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Pou whenua blessing a ‘special’ way to close out project

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Three pou whenua representing Hawke’s Bay tipuna (ancestors) were unveiled and blessed at the State Highway 2/Pakowhai Road/Links Road (State Highway 50) roundabout this morning; the final piece of the Pakowhai Road/Links Road roundabout project.

Mana whenua including descendants and whanau of the three tipuna recognised on the pou whenua, together with contractors, project neighbours and Waka Kotahi staff at the unveiling and blessing this morning.

The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project was completed in late 2018 and saw the construction of a new roundabout, alongside improvements such as road widening, undergrounding of services and the installation of a median wire rope barrier.

The pou whenua represent the three tipuna, Rēnata Tama-ki-Hikurangi Kawepō, Pāora Kaiwhata and Tāreha Te Moananui.

The carvings were created by master carver Hugh Tareha, a descendent of Chief Tareha Te Moananui. Mr Tareha sadly passed away shortly after completing the artworks.

Approximately 120 hours of work went into carving the artworks, which are located on the southwestern side of the roundabout and stand at approximately 8m tall. A limestone path and bollards have also been installed.

Waka Kotahi Central North Island Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Rob Partridge, says the blessing and unveiling of the three pou whenua this morning was a special way to close out the project.

“Coming together today is also a celebration of Waka Kotahi’s partnership with mana whenua and our commitment to link our works with the history, the stories and people of the Hawke’s Bay region.

“It’s been a real team effort and I’d like to thank local iwi, our contractors and Waka Kotahi staff for making it happen.”

Chad Tareha, a descendant of Chief Tareha Te Moananui, led the blessing ceremony.

“It has been a long journey and it’s exciting to see the pou at their final place. So much hard work went into this project and I would like to acknowledge everyone who was involved. It’s such a special day.”

The narratives below, and their translations, appear on the three pou whenua.

Paora Kaiwhata
1815 - 1892

Paora Kaiwhata is read to be the Chief chosen by the people. He was a man of tribal knowledge and land during the troublesome time of Pākehā colonization in the 1800s. As the last remaining tattooed chiefs, who had mana over land and several Hapū: Tāreha Te Moananui, Renata Kawepō and Paora Kaiwhata: had the combined authority to oppose land sales and any Tribal effects and also provide protection for their Hapū. Hence became known as the “Trinity.”

E ai ki ngā kōrero o mua, ko Paora Kaiwhata te rangatira, nā te iwi ia i whiriwhiria, i whakatau hai rangatira. Hāunga i tana mātanga ki ngā kōrero tuku iho me te whenua hoki, ko ia tērā hai kanohi kitea i te wā o te tāmitanga a te Pākehā i ngā rautau tekau mā waru. Ko ia tētahi o ngā rangatira mataora whakamutunga ki te mau tonu ki te Mana Whenua o ngā hapū maha: Ko Tāreha rātau ko Renata Kawepo, ko Paora Kaiwhata: nā rātau tokotoru te mana, ā, i mautohetia te hoko atu i ngā whenua ka tahi, ka rua ka manaakitia ngā hapū kia kore rawa ngā āhuatanga e pēhi i a rātau. Kātahi ka whakatau ko rātau te “Tokotoru Tapu”.

Rēnata Kawepō

Rēnata Kawepō belonged to Ngati Kahungunu iwi and was born in Heretaunga about 1808. He was given the name Tama ki Hikurangi at birth but his name was changed to Renata (Leonard) Kawepo when he was converted to Christianity while being kept captive for ten years by the Ngā Puhi tribe in Northland. His rank was respected and he received an education at the missionary school. His mother was Te Pakapaka, who was the daughter of a high ranking chief Te Uamairangi. His father was Tūmanokia. Around mid-1800, Rēnata returned to Heretaunga and he formed a settlement at Omāhu. Renata was known as a kind man who wished Pakeha and Māori lived side by side in peace. He was supportive of growth in the area and often contributed for improvements like schools, bridges and roading out of his own money. Rēnata died on April 14, 1888, at Omāhu and as a mark of respect the township of Hastings closed for his tangi.

Ko Ngāti Kahungunu te iwi, ā, i whānau mai ia ki Heretaunga i te tau 1808. I whānau mai ai ko Tama ki Hikurangi, heoi i tīni ki a Rēnata Kawepō i te wā i whakawhiti atu ki te hāhi Karaitiana i a ia e noho whakarau ana ki roto o Ngā Puhi. Nā tōna rangatiratanga, i whai mātauranga ki ngā kura mihingare. Ko Te Pakapaka tōna māmā, ā, ko ia te tamāhine a tētahi rangatira, ko Te Uamairangi. Waihoki ko Tūmanokia tōna pāpā. I waenga i ngā rautau tekau mā waru, i hoki atu a Rēnata ki Heretaunga me te whakatū papa kāenga ki Omāhu. He tangata ngākau māhaki, ā, ko tōna tino hiahia kia āio te hunga Pākehā me te iwi Māori. Ka tautoko ia ngā kaupapa maha mehemea he whakawhānui i tōna hapori ka tahi, ka rua ka tākoha i tōna ake pūtea ki ngā kaupapa hai whakapai i ngā kura, i ngā arawhiti me ngā rori hoki. I te 14 o Āperira i te tau 1888, i mate a Rēnata ki Omāhu, ā, nā tōna rangatiratanga me te whakanui i tēnei rangatira i aukati te tāone matua o Heretaunga mō tōna tangihanga.

Tāreha Te Moananui

Tareha Te Moananui was a Principal Chief of Ahuriri. He was the son of Oneone of Ngāti Kahungunu and Hāmeme of Ngai Tuhoe. He witnessed the massacre of his people at Te Pakake in 1824. He returned with his people back to Ahuriri from exile at Nukutaurua, settling first at Awatoto and then at Waiohiki. In 1851 with Paora Kaiwhata he invited Europeans to settle in what is now the city of Napier. In 1866, at Omarunui, alongside his fellow local Rangatira he exercised ‘ringa kaha’ through military action to fend off the unwelcome presence of other hapū and other tribes. In 1868 elected as the inaugural Member of the House of Representatives for Eastern Maori 1868 he became the first Maori to speak in Parliament. His death in December 1880 was widely mourned by Maori and Europeans for his service to Napier and to New Zealand.

Kātahi te Rangatira matua o Ahuriri, ko Tāreha Te Moananui. He kanohi kitea mō ōna mātua, Ko Oneone nō Ngāti Kahungunu tōna matua, Ko Hāmeme nō Ngai Tuhoe tōna Whaea. I te tau 1823, i mataara te hinganga o tōna hapū ki Te Pakake. Kātahi ka hoki atu ki Ahuriri nā te noho mohoao ki Nukutaurua. Ka tau ai ia ki Awatoto, kātahi ka whakawhiti atu ki Waiohiki. I te tau 1866, ki Omarunui, i mahi ngātahi ia me ētahi atu Rangatira o te takiwā, ā, hei whakamana i tōna rangatiratanga hei ‘ringa kaha’ me te aukati i te hunga noho mohoao, kia kore rawa e noho tangata whenua nei. I te tau 1868, ko ia tētahi o ngā mema Pāremata Māori tuatahi i te kōwhiringa pōti. I te tū ia hei kanohi mō te taha rāwhiti o Te Ika-a-Māui, waihoki ko tōna mataora, ā, ko tōna reo, te reo Māori tuatahi i rongo ai i te Whare Pāremata. I te marama o Tihema, i te tau 1880, tokomaha ngā tangata, ahakoa ko wai, nō hea, i tae atu ki tōna tangihanga hei mihi ki āna mahi i tutuki i a ia ki Ahuriri, ā, ki Aotearoa whānua.

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