Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te WhenuaAbout Us | Our organisation, our name and our tohu...
About Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o Te Whenua
Our Name – Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua is a metaphor for the people of the land, whose roots, like the indigenous forest are still firmly embedded in the soil.
Our goal is to promote the unique status of Ahi Kā who are the repositories of tribal history and knowledge of the ancestral lands for their iwi.
The project seeks to ensure that the customary knowledge, traditions and values held by the existing Ahi Ka is preserved and passed on to future generations.
Our tohu is a map of our past and our future…
When we set out to design our tohu we wanted to create a visual representation of both our whenua and the people who occupy it.
Embedded in our tohu are the prominent land features located in our rohe. Our Maunga (mountain), Awa (river) and whakapapa (genealogy) can also all be identified within our tohu. These features tell both the stories of our ancestors and ultimately the story of who we are.
There are 4 main parts to our tohu which are explained below.
1. Te Taumata o Matahourua
(Also refered to as Paranui-o-whiti, the Vernon Bluffs or the White Bluffs)
The left triangular side of our tohu represents ‘Ngā Tuari o Matahourua’, or, ‘the Vernon Bluffs’. It’s original name refers to/or means, ‘the thwarts of the canoe’, which is also a reference to the waka of the legendary Polynesian navigator, Kupe.
The top triangular part of our tohu represents our Maunga, ‘Tapuae-o-uenuku’. Uenuku is the name of one of our early ancestors who came to Aotearoa from Hawaiiki in search of his lover, Hinepukohurangi. During his search, he made his way to the top of the highest peak within the area in hopes of siting her, but was engulfed by a snowstorm and died.
The name Tapuae-o-uenuku means, ‘The Sacred Footsteps of Uenuku’.
2. Wairau River and lagoons
The mid area of our tohu represents the journey of our awa (Wairau River) from the mountains, over the whenua and eventually meeting the sea via a large confluence of water known as the Wairau Lagoons.
Located at this confluence of water is an area known as Te Pokohiwi-a-Kupe. It is here that our ancestors first arrived from Polynesia nearly 800 years ago.
2. Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te WhEnua
The bottom of our tohu features roots permeating through into the whenua.
The name ‘Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua’ is a metaphor for ‘the people of the land’, whose roots, like the indigenous forest, are still firmly embedded in the soil.
our Project Team
Dr. Peter Meihana
Digital Content Creator