.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
HPV – playing it safe

So what is HPV, and what is the vaccine? To paraphrase The Guardian, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted, and almost all sexually active adults carry some of the 170 different strains. Subtypes 6 and 11 can lead to genital warts, while 16 and 18 can lead to numerous forms of cancer, chiefly cervical cancer. In fact, over 90% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV and according to the World Health Organisation, in 2012 alone, 270,000 women died from it.

Gardasil is 99% effective against the four worst strains of HPV. The pharmaceutical company Merck began clinical development of the vaccine in 1997, and the vaccine passed all three phases of testing before being released to the public. In fact, our Government fast-tracked its release, believing it would be unethical to withhold it.

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Marae Kitchen to Tribunal Hearing – Our Settlement Journey

The death of Riki Te Mairaki Ellison (Uncle Riki) in 1984 was a watershed moment for many Ngāi Tahu. It started a torrent of Ngāi Tahu deaths, as he gathered his large ope to accompany him on his journey ki tua o te ārai. This ope included my grandmother Kui Kamo (née Whaitiri), who had been his kaikaranga at Rehua Marae in life, and would now become his kaikaranga in death. I recall Aunty Rima Bell at Tuahiwi saying the deaths would only stop when a baby joined the ope – and that appears to have been what happened. Many kaumātua at the time also stated the deaths were the first of many payments that Ngāi Tahu would be forced to make as the long journey to justice for its treaty claims neared an end.

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The Right Stone

Mauri Tau Mauri Ora is the 270 kilogram pounamu kōhatu that sits on a Carrara marble plinth at the entrance to Oi Manawa, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. Gifted by Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, it marks a place for those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes to reflect and remember the people and places they have lost. It signposts a memorial to whenua, whānau, and memories.
For carver Fayne Robinson (Ngāi Tahu – Ngāti Māhaki, Ngāti Waewae; Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To – Puahaterangi), it is also a metaphor of sorts for the before and after of Christchurch city. Its rough crust, he says, resembles rubble; and the “little windows of potential”, showing in places, reflect where we are heading with the city rebuild.

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Uncle Charlie
A Man for his People

It is unlikely that you can have a discussion about the Ngāi Tahu Settlement without hearing stories about Charles Crofts (Ngāti Huakai, Ngāi Tūāhuriri), or as most of the iwi know him, Uncle Charlie. As Charlie tells it, it was the “luck of the draw” that he was Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu at the time of settlement. However, as we speak in the home he shares with his wife Meri, eating mousetraps and sipping on tea, it becomes clear that there was more than just luck at play. Charlie is a man who was always going to do great things.

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Marlon

We met up outside the Lyttelton Coffee Company on a sunny Friday at high noon. A familiar space for us both, but far more so for my coffee date Marlon Williams. It takes him three stops to catch up with locals just to get to the counter. I have always found Lyttelton to be a place of warmth and welcome, because of the people who call it home – people like Marlon Williams.
From the marae to the church to the stadium, Marlon Williams is a pretty big deal these days, although he’s too humble to accept that. He is Ngāi Tahu with whakapapa connections to Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki, Moeraki and Ngāti Waewae through his mum, Jenny Rendall. Born at home on Cashel Street in Ōtautahi, and educated at Christchurch Boys’ High School and University of Canterbury, Canterbury “is always the anchor.” So why is this Marlon’s place to be?

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Takutai Moana

The highest form of protection of Māori rights and interests available is “Customary Marine Title”, which recognises the relationship of an iwi, hapū, or whānau with a part of the common marine and coastal area. The title can’t be sold, and free public access, fishing, and other recreational activities are allowed to continue in Customary Marine Title areas. Successful applicant groups gain a number of rights in regards to the area…

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