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Pipiwharauroa TĀmanuhiri

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Noel Raihānia to Monty Soutar who wrote Ngā Tama Toa. It was also reprinted in the Gisborne Herald on Wednesday 22 October 2008 (p.3):

Ko te Oranga o te Iwi, Kei Tutu, Kei Poroporo, The prosperity of Tāmanuhiri is in our whenua, moana and whānau

Te Rā o Tāmanuhiri As a part of the process last year where we have been developing our Rautaki Reo – Tāmanuhiri Takatū Ake the idea was mooted that we should have a day in which we celebrate and commemorate Tāmanuhiritanga. āmanuhiri Tūtū Poroporo Trustees selected 25 January. A day that Ngāi Tāmanuhiri colloquially started moving to the beat of its own drum. So why is the day of 25 January so important to Ngāi Tāmanuhiri? Following the end of World War Two in 1945, Māori soldiers of the 28 Maori Battalion arrived at Wellington on 24 January 1946 on the boat Dominion Monarch at Aotea Quay. They were 780 strong. When the Māori Battalion disembarked the Dominion Monarch they were welcomed home to Aotearoa as celebrated war heroes. A haka party greeted them with formal rituals performed to honour those soldiers who had died overseas and ‘tango tapu’ removing the tapu of the returning soldiers. Hepi Te Heuheu, paramount chief of Ngāti Tuwharetoa was at the head of the haka party. It was a deeply moving and solemn occasion. After a scrumptious luncheon in the Wellington Harbour Colonel James Henare dismissed the men to waiting trains and other transport. His parting comments were delivered in te reo Māori: Hoki atu ki o tātau iwi, hoki atu ki o tātau maunga, hoki atu ki ō tātau marae, engari kia mau ki tēnei kōrero – tū Māori mai, tū Māori mai, tū Māori mai. Go back to our mountains, go back to our people, go back to our marae. But this is my last command to you all – stand as Māori, stand as Māori, stand as Māori. Of the larger 28 Māori Battalion group were (188) C Company men who belonged to the tribes in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, East Coast and Gisborne districts: Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga ā Māhaki and our own of Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. They left Wellington at 7pm on 24 January 1946 by train making their way north to Gisborne. Colonel Awatere was the kakakura (official escort) to the returning C Company soldiers. Kōrero relating to what happened as the train neared Te Muriwai was recounted by our own Papa

“...Mataiata (Mars) Pohatu, the battalion orderly room sergeant, decided after speaking by phone with his elders to disobey orders. The train was to pass right alongside his home village of Muriwai on its way into Gisborne, and the Ngāi Tāmanuhiri people were going to stop it. Noel Raihania was one of the Muriwai people aboard. Mars came right through from the back of the train telling each one of the soldiers from Muriwai, “Never mind the The C Compnay Nga Tama Toa Book Launch -25 October 2008 order to stay on the train, just have your kitbags ready. When the train stops, fire your bags out, the young people there will collect where a prayer service was conducted and them together, and you quickly jump off”. speeches were made. There we were, anxious to head off to the pub but our nannies would not It was just on daybreak when the train approached let us. Only Mars was permitted to leave because the Muriwai stop. Old Raturoa Wirihana stood he was married and he had been away overseas on the track waving the pā flag to ensure the a long time. Those nannies called (to his wife), train halted. Before the officers knew what was “Rata, take your husband home.” happening, the nine Muriwai men were off the train and heading with their relatives to the The other eight men had to sleep overnight in the pā...” wharenui lulled to sleep with the karakia of Te Haahi Ringatū reverberating, in the safe embrace of their The day was 25 January 1946. Nine Ngāi Tāmanuhiri whānau, Hapū and Iwi of Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. World War Two soldiers on the train had disembarked the train. Unfortunately, at the time of preparing this The 25 January is therefore a day that represents article I was unable to source their names but with a time we were stoic and pono in our resolve, kia the kind assistance of others knowledgeable in this mau ki tō tātau Tāmanuhiritanga. Kāore i kō atu, history I hope to be able to report them at some time. kāore i kō mai. It is a day we should celebrate and remember annually as an Iwi reflecting in an ongoing Where the train tracks cross the road into Te Muriwai way on how we can be steadfast with preserving and it was a mere 400 metres distance to Tāmanuhiri maintaining Tāmanuhiritanga. To learn and know Marae. The soldiers of Tāmanuhiri were expected at ourselves about ourselves. their Marae – nothing could stop this from happening. Kōrero passed down to us is that Raturoa Wirihana This article has been prepared to share information slowed the train down using our haki (flag) so that and knowledge about what happened on 25 January our soldiers would be able to jump safely off. The 1946 for Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. It is also a call to our own same flag that embodies our Kōrero and association that have kōrero about this day to share their own with Te Hamuera who met Te Kooti when he returned stories for future posterity. from the Chathams at Whareongaonga and Te Haahi Ringatū. However, mark your diaries for next year on 25 January 2019 when celebrations will be at Tāmanuhiri When the soldiers disembarked it was Mihi Wirihana Marae. (nee Waaka) who called the soldiers from the railway crossing all the way back to the Marae. Her strong and powerful call could be clearly heard back at the Marae. She lamented the loss of our Tāmanuhiri soldiers who had not returned calling the men to the Ngā mihi ki Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori Marae. Nanny Kumeroa Nepe (nee Wyllie) spoke about Thank you for your support in the development of what she saw as a young woman at the time to Wi Takatū Ake Tāmanuhiri. Tamihana Pohatu (the son of Mataiata Pohatu) doing Ngā mihi nui. the haka powhiri to the soldiers at the Marae. “... Nā, Tāmanuhiri Tūtū Poroporo Trust They were low actions, almost literally on the ground with rolling movements...”. The nine Ngāi Tāmanuhiri soldiers carried the memory and mate of our Ngāi Tāmanuhiri soldiers who had died overseas during World War Two on to our Marae at Te Muriwai. It is important to remember that before they left to go to war our Tāmanuhiri soldiers had received the karakia of our Ringatū Pou at Tāmanuhiri Marae. Feelings were strong amongst Ngāi Tāmanuhiri that whakamoemiti or thanksgiving should be given for those of our soldiers who were fortunate in returning alive – at Te Muriwai. In Papa Noel Raihania’s words:

Uncle Horomona & hIs matua

“...When we finished shedding tears, greeting each other and sharing a meal we moved into the meeting house

Pipiwharauroa - January 2018  

Kohitātea (January) 2018 edition of Pipiwharauroa

Pipiwharauroa - January 2018  

Kohitātea (January) 2018 edition of Pipiwharauroa

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