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Ngai Tauira—Places

Despite having lived in several places in my lifetime, I only consider one area my true home. I was extremely fortunate to be raised in my tribal homelands of Ngati Porou, at the centre of a dynamic web of thinkers, orators, debaters, and dreamers. All of them have shaped my life story through their unrelenting commitment to excellence and service, and their unfailing passion for the success of Māori, aswell as Aotearoa New Zealanders as a collective.

Because of this upbringing, combined with an innately Māori connection to the land and the ties of whakapapa that link us to our various marae, I relate very strongly to Ruatoria, my hometown; and indeed, to the very edges of our iwi borders.

Home, for me, is the majestic Mount Hikurangi and the mighty Waiapu river. A sight that never ceases to amaze and ground me. It’s in doing the eight-hour car ride from Wellington and rolling into the Hiruharama Straight at nighttime with the windows down to the soundtrack of kapa haka hour on radio Ngati Porou. It’s in being at the pa for tangihanga, hura kohatu, birthdays, and AGMs; tea towel in hand, surrounded by whanau and relations revelling in the simple pleasure of being together and being at home. It’s in going to puna reo at my kura to be amongst my nieces and nephews learning their Ngati Poroutanga, in the same way as I did, instilled through purakau, karakia, waiata, moteatea, and haka.

All that I am and all that I do relate back to the place and the people that constitute my idea of home. Regardless of where I am, who I’m with, or what I’m doing, the teachings of my tipuna and my whanau—the lessons reaped from the whenua we are from—act as the guiding principles in my life.

Ko au, ko taku papa kainga, ko taku papa kainga ko au. Ahakoa taku tipi haere i te motu, ko nga akoranga o oku tipuna, o taku whanau, o taku whenua te whetu urungi e arahi nei i taku ao.

Upcoming event

There is a Ngai Tauira SGM at 5.30pm on Thursday, March 17 at Te Herenga Waka marae.

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Ten things I wish my friends knew about being Māori

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