Welcome to the TūHOE blog
Tūhoe. Hōmai te pakipaki.
Tūhoe. Hōmai te pakipaki.
In the western world we often clap our hands when we cheer, celebrate and acknowledge achievements and victories. When people receive gold medals and books at Te Kura o Rūātoki prize giving, they will be greeted by claps, cheers and maybe a haka or 3. So yesterday, at parliament after the announcement that the third reading of the Te Urewera – Tūhoe bill had been heard, it was also greeted by cheers and claps and a haka or 3.
The clapping also reminded me of a growling we got at Rūātoki School from Koroua Rangipuke Tari, Koro Ran.
We had manuhiri come to visit, so the kura had a pōhiri. I would have been form 1, it was before Rūātoki became a high school again, so we were the pakeke at the kura.
Anyway, when this particular manuhiri finished his kōrero, someone started clapping. Maybe it was one of the manuhiri, maybe it was one of our teachers, but anyway, we all started to clap. Hēoi anō, the pōhiri ended and we were ushered back to our class room. Kātahi ka rīrīa mātou e te Hams raua ko koro Ran. I remember Koro Ran saying that Tūhoe only clapped to scare the birds and sometimes horses from the marae lawn. We were told that we should never clap a speaker on the marae. That growling stuck with me.
In my job I am at heaps of events that involve clapping. Concerts, festivals, exhibitions, shows in clubs, pubs and bars. Even then, I remember koro Ran’s kōrero that clapping is only to scare the birds and I often find myself standing there not clapping at concerts, festivals, and all the other places that clapping would be appropriate. All because of that growling from Koro Ran.
So yesterday, I walked to parliament from my kainga here in Pōneke. I reflected on the long hīkoi that started in 1865 with the invasion of Te Urewera and the many pairs of feet that have trodden their way to parliament from the valleys, marae and papa kāinga at home. The massive, twisting, u-turn filled journey our koroua and kuiā began, was finally ending with this 15 minute stroll yesterday. My walk yesterday was easy as; mostly downhill from Kelburn, to Parliament. It was sunny and warm even for a winter Wellington morning. Not like the journey for Tūhoe so far.
My ever suspicious Tūhoe mind willed my always vigilant Tūhoe body into the belly of the taniwha. Lucky for us here in Pōneke these visits to the taniwha’s guts also means whanau from home will also be there. I love seeing our aunties and uncles from the Hills and from the Lake here in Pōneke. I was greeted by a huge smooch from Aunty Menu and a firm handshake and hongi from Hōri Uatuku. Best way to charge the wairua before we battle this taniwha.
We found our way in to Parliament via security screening, then welcomed by the pohiri of Te Ati Awa. We were then ushered into the house. I entered the chambers and spotted Te Kooti in the front row and sat next to him. I loved the irony that I was sitting next to Te Kooti, as Te Whenuanui blessed the house with Ringatu karakia. Only a few of us were there, each a kanohi for those at home, and those who have passed. I was there for my dad, for my koroua and kuia. I was sitting next to Tumatawhero, I could see Te Purewa sitting 2 rows back with Tame. Rakuraku was here sitting next to Martin, Tahae brought Ngapūtahi with him. Uncle Rāna shared his seat with Ruatāhuna and Uncle Dana and Lorna made room for Haumapuhia. Even though we were few, we were many.
Who would have thought that even a few years ago that MPs would recognise our Mana Motuhake, and even give shout outs to Tame Iti. Who would have thought that we would be sitting next to the devil Jim Bolger. Not me. I remember marching on Parliament and burning an effigy of the guy with my comrades, and now here he sat, next to us. Times they say, change.
So anyway, at the end of the speeches the speaker said something like “Blah, blah, blah Te Urewera – Tūhoe Bill blah, blah, blah has been passed.” Suddenly there were cheers and clapping from our lot. And then I remembered Koro Ran’s growling. But I clapped anyway.
I clapped to chase the birds away, these magpies who have pecked at our bones.
I clapped to keep these birds from ever pestering our kainga again.
I clapped so Koro Ran could hear.
I clapped because we had won.