The Wananga was awesome with Warwick Morehu coming from Papakura and Henry Walmsley from Poneke. We all turned up at 9am and Mauriora eventually arrived at 10.30am, but it was all good.  First lesson be patient, ne?  Prior to lunch there was a general ko wai koe and general korero about how we’ve come to this stage and expectations.
Mauriora made it clear this was not an intense, learning off by heart, session but more an opportunity to understand components of whaikorero he considered important.
The best forum for learning this art is at your own marae where you use your eyes and ears to understand what is going on and the different styles each person has or creates in their own time.  The importance of te reo was continuously stressed.  It allows people to broaden the width and depth of a kaupapa as well as laugh at the right time.  Being conscious of speakers before you helps to develop appropriate responses when required.
Aunty Puti, her sister and other kuia were there and Mauriora mentioned that the wahine at Wahiao ran the paepae. The sound of a light cough means get on with it, a strong cough means your full of it and when they break into your waiata it’s all over.  There were some who’d seen that happen more than once or twice.  Our wahine also catered for our hui and provided insights of their understanding of the Wananga.
After a long lunch, Rangitihi gave everyone a copy of Mau’s poroporoaki to Uncle Nepia Maniapoto which was also translated in English.  We went through it page by page so 17 pages and 3 hours later we got a better appreciation of what can be done with a little thought and a lot of talent.
Mauriora explained he had a few ideas prior to leaving Wahiao for Nepia’s tangi but that constantly changed –
1) During the drive to Waitetoko
2) The joining of Ngati Whakaue when we went on
3) The presence of Rangipuawhe
4) The late arrival of Uncle Anaru and Willie Jackson
5) The mihi from Te Kanawa of Tuwharetoa
Mau said Uncle Nepia’s tangi provided the ideal opportunity to show how much aroha Tuhourangi had for their own, whanau, hapu and iwi.  During all this Maru Maniapoto was with Herbie and Warwick and  the chance to use a real kaupapa dear to our hearts was truly invaluable.
References to current and past whaikorero material by Poia Rewi, Robert Mahuta, and Irirangi Tiakiawa were also used during the day.  A lot of interaction occurred as our Wananga provided the opportunity to ask the questions that at other times may not be so easy to ask.
I thoroughly recommend attending the  next Whaikorero Wananga in early November. We are so fortunate to have so much talent like Mauriora and Rangitihi in our tribe.
Mauri ora
John Tapiata
25 Aug 2014