E tū tonu ana te auhitanga mō te hunga i riro atu ki te pō, ahakoa he mate tara-ā-whare, ahakoa he mate ohorere, ka nui te mamae. Heoi anō, kua tangihia rātau, me kī kua ea, ā, ko tā tātau he kawe i kauwae ki tawhiti.
Though truncated by one day this year, the 30-plus tribal members who participated in the Hīkoi, managed to squeeze a number of experiences into a short time. With Wāhiao as base camp, our first peregrination was from Motutara (Sulphur Point) to Mokoia Island a.k.a. Te Motu-tapu-ā-Tinirau.
We caught the Waiora Launch across to Mokoia disembarking at Kaiweka, on the south-western tip of Mokoia. Led by their cousin Rangiteaorere, Tūhourangi’s sons, Taketakehikuroa and Uenukukōpako, successfully invaded Te Motu-tapu-ā-Tinirau and renamed the island, Mokoia.
We spent the day visiting sites of significance to Tūhourangi such as:
Kaiweka, the pā site of Hinemoa and Tūtānekai ( shown here);
Pukemaire, close to where our ancestor is buried;
Waikimihia, Hinemoa’s pool;
Te Kuruotemarama rock; and
(for the fit) Tamawhākaikai, the peak of the island.
Just before dinner, we practised two of the items for this year’s Ahurei (June 13). The evening was capped off with: Karakia, led by Mauriora;
a talk by Eugene Kara, from the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club, who gave us some pointers for riding the Whakarewarewa Forest trails; and finally watching the 1st of 6 episodes of ‘The Story of Tūhourangi’ by Krishna Smith.
After breakfast, we travelled in vans south-west along Highway 30 to Atiamuri. Passing the Tūhourangi land blocks of Parekārangi, Horohoro, Huirua and Waipupūmahana blocks we made our way to the Waikato River. The purpose of our trip was twofold; to acquaint ourselves with the ‘Tūhourangi Tribal Commons’ (otherwise known as the Waikite Valley), and to visit our most
south-west border, Lake Ohakurī. We had morning tea at the reserve adjacent to Lake Ohakurī Dam.
We then cut across via Tutukau Road to Ōtaketake, situated a couple of kilometres north of the Fonterra Factory at Reporoa. It was here that Apumoana’s mokopuna, Ihu and Rongomai lived. They were instrumental in ejecting the invader Rahurahu. Their grandson, Tūohonoa (who begat the Tūhourangi hapū, Ngāti Tūohonoa) also lived in the Waiotapu-Kākaramea area.
@Ōtaketake: Tūhourangi young and old.
We then headed past Waiotapu, and stopped off at Te Ranga a.k.a. Kerosene Creek for a swim and lunch. The creek was hot but we spent a pleasant time there among a throng of tourists.
At about 2.30pm we left for our mountain bike experience at Waipā, passing Lake Okaro and the Waimangu, Highlands and Whakarewarewa Forests. Tribal members Takurua and Tuhua Mutu, supplied us with the modern mountain bikes for free. Thanks also to Eugene Kara and Mike Green, our trail guides – we were fortunate not to get lost amongst the myriad, twisting beginner trails at Waipā.
We returned to a veritable hākari at Te Rau Aroha, that had been prepared while we were dodging pine trees.
The last night was spent in feedback and watching the second ‘Te Whare Kōrero o Tūhourangi’ documentary on our history.