20 Dec Mātaiao ki Te Arawa
In November, the Toi Tangata team and our two Summer Interns had the privilege of being hosted by Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa for a Mātaiao wānanga. Immersed in the rich narrative of Hātūpātū, we embarked on a journey retracing some of his footsteps and engaging in kōrero.
Starting at Te Toka a Hātūpātū, the sacred rock where Hātūpātū sought refuge from Kurangaituku, the bird woman, the team cycled 36km to Te Puia. From there, they ran/walked the journey of Te Hemonga a Kuiwai which then took us to our first whangapipiro, the boiling mud pool where Hātūpātū confronted Kurangaituku. Ascending the maunga and descending through Sulphur Point, they reached the lake’s edge, Te Kauhanga a Hātūpātū where a waka awaited to transport us to Te Motu o Mokoia. Their time on Mokoia was a rare and extraordinary experience, not accessible to many. We ascended the maunga and returned to the shore.
In the spirit of Hātūpātū, renowned for bringing kaimoana from the island to his people, we modernised this tradition by carrying buckets of water to Te Koutu Marae. Our journey took us back to Te Papa Tākaro, where the team learned to lift toka. Finally, the day was concluded at Wai Ariki Spa for some well-deserved recovery after a challenging yet rewarding wānanga.
A big mihi to Stevie, Whakaue and Makuini for facilitating an amazing wānanga for us.