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TE KARAKA

In search of the elusive Eyrewell Beetle

Scientists love a good mystery, but ecologists from Lincoln University have truly been left scratching their heads after an exhaustive but futile search for a rare and endangered species of flightless Canterbury ground beetle. Only 10 specimens of the Eyrewell ground beetle (Holcaspis brevicula) have ever been captured. All were found in the Eyrewell Forest, an exotic pine plantation 40 kilometres north-west of Ōtautahi, which was returned to Ngāi Tahu in 2000 as part of the Ngāi Tahu Settlement Act of 1998.

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150 Years Young

Around midday on Saturday 4 May a familiar sound echoed around the seaside kāika of Rāpaki on the shores of Whakaraupō. As has occurred for the past 150 years, the tolling bell was summoning Rāpaki whānau to church. A large group soon gathered outside the newly constructed fence surrounding the church and urupā. Among the familiar Ngāi Tahu faces were numerous members of the Couch whānau, at least two former Sunday School teachers, and officiating ministers and members of ngā hāhi katoa including Rātana, Katorika, Mihinare, Mōmona, and Weteriana.

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Te Ao o te Māori

When Max’s girlfriend Carley “busted out” her pepeha, it was the perfect motivation the young videographer needed to start learning his language. “It really inspired me that Carley, who isn’t Māori, could stand up and introduce herself in te reo and tell everyone her whakapapa,” says Max Tiweka, who is Ngāi Tahu on his mother’s side and Ngā Rauru on his father’s side. A year-and-a-half ago, Max started work as an intern at Ariki Creative, an Ōtautahi-based Māori creative studio specialising in digital and print media. It’s that career change Max credits as the beginning of his journey to learn about his Ngāi Tahutanga.

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Hei Mahi Māra

I harvested my first ever kūmara from the māra in late autumn and was stunned to find that I had actually managed to grow a worthwhile crop. I could see that the leaves had grown prolifically over summer and into autumn, but was completely taken by surprise when I actually dug them up to find the quantity and size of tubers that had been produced. I had always assumed that it would be too cold to grow kūmara in Ōtautahi so I hadn’t even bothered to try in my 30-plus years of organic gardening.

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