Rob Tipa


He Aitaka a Tāne
Korokio – As tough as wire-netting

In Māori tradition, the leaves of either korokio or karamū were used in a ceremony to lift the tapu from foods. The hard wiry wood from its intertwined branches was fashioned into fish hooks, and also made into knives to pierce the skin in treating battle wounds or injuries.

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Raro Timu, Raro Take

Kelly was awarded two prestigious scholarships – one from the Health Research Council and the other from the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre – to complete her doctorate, tentatively titled Raro Timu, Raro Take – Conception, Creation and Customs Pertaining to Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu Birthing Traditions, through the University of Canterbury.

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Settlement Stalwart

Ōtākou upoko Kuao Langsbury (80) is one of the unsung heroes behind the tribe’s successful Ngāi Tahu Claim that was finally settled by the Crown in 1998, 158 years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Kaituhi Rob Tipa recently caught up with Kuao at his Dunedin home. “I always said I’d never get involved…

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Environmental watchdogs

Edward Ellison says there is no question the Ngāi Tahu voice has been heard loud and clear by the authorities, and by the chemical companies themselves. He is confident the applicants know what is required of them to meet the expectations of tangata whenua in future.

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Wharariki easily mistaken for versatile cousin

Although they are widely known as flaxes, wharariki and harakeke are actually lilies. The two species are usually found in different environments, but do cross-breed and hybridise. Horticulturists have bred many coloured ornamental forms that are widely used in landscaping, and some well-known cultivars used by weavers are hybrids.

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A handsome climber

Kōhia is a handsome climber found high in the canopy of the tallest trees of our native forests, and is perhaps better known to most of us as New Zealand passion vine, passion flower, or passion fruit.

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Fortune favours the brave

Kimi Ākau (the Shotover River) holds a special place in the hearts of the Ellison whānau, thanks to the courage of one of their tupuna, who virtually made his fortune on this wild high country river in a single day.

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Tussocks offer unlikely shelter in a storm

Before human settlement of Aotearoa, the dominant cover of higher alpine grasslands was large snow tussocks of the Chionochloa family. At lower altitudes, sub-alpine grasslands were primarily dominated by short or low tussocks (less than 50 cm), including a taonga species for Ngāi Tahu – silver tussock (Poa cita) – and hard tussock (Festuca novae-zelandiae).

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