Anna Brankin


Settlement Pēpi

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the settlement of Te Kerēme – the Ngāi Tahu Claim. Since then Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has continued to grow alongside a generation of rangatahi who enjoy the opportunities our tīpuna dreamed of – or not.

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Post Settlement – the journey so far

Te Kerēme – The Ngāi Tahu Claim – was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in 1986, and in the ensuing years of negotiations with the Crown the iwi began to mobilise in preparation for the long-awaited settlement. The passing of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Act 1996 established Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to protect and advance the collective interests of the iwi.

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The Good Bishop

Bishop Wallace was baptised at birth in the church at Ōnuku by a Rātana priest, and was raised at Little River by his grandparents. “The thing I remember back then is going to sleep at night listening to karakia, and waking up in the morning listening to karakia, all in the reo,” he says.

The role of Bishop of Te Waipounamu was established in 1996, and Bishop Wallace is the second to be elected, and the first of Ngāi Tahu descent. He was nominated by Canon Bella Morrell of Dunedin, and was elected in September 2016 by members of the Anglican Māori Diocese, before being ordained at Ōnuku in January 2017. For the Bishop, being ordained at the same place he was baptised was particularly special. “It is like I have done a full circle and returned for a reason,” he says as he begins to tell his story.

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Moving on from Gloriavale

“There’s a saying I love,” says Leah Menage. “‘Life is for living, so get a straw and suck it dry.’ To me that means seize every opportunity that you can and never give up.”
This message is particularly poignant for Leah, who grew up believing that she was not entitled to many of the opportunities that most of us take for granted – simple things like holding a driver’s licence, opening a bank account, and choosing who to marry. She spent her childhood in the community that we now know as Gloriavale Christian Community.

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Tūrangawaewae
Where do we stand?

In February the board of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu met at Te Kōawa Tūroa o Tākitimu in Jericho Valley, near Te Anau. This culturally significant site is in the heart of the takiwā of Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka, and the hosts took the opportunity to present to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) about their land-based aspirations. For Ōraka Aparima, and many others, land is considered to be sacrosanct, valued for its intrinsic worth to the iwi as mana whenua, independent of its economic success.

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Te Kura o Te Tira Mōrehu Reo o
Moeraki

The wānanga represent a revitalisation of their own, as they emulate the renowned wharekura Ōmanawharetapu that Matiaha Tiramōrehu held in Moeraki until 1868. Tiramōrehu, widely known as the father of the Ngāi Tahu Claim, was also a renowned scholar with extensive knowledge of Māori traditions and whakapapa. He sought to share this with others, and in his wharekura taught Ngāi Tahu tamariki the traditional knowledge and customs that had been handed down for generations.

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Waka revival

Waka play an integral part in our migratory history, as the means by which our tīpuna voyaged here from the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. They are woven throughout our mythology, with Ngāi Tahu stories asserting that Te Waipounamu itself is the waka of Aoraki, our tipuna mauka, capsized in the ocean with he and his brothers turned to stone along its back as the principal mountains of the Southern Alps.

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Oranga Tamariki
Protecting our children

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu espouses the tribal philosophy: “Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us”, to ensure that we protect the interests of future generations as well as our own. This whakataukī also emphasises our duty of care towards the children that we have amongst us already. Our tamariki are the promise of our future, which is why the issue of child care and protection is of utmost importance to the iwi.

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Sleep safe precious pēpi

The introduction of the pēpi pack is not about putting a baby in a wahakura. It’s actually about whakawhanaungatanga. It connects the baby to Ngāi Tahu, and it fosters a sense of responsibility in the whānau to gather around the child as the taonga.

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Reviews
Books

My tamariki were amazed by this story about Tamanui and through this book increased their knowledge about the survival of one of our most endangered birds, the kōkako, since the arrival of predator animals in our forests. This story tells of how Tamanui became the last surviving member of his family – or so he thought. He sets off on a journey to find a new home when he hears new kōkako birdsong… however it was a trick and he was captured instead! In time, under the protection of the people of Ngāti Tama in Taranaki, Tamanui finds a new family and the kōkako of the Moki Forest can continue to regenerate once more.

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