Navigation for Te Ahi Kaa

12 April 2009

"Ko te Amōrangi ki mua, Ko te hāpai o ki muri"
Stand at the forefront, but never forget your forebears
Explanation by Larry Thompson no Ngāti Kahungunu me Ngāti Canton

Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki te po is a whakatāuki associated with Tūhoe iwi. It speaks about the nature of Tūhoe and for some, describes how other iwi view Tūhoe.

It was the forward thinking of John Rangihau (1919-1987) in the 1970s that led to the establishment of the oldest iwi festival in Aotearoa - Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe. Held bi-annually every Easter, thousands of Tūhoe flock home from around Aotearoa, and indeed the world, for the four day extravaganza of sports, kapahaka and debate. This year the Ahurei is in Ruātoki. Back in 1993 it was held, for the first time, in Ruatāhuna. In an archival recording, Hemana Waaka interviews Te Toka Temara, about that time in Ruatāhuna and how a collective of Tūhoe kaumatua encouraged such an event.

Larry ThompsonAs outlined in the book by ManYing IP: Being Chinese Maori, the courtship between Ngāti Kahungunu, Horatio (Hori) Thompson (Tamihana) and Suei Jung (South China, Canton) in the 1950s was like something out of a romance novel. Their love for each other was strong, but because of their different cultural backgrounds, both families were against the relationship.

Hori courted Suei through their shared passion of sport and in particular basketball. In 1958, Suei gave birth to Larry Thompson (pictured above), the eldest child of that union and in his discussion with Justine Murray, he relays how he has never felt compromised or conflicted by either his taha Māori or Chinese whakapapa.

Waihao Pa, Waimate started off as a hall and though it still retains a hall-like façade, it is very much a marae and centre for the Kati Huirapa hapu. Sue Eddington, and siblings Pauline Reid (nee Davis) and Maku Davis give Maraea Rakuraku a tour of the complex and its surrounding areas where they recount fond memories.

Waiata featured include:

Te Puru Haka as performed by Maungapohatu Kapa Haka at Te Hui Ahurei a Tuhoe in 1993 at Ruatāhuna