Ko te Awa te mātāpuna o te ora
E rere kau mai te Awa nui, mai i Te Kāhui Maunga ki Tangaroa
Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au
Ngā manga iti, ngā manga nui e honohono kau ana, ka tupu hei Awa Tupua
Ko te Awa o Whanganui ahau me ngā kōawaawa, rerenga mahamaha noa ōku. He awa, he tupua, he tupua he awa. Nā reira ka hua mai ko Te Awa Tupua hei ingoa whakamārama ki te rahi. Mai i te orokotīmatanga, he awa karihi nō te hunga te noho mai ki ahau. Nā reira kua mōhio whānuitia ahau hei tupuna awa, he mana nui ki te whakamorimori i te tangata, i ngā āhua te kite ai, tae rawa atu ki ngā tipua tē kite mai ai. He puna ora ahau, he mātāpuna, he pātaka kai, he kauhanga riri, he wāhi tapu, he wāhi korikori, he taura herenga tangata, mai i te rerenga ki te kopounga.
I am the Whanganui River, and together with the many waterways that flow in and around me, I am known as Te Awa Tupua, a name coined to enlighten all peoples that I have supernatural qualities. From the time I came to be, my waters have given life to the river valley and to all who have come to live here. Because of this, I am considered a tupuna, a revered ancestor, caring for my people and all living things – seen and unseen. I am viewed as a sacred body, a food source, a battleground, a place of healing and prayer, a playground, and a connector of people, from the mountains to the sea.
He whakaaturanga a He Awa Ora e whakakao mai ngā taonga o tua whakarere me te ao hou, te whakapuaki hoki i ngā kōrero o tēnei matua iwi. Ko te manako ia ka whāwhātia e koutou ko ngā kōrero i ora nui ai ngā whakatupuranga mahamaha noa ā kikokiko, ā wairua hoki. Waihoki, ka mārama te titiro he pūnaha awa ahau, he iaia, he uaua toto ōku i kokotingia ai e te iwi tāmi kia kōngenge. Kua roa te iwi e whakapiri mai ki ahau, e pāwerawera ai kia wāhia te huarahi ki te ture, kia hua mai tōku mana tūturu ki te ture.
He Awa Ora brings together ancient and contemporary taonga to tell my story and the stories of my people. It is my hope that you will learn about the ways in which I have sustained my people over many generations, both physically and spiritually. You will also come to understand that I am an entire river system, consisting of several networks and arteries, some of which have been blocked and weakened, as a result of colonisation. However, my people have always maintained their connection and relationship to me and fought hard over many years for a legal framework that now recognises me as an innate whole.
Ko te pou ture rāua ko te whakaaturanga nei a He Awa Ora ka noho ki te whakamarumaru o Tupua te Kawa, te kawa ora e ahu mai i Te Awa Tupua tonu, hei taura here nō ngā iwi ki te kawa nō tawhito rangi. Ma te whakaaro tahi o ngā iwi katoa ki te kawa ora, tae rawa atu ki te Karauna me ngā kaunihera, ka mātūtū ōku mate, ā, ka ora ai ngā whakatupuranga te haere ake nei.
This legal framework, as well as the He Awa Ora exhibition, is underpinned by innate values of Te Awa Tupua, known as Tupua te Kawa. The values stem from Te Awa Tupua itself, the ancient natural law system, which binds me to my people and my people to me. All peoples, inclusive of the Crown and elected councils, have a responsibility to work together to ensure that my afflictions might be healed, and I can continue to provide life to the generations to come.
Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Puni Tiaki Taonga o Whanganui, kia kite, kia rongo hoki koutou i ngā kōrero mōku, mō āku uri me ō rātou taonga.
Welcome to the Whanganui Regional Museum, where you will witness and feel the elements associated with narratives that have been crafted about me, my people and our taonga.
He whakaaturanga, ko 'Te Ōrokotīmatanga
Nau mai, haere atu he kiriata poto tēnei nā āku uri i mahi. He mea kōrero i taku orokotīmatanga, te wā i riakina tōna aho e Māui-tikitiki ka mau mai tōna ika nui (Te Ika-a-Māui), te whenua te tū ai koutou. Nā Ranginui a Matua-te-Mana (Ruapehu) i tuku kia rarau ai te ika nui, heoi i tū mokemoke a ia. Ka rongo mai a Ranginui i tana mokemoke, ka riringi mai te kōuaua. Ko ahau tēnei Te Awa Tupua, te roimata matatahi i heke mai i a Ranginui. Koirā te ahunga mai o ngā wai moana, awaawa me ngā maunga e kōrerohia nei ko Te Kāhui Maunga. Nō mua mai i te hekenga mai o ngā waka i Hawaiki heke mai ai ko ngā tūpuna taketake, ko Ruatipua rāua ko Paerangi.
E rua ngā pūtake o te iwi,
Ko Paerangi rāua ko Ruatipua.
(Taitoko Te Rangihiwinui)
Ka heke mai āku uri i a Ruatipua rāua ko Paerangi, i a Haunui-a-Pāpārangi hoki, i whakawhiti mai a ia ki Aotearoa i runga i a Aotea waka.
I invite you to view a short animation that has been created by my uri (descendants). It outlines my creation story, which occurred after Māui-tikitiki landed the great fish (land) that you stand on today. Ranginui created Matua-te-Mana (Ruapehu) to calm this great fish, but Ruapehu stood alone. Ranginui sensed his loneliness and cried, and I, the Whanganui River, am one of his teardrops. Other waterways and mountains were created too, with the mountains collectively referred to as Te Kāhui Maunga. Later, two primary ancestors – Ruatipua and Paerangi – arrived and settled, before those who came upon waka (canoes) from Hawaiki:
Our tribe has two founding ancestors,
Paerangi and Ruatipua.
(Taitoko Te Rangihiwinui)
My people descend from Ruatipua and Paerangi, as well as from Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, who came to Aotearoa on the Aotea waka.
Whakaaturanga (video animation), 2022
Jay Rerekura & Julie Herewini, of Tukua Storytelling Studio
Tāngata tiaki: Te Pou Tupua
He haki, mō Taitoko Te Rangihiwinui
He pūrua ahau no te kara i tuituia e ngā kaiwhatu o Ngāti Pāmoana me Ngā Poutama. Ka whakaahuatia ko Taitoko Te Rangihiwinui, te tū o runga o Ruapehu, e anga atu ana ki te kape marama, te whetū, tau ana ki te whakaaturanga o He Awa Ora. E ai ki a Rangi Pōkiha tētehi o ngā pāhake nō roto mai o Koriniti, i takea mai tēnei kara hei tohu i ngā mahi a Te Rangihiwinui. Nā āna mahi akiaki i wetekina ai te here a Te Kooti Rikirangi, i te mea ko tōna hapū he pononga o te Hāhi Ringatū. Nō uta ake anō he pononga Ringatū, tatū atu ki te Pā o Ōtoko (ngā hapū o Te Awaiti), e hāpai tonu nei ngā tikanga urutomo ki nāianei rangi. He karanga hapū a Ngāti Pāmoana, a Ngā Poutama rātou ko ngā hapū o Te Awaiti.
I am a replica of a flag made by women of Ngāti Pāmoana and Ngā Poutama. I feature Taitoko Te Rangihiwinui (Meiha Keepa or Major Kemp), standing upon Ruapehu, who points not only towards a crescent moon and star, but also to the He Awa Ora exhibition. Rangi Pōkiha, a learned gentleman from Koriniti, believed that the original flag was made in recognition of Te Rangihiwinui's efforts. His work led to the release of Te Kooti Rikirangi, as the hapū were followers of his Ringatū faith. Other Whanganui hapū were also Ringatū believers, with those at Ōtoko Pā (the hapū of Te Awaiti) maintaining its practices today. There are close familial connections between Ngāti Pāmoana, Ngā Poutama and the hapū of Te Awaiti.
Tirohia te kiriata mō Te Kooti, he toa, he poropiti.
Watch a film about Te Kooti, resistance fighter and prophet.
Haki (flag), original before 1880; replica 2022
Original made by Ngāti Pāmoana & Ngā Poutama; replica by Lee Williams
Made of cotton
Tāngata tiaki: Ngāti Pāmoana, Ngā Poutama
He kōwhaiwhai, he tāniko
He hoa māua nā ngā taonga me ō rātou kōrero, he mea whakarākei i ngā tara whare me te papa e hora nei, ko He Awa Ora te take. He kōwhaiwhai ahau i tā ki te tāhuhu whare o Te Waiherehere, te wharepuni te tū nei ki Koriniti, te whenua ko Ōtūkōpiri. Ko Cliff Whiting rātou ko āna akonga i Te Kupenga o Te Mātauranga ki Te Papaiōea, ngā ringatoi, engari i ahu mai ahau i ngā tauira kōwhaiwhai o mua. Ka whakaahua ahau i Te Awa Tupua me ō reira kaitiaki kau ai, haereere ai i ngā tahatika. Ko te tāniko e whakaataata ana i te takotoranga o ngā whāriki karakara tapawhā, he mea ahu mai i ngā pare me ngā tātua o te kapa haka ā-rohe, a Te Matapihi. He mea whakaahua i ngā ripo o te Awa, me te kōrinorino i raro iho i ngā waka e tere ana.
We have been selected to complement the taonga and their narratives and appear on the walls and floor of He Awa Ora. I am a kōwhaiwhai (painted scrollwork), painted on the tāhuhu (ridgepole) of Te Waiherehere, a wharepuni (meeting house) that stands at Koriniti (Ōtūkōpiri) Marae. I was created by Cliff Whiting and students of Palmerston North Teachers’ College, adapted from older patterns. I represent the Awa, and the many kaitiaki (custodians) living in and on the River. The tāniko (embroidered design), reflected in the positioning of coloured carpet squares, comes from a design that was created for the pare (bodice) and tātua (belt) of local kapa haka (performing arts group), Te Matapihi. The pattern symbolises both the many rapids in the Awa, as well as the wake of a waka (canoe), as it travels through the water.
Tirohia te whakaaturanga o Te Matapihi i Te Matatini 2019.
Watch Te Matapihi’s performance at Te Matatini 2019.
Kōwhaiwhai (painted scrollwork), 1972
Tāngata tiaki: Ngāti Pāmoana
Tāniko (embroidered design), 2018
Tāngata tiaki: Te Matapihi
He mihi ki ngā kaihāpai
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui is the strategic partner for He Awa Ora exhibition, and is the post-settlement governance entity for Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims) Settlement. The group of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki include the following entities:
Te Ngakinga o Whanganui Investment Trust: Responsible for investing and growing the iwi’s assets, cultivating with great care and diligence our shared iwi garden in order to continue to grow and expand our seed bank and storage houses to provide for future generations.
Whanganui Iwi Fisheries Limited: Ngā Tāngata Tiaki became the Mandated Iwi Organisation (MIO) under the Māori Fisheries Act for Whanganui Iwi, and Whanganui Iwi Fisheries Limited (formally Te Whiringa Muka Trust) has been transferred to Ngā Tāngata Tiaki group.
Te Whawhaki Iwi Development Trust: As the charitable arm of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki group, our role is to ensure that available resources contribute to our aspirations, as determined by our people. These aspirations have been captured in Te Rautaki o Te Whawhaki 2040, a strategy that will guide distributions for the next 20 years.
Whanganui River Enhancement Trust
WRET provides resources to mitigate adverse effects from the ongoing operation of the Tongariro Power Scheme on the Whanganui River catchment and to promote the enhancement of water quality within the Whanganui River catchment. WRET also supports river-based research through a scholarship programme and makes funds available for broader river enhancement projects with social, economic and environmental outcomes.
He mihi nunui tēnei ki ngā kaihāpai o te tūtanga nei, o He Awa Ora, arā, ki Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui me te Whanganui River Enhancement Trust.
We wish to acknowledge the strategic partner for He Awa Ora – Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui, and sponsor – Whanganui River Enhancement Trust.