I te Ara │On the Road – May 2017

By Paora Tibble, Iwi Development Adviser│Kaiwhanake ā-Iwi

Kua ngaro a Matariki, a Puanga i te pō, tāria te wā, ka ara mai anō Matariki rāua ko tana hoa haere, a Puanga, i te ata hei tohu i te tau hou Māori. Ko te ara whenua e takoto ana, ko te ara moana e tere ana, ko te ara whetū kei te pō hei kaitohutohu.

Matariki (Pleiades) and Puanga (Rigel) are missing from the night sky. Soon, these stars will rise again in the dawn sky to herald the beginning of the new year. Matariki is a special time, a time to reflect on the past year, on the journey travelled, on the many paths taken. So let’s take a look at the last three months since my last post.

Photography Care workshop, Paranui Marae – May 2017

Over the last few years, many hapū have contacted National Services Te Paerangi (NSTP) about the possibility of running a digitisation project at their marae. The walls of our whare are decorated with whakairo (carvings), tukutuku (ornamental latticework), and the photos of our deceased. With earthquakes and the danger of fire, our people are concerned that these portraits of loved ones will be damaged or lost.

One solution is to digitise the portraits and store the images. NSTP runs Photography Care workshops to support hapū undertaking this work.

In the last weekend of May, we held a Photography Care workshop at Paranui Marae, on State Highway 1, between Hīmatangi and Foxton.

Upon arrival, the marae was covered in water. This is the first time in living memory that this marae has been flooded like this. It also illustrates a whakataukī (proverb), Matariki Hōpuapua (Matariki is a wet time). We got inside and worked with the people of my hapū, Ngāti Tūranga.

Paranui Marae on a wet day, but the tupuna whare, Tūranga was fine. Photo courtesy of Hayden Tūroa

First up, we had Te Papa photographer Mike O’Neill give a presentation on digital photography, including photos from Te Papa’s collection of the Foxton area.

Next Vicki-Anne Heikell (Paper Conservator, Alexander Turnbull Library) took the workshop participants on a journey, sharing the whakapapa of photography in New Zealand from a Māori context using images of tūpuna that are of the rohe (area) surrounding Paranui marae. She connects to her audience by making photography care relevant.

It becomes clear we need to record as much information as possible about the portraits, who were they, where the photo was taken, how they are related, and so on. Throughout her presentation, the audience responded, looking up at the photos on the walls of our tupuna whare, speaking of the connections, and stories are woven. Once the workshop is over, everyone who has participated has a smile on their dial, but they also understand there’s mahi to be done. We’ll be following up with Ngāti Tūranga in the next few months.

If you’re interested in holding a workshop on your marae, contact me, Paora Tibble (paorat@tepapa.govt.nz or on 029 601 0440).

Paranui Workshop attendees, Ngāti Tūranga descendants, plus Vicki-Anne Heikell (pink scarf) and Rongowhakaata intern Erika Jones (front right)

On our way to the workshop at Paranui Marae, we stopped in at Huia Marae (State Highway 1, between Levin and Waitarere) to catch up with Tiaki and Justin Tamihana. These two uri (descendants) of Te Ngare o Huia asked Vicki-Anne Heikell to assess the state of some of the portraits hanging in their tupuna whare, Huia. Following the assessment, Vicki-Anne wrote a plan for the family.

Once again, we leave a marae with hope. It’s like I’m a part of some dynamic duo, travelling around motu saving taonga in distress.

Tiaki Tamihana, Vicki-Anne Heikell, Paora Tibble, Justin Tamihana in front of the tupuna whare, Huia

Taonga Conservation workshop, Te Whangaroa Papa Hapū (6 – 7 May 2017)

This taonga conservation wānanga was to be jointly hosted by the hapū of Whangaroa and Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) and held at Ōtiria marae in Moerewa. However there was tangihanga on there and other local marae at the time, so the workshop was moved to Te Patunga Marae, north of Kaeo. We landed in Kerikeri on the Friday, staying at Haruru Falls, 40 minutes south of Te Patunga Marae.


View from Haruru Falls accommodation, over Waitangi, across to Tapeka Point and Kororāreka

I was accompanied by Phillipa Durkin (Paper Conservator) as stand in for our regular facilitator Vicki-Anne Heikell, and Rangi Te Kanawa (Māori textiles conservator, Te Papa). Rangi also invited Kororia Netana to come along. Kororia is from the far North and is passionate about Māori textiles.

Rangi Te Kanawa, Phillipa, Kororia, my wife and I are welcomed onto Te Patunga Marae, with a wero (challenge). The home people call us on, they grieve the recently deceased.

We were fortunate enough to go onto the marae with a contingent of kuia from other marae, who respond to the call of te hau kāinga. When we’re seated, the home side continue their welcome to us with whaikōrero and waiata.

In response, I speak to the occasion and on behalf of the people that I’m with. It’s important to acknowledge the kuia that came with us and the people welcoming us onto their marae, into their ancestral house.

Most of the participants in this workshop are women, and most of them speak Māori. I’m almost kicking myself, yep, it’s a wānanga tiaki taonga. But it’s also a wānanga kōrero Māori, āe mārika!

Like many iwi throughout the country at present, these people are going through the Treaty settlement process. This is where my key contact for Te Whangaroa Papa Hapū, Robyn Tauroa, saw an opportunity to have a workshop as a way to bring people together for a positive cause.

Saturday is spent delivering presentations on our work and preparing the participants for boxing taonga on the second day. On the Saturday, Rangi was worried that there might not be enough taonga to work with. The thing is not all whānau or hapū have had good experiences with institutions such as museums. A lot of the first day is spent sussing us out and we spend time developing trust, weaving relationships.

Rangi Te Kanawa (opposite) working on a piupiu

On Sunday, more taonga appear, the kuia are clear that we’re there to support them in the care of their taonga. Rangi works on making storage systems for kākahu (clothing) and for a hoe (paddle). Where I can, I help out too. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to help someone make a storage container for their taonga.

Check out the He Rauemi Resource Guide on Caring for Māori Textiles

Phillipa Durkin working with the whanau to create a clamshell box for a paper based taonga

Other conference, hui and wānanga – May 2017

Also in May, I represented NSTP at the Museums Aotearoa Conference 2017 in Palmerston North, the Kāhui Kaitiaki Hui on Te Rangimārie Marae, at Rangiotu (just outside Palmerston North), and the Indigenous Mapping Wānanga in Hamilton.

At the latter, I was looking forward to seeing Takerei Norton deliver a presentation on the Ngāi Tahu cultural mapping project, but due to the passing of Ngāi Tahu kaumātua Trevor Howse, Takerei wasn’t able to attend. Trevor was a key mentor to Takerei. E koro, Trevor, kua takitahi ngā whetū o Matariki. Okioki rā e te kāpehu o Te Waka a Māui.

Moka Apiti (Director, Digital Navigators) stepped into the breach and showed us how he uses mapping, drone camera and video technologies to create to tell kōrero, the stories of this land, and the journeys taken by taonga.

We supported the attendance of many iwi representatives at the Indigenous Mapping Wānanga through travel subsidy grants.

Learn more about NSTP’s Travel Subsidy Grant

Indigenous Mapping Wānanga 2017, held at Claudelands. Photo courtesy of Paora Tibble

Te Tauihu o te Waka – April 2017

I flew to Nelson in early April to meet with local iwi. Louisa Paul of Ngāti Kōata had already identified the need for support around archives, as they have a heap of paperwork and archival materials from working through a Treaty Settlement Claim. Since then, I’ve put Louisa in contact with Vicki-Anne Heikell, who will work with Ngāti Kōata to develop a plan for their archives. I also met with representatives from Ngāti Kuia and Ngāti Rārua. Hopefully we’ll be back in Nelson for a workshop in the near future.

Louisa Paul and I looking at photos of Ngāti Kōata kaumātua

I drove from Nelson over to Blenheim to facilitate a ServiceIQ Role of Māori in Museums workshop at the Marlborough Museum. Trainees learn a lot of the history of our country, from the Treaty of Waitangi through to the Te Māori exhibition. They also get an insight into Māori cultural practice around museums and taonga. This was my first workshop as facilitator.

The highlight of this workshop was bringing in Kiley Nepia from Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō to share a local iwi perspective. Kiley shared with us the process of how the ancestral remains from the Wairau Bar were repatriated from the Canterbury Museum. It was a pretty amazing journey, and Kiley did a fantastic job of showing us the ‘how’. We also had Marlborough Museum Director, Steve Austin take us on a tour through the exhibition that focuses on the Wairau Bar. I’m blown away by the work done by staff and volunteers at our museums all over Aotearoa.

Learn more about the ServiceIQ National Certificate in Museum Practice

Māori Boarding School Archives – March 2017

A few years ago, my colleagues had assessed the collection of taonga and archives at Te Aute, a college with a proud history of education leaders of Māoridom. We thought it was timely to follow up, revisit the collection, and identify any ways we could help. I arranged to meet with Roy Hoerara, College Board Member, parent and Old Boy, for a catch up at the College.

NSTP Museum Development Adviser Sally August and Vicki-Anne Heikell visited Whanganui Collegiate to check out their archive collection, and then drove down to meet us at Te Aute in Central Hawkes Bay.

(L to R) Paora Tibble, Sally August and Vicki-Anne Heikell in front of the Te Aute College meeting house

This was my first visit to Te Aute College, though both my father and grandfather were old boys. Te Aute has an extensive collection of taonga and archives. Roy Hoerara is of the belief that this is an area that the old boys need to be actively involved in. I’m looking forward to working with Te Aute College Alumni in the near future.

We visited St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College in Taradale, Napier the following day to visit and assess the school archives. 2017 is the 150th Jubilee of this wonderful school which all four of my sisters attended in the 1970s.

(L to R) Me, Sally August, Poppy and Joanne Pohe outside the St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College library and archives

I’ve got to apologise here, I don’t have a photo of Sister Sarah, the school archivist. This 85 year old has entered the name and corresponding information for all the students who have enrolled at this college from 1867 to the present day. This includes amazing women such as Dame Whina Cooper (nee Te Wake), Dame Georgina Kingi (the present principal), Katerina Mataira, Moana Maniapoto, Aroha Harris, Maisey Rika and the list goes on. Sister Sarah has done a wonderful job. The information is accessible for the next generation to work on in the future.

Well, that’s me for this edition of On The Road │I te Ara*.

Nāku me ngā mihi o Matariki, o Puanga ki a koutou katoa,

Paora Tibble

Iwi Development Adviser│Kaiwhanake ā-Iwi

*Last edition I used ‘I te Rori’, which is literally, On the Road. This time I’ve gone with ‘Ara’, pathway.