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Don’t just look at the pictures

Atholl Anderson and Brian Allingham were responsible for getting the Ngāi Tahu tribal rock art project kick started. Twenty-five years later, on different sides of the Pacific, both Gerard and Chris have also been immersed in rock art heritage. The pair first met a few years ago at a rock art symposium in Barcelona, and immediately realised the parallels in both their research and their whakapapa. In May 2016, with their PhDs finished, they got together in British Columbia to support a local Indian band excavate at an important rock shelter, and to talk at the Nlaka’pamux Rock Art Conference, hosted by the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, in Lytton, British Columbia.

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He Aitaka a Tāne
Mānia – Hardy sedge makes a soft, warm bed

Mānia is a densely-tufted, hardy, grass-like sedge that historical records suggest was mainly used for bedding and waist belts by Ngāi Tahu. Botanical references describe it as a very distinctive ornamental grass with colours ranging from shiny to dark green to yellow/green, red/green, bronze, and various shades of brown or golden brown, depending on the source.

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Rakiura Deed – 1864

The Rakiura (Stewart Island) Deed of Purchase was signed at Awarua (Bluff) on 29 June, 1864 by 34 Ngāi Tahu signatories. It gave ownership of Rakiura to the Queen, together with “all the large islands and all the small islands adjacent.” This was the last of the major land purchases in Te Waipounamu. The price…

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Kemp’s Deed, 1848

The Canterbury Purchase, commonly referred to as Kemp’s Deed, was signed by a group of Ngāi Tahu chiefs on board the HM Sloop Fly in Akaroa Harbour on 12 June, 1848. It was the largest of all the Crown purchases from Ngāi Tahu and the least carefully transacted. In 1848, Henry Tacy Kemp, acting on…

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Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

In this issue we take the opportunity to acknowledge Tā Mark Solomon on his 18 years as Kaiwhakahaere o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. We reflect upon his contribution to Ngāi Tahu, to Māoridom, and in fact to the whole of Aotearoa.

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From the CEO

This year Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu celebrates 20 years since the Settlement was signed with the Crown in 1997. At that time our tribal membership registration was around 8500. In comparison, more than 56,000 are registered today. The year ahead will be a walk down memory lane as we set out to celebrate the long pathway leading up to the Settlement through a number of events, to be held in the coming months.

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Rock Art gets rocking!

TE RERENGA – THE FLIGHT is an acoustic rock musical featuring 80 intriguing and detailed “Flatso” puppets inspired by Māori rock art sites in the Aoraki region. It’s a re-telling of the Ngāi Tahu legend of Pourangahua the Birdman and his epic flight to Aotearoa in search of his own kind.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
Youth custody Index

A few people have been asking me questions because of my last column. Chiefly, what is the “Youth Custody Index” (YCI), and what is it all about?
The YCI is a St Thomas of Canterbury College project run by a group of senior students and is a collation of information regarding the state of youth in custody in New Zealand – both good and bad. The point of the index is to spark debate and raise awareness of any discrepancies and issues.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

After learning thousands of characters, attending hundreds of classes, making dozens of friends from all over the world, travelling to several new places, sitting four exams, and completing two semesters, my time in China is coming to an end.
I remember when I first arrived, thinking about how much I took the small pleasures of home for granted. Things like a clear blue sky, fresh air, the green landscape, being able to see the horizon, the stars at night, how fresh our food generally is, how you can get from one side of town to the other without any hassles, and so on. Now, I find myself thinking similarly about China.

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Walking the talk

Tā Mark Solomon is not the kind of man who speaks at length about himself. He values his privacy and he’s prone to under-playing any suggestion that he’s made a significant contribution to Māoridom, to Ngāi Tahu.
The fact that he was knighted in 2013 in recognition of the work he has done for Ngāi Tahu and for Māoridom is a case in point. His initial reaction was to baulk at the honour, but there were those who told him to “pull his head in,” that it wasn’t just for him, it was for the tribe. He relates how he was told firmly to “get up there to Wellington and receive the honour on behalf of the tribe.”

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