Te Waka Huia honour Tūhoe links of Dr Ngāpō Wehi
15 January 2017
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Six weeks out from the Te Matatini frestival in Hastings, former champions Te Waka Huia are paying homage to the tribal connections of their beloved teacher Dr Ngāpō Wehi. They were welcomed alongside Te Manu Huia onto Ngāhina Marae in Ruatoki to acknowledge the legacy of long time tutor, the late Dr Ngāpō Wehi, QSM.
The Wehi family continues to feel the loss of their father, renowned exponent of Māori culture and arts Dr.Ngāpō Wehi, QSM who died in July last year.
Muriwai Ihakara (Te Arawa) says, “This settles the ultimate acknowledgement to the links held by Ngāpō, who was of Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Tainui now he has been brought back to Tūhoe to his people of Ngāti Tawhaki to be remembered.”
Dr Ngāpō Wehi QSM spent time here under the guidance of Ngapera Kohu in his younger days, he installed within his five children the importance of acknowledging your links.
Tapeta Wehi (Ngāti Tawhaki, Ngāi Tūhoe) says, “We may have been raised on the East Coast, my father always reminded us that we should never forget our Tūhoe side and today we fulfilled that legacy.”
Dr Ngāpō Wehi QSM along with his wife Pimia established Auckland based cultural group, Te Waka Huia. They are one of only two groups to have won the national Māori cultural arts title five times. Which is why it was important for the Wehi family to reconnect with their father's marae.
Hare Rua (Ngāi Tūhoe) says, “It is a really huge deal for them and that is why they are happy also within their family they have been blessed with grandchildren, one in particular has been named Te Wehi o te Rangi after Ngāpō himself.”
Dr Ngāpō Wehi is buried near his wife Pimia in Waihīrere near Gisborne, he died aged 82.