Page 1



Rore Stafford

Issue #1 Hōtoke 2019


Kōwhaiwhai Kōwhaiwhai are a traditional Māori artform, with patterns often inspired by nature. As well as being decorative, kōwhaiwhai help to tell a story. The kōwhaiwhai featured throughout the magazine is specific to Wakatū; designed by one of our Te Hunga Panuku, Te Waiho Paratene. There are three strands central to the design; the awa (rivers) that nurture the lands of Wakatū, the heke, the migration of our whānau and hapū from the North Island to Te Tauihu, and the journey of Wakatū since its incorporation in 1977. Each segment of the kōwhaiwhai represents the hapū of Wakatū who descend from the iwi of Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama and Te Ātiawa. These segments symbolise chain links. Built from the strength of those who came before, the chain represents the strong links Wakatū has with its Owners, whānau, employees and business associates. It also represents the presence of Wakatū in Te Tauihu, Aotearoa, and the world, now and in the future.


Ka nui te mihi nui ki ngā uri whakaheke o ngā hekenga nō mua. Nau mai haere mai ki Koekoeā. Wakatū Incorporation, based in Whakatū (Nelson), is

Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa. Kei ngā uri o ngā hekenga nui, nei rā te mihi matakuikui, te mihi matakorokoro ki a tātou katoa.

owned by the whānau and hapū of Whakatū, Motueka

Welcome to our first issue of Koekoeā, the new

and Mōhua.

magazine for Wakatū Incorporation.

Our history in Te Tauihu o te waka a Māui dates from

The koekoeā is the long-tailed cuckoo, and our

the early 1800s and the time of the hekenga, the great

magazine title takes its inspiration from birds as a

migration from the west coast of the North Island.

metaphor for communication – colloquially, ‘koekoeā’

Our families have had a long history in this region as

can mean to chatter.

fishers, gardeners, traders and entrepreneurs, and we’re proud to continue this legacy. As one of the largest land owners and employers in Te Tauihu, we’re committed to the development

Koekoeā were known for their powers of long flight, their intelligence and, in some legends, the birds were used as messengers. Our Koekoeā magazine will be focused on our people

and wellbeing of our Owners, our families and our

and places, our legacy and the work and activities of

wider community. We are proud to contribute to the

Wakatū. We are proud to share our stories with you,

social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of our

to strengthen our connections with one another and

vibrant region.

to help bring us closer as a family and community.

Koekoeā is an opportunity to share our stories,

We love to celebrate the success of our Wakatū

from our kaumātua Rore and Lynne Stafford and

whānau whānui with our whānau and community

the early days of the Incorporation through to Portia

and we hope you enjoy the stories shared in this first

Barcello, a scholarship recipient with her own bright

issue of Koekoeā. We’d love to hear what you think and

future. We hope you enjoy reading about our whānau

welcome any ideas you have for future stories. You can

and the work of Wakatū.

email us at

Otirā, tēnā tātou katoa.

Mauri ora,

Paora Te Poa Karoro Morgan

Kerensa Johnston

Chair, Wakatū Incorporation

CEO, Wakatū Incorporation


Issue #1 Hōtoke 2019

Kōrero with Rore & Lynne Stafford


Remembering our past,


creating our future Te Poari o Wakatū


Five minutes with Rachael Kerr


Whakapapa: at the heart of what we do


Tō mātou whare: Speers whānau


Whānau transformation


through education Kaitunu kai: Helen Carew


Tohutohu tao kai: seafood chowder


Celebrating Tohu wine


Kaimahi kōrero: Susan Tawaka


Portia Barcello, scholar & intern


New whakapakoko


Contribution and community


On track for zero waste by 2028


Auora: a new direction


Names connect people with place


New kupu for Wakatū


Ko wai mātou?






Making a difference, through hard work and perseverance


Rore and Lynne Stafford have dedicated their lives to making a difference to their whānau and hapū and the whānau whānui of Wakatū. In January 2019, this contribution was acknowledged with Rore being recognised as an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori. In the official acknowledgements, the Crown noted that Rore had co-lodged the WAI 56 claim in 1986 on behalf of descendants of the Māori customary Owners of the Nelson Tenths’ Reserves and Occupation Reserves in Whakatū, Motueka and Mōhua, and has led the team dedicated to seeking restitution for over 31 years. Rore was also a founding member of the Maniapoto Marae PACT Trust in 1980 and has been chairman for more than 20 years. He was active in a group that worked on land reforms that led to the Māori Reserved Land Amendment Act 1997. Lynne was an early Wakatū Board member, serving from 1980–1982. Rore has been on the Wakatū Board since 1985. In this role, along with his fellow board members, Rore has been a key driver behind the strategy and direction of the commercial businesses of



Wakatū Incorporation board 1980–1982. Back row: Kiwa Morgan, Lynne Stafford, Andy Joseph, Eva Rickard, Mugwi MacDonald. Front row: Wara Katene, Māui Pomare (Chair), Brian Yates (Incorporation Secretary). Absent: Hoeroa Marumaru.

Wakatū – Whenua and Kono NZ LP. Rore also played a

Trustee’s management and control of our land.

central role in establishing and leading Manaaki, the

Essentially we were given three choices by the

cultural arm of Wakatū.

Crown: set up a trust, set up an incorporation or

Kerensa Johnston spoke with Rore and Lynne about

stay with the Māori Trustee. Our whānau voted by

their work over many years for Wakatū, the ongoing

postal vote to set up the incorporation, which we

fight for justice over the Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation

believe was a great result.

Reserves, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. Lynne: I got involved when the commission of inquiry was going on in the 1970s. I felt that if you Can you tell us about the creation of Wakatū

were going to complain about the state of things,

Incorporation in 1977 and what was your

then you needed to do something about it. It


was important for me to get involved because my children’s whakapapa is to the land – and I didn’t

Rore: Wakatū was established by the whānau of

want them to have to deal with all of the issues and

Wakatū following a long commission of inquiry

the problems associated with the land. Rore was

into the state of Māori reserved lands in Aotearoa,

very busy working on our farm at that time and

which took place in the 1970s. Lynne and I went

although I was also busy with our children, I put in

to those meetings, and it was during that time we

a submission on behalf of our family about the state

learnt a lot about the state of our lands in Te Tauihu

of the lands. Along with people like Eva Rickard,

and how they had been managed by the Māori

who was heard on the same day as me, I objected

Trustee. Following the commission of inquiry, our

to the way the land was being sold off by the Māori

whānau met at Takapūwāhia Marae in Porirua for

Trustee at the time. The Owners of the land

a hui where our whānau decided to end the Māori

had very little authority over the decisions that



Wakatū Incorporation board 1985–1986. Back row: Rore Stafford, Hōhepa Solomon, Steve Marshall. Front row: Brian Yates (Incorporation Secretary), Bob Shore (Incorporation Under Secretary), Wara Kātene, Andy Joseph (Chair), Margaret Beveridge (Incorporation administrator), Robert Park. Absent: Mugwi MacDonald.

were being made, especially if they were small

the shares from the Crown. The other part we

shareholders. There were a number of people

really struggled with in the early days was coming

involved in the discussions at the time,

to terms with the law regarding leased lands as

people like Judge Marumaru, Kiwa Morgan and

all of our land at that time was controlled by

Wara Kātene.

perpetual leases – we couldn’t use or access any of the land and we were receiving very poor rentals

Lynne, you came on to the first board of Wakatū.

– less than 1 per cent of the value of the land. It

What was it like being on the board in those

was a very difficult time as we had to break some

early years?

of those leases and we had all sorts of objections from lessees. We faced so much criticism from the


Lynne: Well, in 1978, the Māori Trustee handed

media and within our community. It was quite

back the land that was left – it was a real mess and

toxic. But we managed to get through it, because

we realised there was a shortfall in terms of the

we knew we had to get the land back and start

land that should have been returned. The biggest

getting a better return for the Owners. The board

problem we faced at the outset was that the Crown

meetings at that time were very hard work

was the largest shareholder in the incorporation –

– as well as hard on the body. We live at Waitomo

this is due to legislation which allowed the Māori

and we’d arrive in Whakatū at 5 p.m. on a Friday

Trustee to buy up shares and position itself as the

night because we all worked or had to travel to

largest Owner and decision-maker. The Crown

Whakatū for the hui. We’d be there until about

refused to give those shares to us and we had to

midnight or one in the morning and then up at

buy them back. It was a no-brainer, we knew we

seven the next morning to start again. We’d finish

had to do that otherwise the Owners would have

on Saturday night. So, it was quite difficult. A

no control. It took us 12 years to pay the debt back,

challenging time, especially when we were busy

as it cost us close to half a million dollars to buy

raising a young family and running the farm.


I felt that if you were going to complain about the state of things, then you needed to do something about it. LYNNE STAFFORD

And for you, Rore? You came on to the Wakatū Board in 1985. How was it for you? Rore: In the early days, we were basically just rent collectors. I think the families themselves didn’t realise how much land they had and where it was located. There were close to 800 leases, ranging from 800 square metres up to 50-acre blocks, I believe. There were all sorts of things we were trying


to come to grips with. To start with, we weren’t in the horticultural business, but as our lands started

time and then Steve Marshall. Once Steve retired

coming back to us in Motueka with apples and

from that role, he was replaced by Paul Morgan.

kiwifruit on them, we had to learn how to operate

Bob Shore was our secretary and later he also

these businesses and how to become employers.

joined the board as a director. At that early stage,

In those days, we were feeling our way through,

we weren’t looking too far ahead in the way we are

learning about our lands and also reconnecting

now with Te Pae Tawhiti. We were just trying to

with the families. We also had residential land to

manage the day-to-day things.

manage, and we decided we had to sell some of that land so we could invest in buying and developing

Lynne: Every day was a challenge. Literally. I think

other land. We took these proposals to our people

the most impressive thing was that the board and

at the AGM to decide. The kōrero from our people

the Owners worked together – no matter how

was, ‘If you sell land, you must buy land to replace

many times the questions were asked or decisions

it.’ This became one of our most important policies,

challenged, the board was very tolerant, very patient.

which is known as our corpus policy.

We recognised that in order for the people to trust you, you needed to take them with you, and so

Who were some of the other people involved with

the board was very interested in making sure the

Wakatū then and what issues were you dealing

Owners had all the information they needed to

with at that time?

make decisions, that they knew the truth. Nothing was hidden, and gradually the people began to

Rore: There were people like Wara Kātene, Judge

appreciate what they actually owned, where it was,

Marumuru, Mugwi MacDonald, Eva Rickard, Kiwa

the history and what they were getting in terms of

Morgan, Andy Joseph, John Mitchell and Robbie

a return. The Owners started to understand that the

Park and others. Lynne resigned after two years so

people at the helm were trying to do the best they

she could look after her mother who was not well,

could under difficult circumstances. Over time, the

and about five years later, I was appointed to the

focus of the board and of Wakatū changed and we

board. Māui Pōmare was the chairman for some

started looking outward, especially how we could



influence things. I think one of the things Steve

come and work within Wakatū. There are other

Marshall, the chairman, brought to the table was

kaupapa too, such as the boys’ and girls’ wānanga,

that he had the ear of the politicians in Wellington.

which is to inspire our tamariki and teach them

He knew the importance of lobbying politicians and

about leadership. We have our ahi kaa programmes,

communicating well with people – this was really

designed to get people back on their land and from

important for us when it came to changing the

time to time we have wānanga for our kaumātua.

law on Māori reserved lands and perpetual leases. Although we still don’t have an ideal situation, we

Lynne: Over the years, Wakatū has also given a

are at least able to set more commercial rents and

lot of support to the marae in the region, with

have slightly more control over our lands in the

funding infrastructure and so on. We have also

longer term. The main thing we achieved was ending

provided a lot of support to the community

21-year rent reviews on perpetual leases and moving

through sponsorships and grants – sometimes this

to a shorter seven-year rent review cycle.

is monetary and sometimes through providing food or other kinds of support. This is a really important

Rore: The work on reserved lands was an interesting

part of what we do – we contribute a lot to the

journey for us. There was a big group of us, a

community. The Owners were very supportive of the

collective of Māori who had reserved lands all over

establishment of the Manaaki programmes.

Aotearoa. We all worked together to get a positive result for our land and whānau. The Federation of

Rore: The Manaaki programmes are very important

Māori Authorities (FOMA) was also important at

to us. They are about the bigger picture and about

that time, making sure we were all involved. We all

our whānau – growing our skill base and building a

paid in money to help with the lobbying effort. Paul

base for the generations to come. But it’s important

Morgan, Steve Marshall, Bob Shore, Peter Charlton,

for those participating to realise it is not all about

and others, would run from one politician to the

taking from the incorporation; it is very important

next politician to the next whenever the House was

to contribute back.

sitting, trying to get them to support the changes we were proposing. There were some ugly parts to it.

Lynne: It was always a part of our dream when

I can recall a Taranaki farmer on a tractor driving

we first started that we would be able to create a

up the steps of Parliament building, protesting

financial base that would ensure we could grow the

about the reforms and what we were doing. There

capacity of our people in all areas, commercial and

was a lot of opposition from the farmers and those

cultural, through education and development.

who had enjoyed the benefit of the perpetual leases for many years, often paying ‘peppercorn rents’ to

Can you tell us about the work that took place

the Owners.

in the late 1980s and 1990s, and the Waitangi Tribunal claims process in Te Tauihu?

At the same time as we were developing our lands and businesses, we were developing the

Rore: In 1986, Wakatū decided to file a Treaty of

cultural and social part of Wakatū, which we

Waitangi claim against the Crown on behalf of

now call Manaaki. Can you talk about why we

the Owners of the Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation

established Manaaki and what this part of

Reserves in Whakatū, Motueka and Mōhua. Myself

the organisation does?

and Hōhepa Solomon were named as the claimants acting on behalf of all the Owners of these lands.


Rore: We needed to grow the capacity of our

This was the first claim to be filed in the top of

whānau, and create opportunities for our whānau

the South Island, known as WAI 56. After that the

to manage their lands and our businesses. So we

different iwi entities were established and began to

created scholarship programmes and the associate

file Treaty claims, along with some whānau claims.

director programme, which is designed to get

This set off a whole process of research and hearings

people ready to be on the Wakatū Board or to

which lasted throughout the 1990s and 2000s.


The good thing was, in the beginning, we worked

different families, especially when we are closely

together as a collective, with the four iwi who

related. I always say, ‘We’re not the crooks. We’re

affiliate to Wakatū (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Rārua,

the families. Don’t fight us. Fight the Crown.’

Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Koata) and joined together as

The process itself takes time to recover from.

the mandated entity, known as Tainui Taranaki. We worked together well to begin with. We were

Lynne: The stories that came out during the

lucky that the trusts of the time put their hands

tribunal hearings were heartbreaking. One of the

around us and Wakatū became part of that group,

stories we told was about Rore’s kuia, Rāmari.

even though the Crown was not supportive

She was incarcerated in the mental hospital in

of that approach. The Crown tended to see us as

Whakatū, Ngāwhatu. She was sent there because

some sort of body corporate; they didn’t realise

she refused to sell her land at Motueka. Every time

we are a whānau and hapū group and a whānau

the surveyors came to survey the land she would

organisation. So there were challenges from the

attack them, and so they declared her insane.

Crown agencies but we were lucky that people put

She lived at Ngāwhatu for three or four years and

their arms around us and said ‘No, you’re going

nobody knew. The stigma of that affected her badly

to be part of this.’ That happened in Whakatū, at Whakatū Marae. What were the Waitangi Tribunal hearings like in Te Tauihu? Rore: They were quite vicious at times, actually. I didn’t realise things could get so vicious among

I can recall a Taranaki farmer on a tractor driving up the steps of Parliament building, protesting about the reforms and what we were doing. RORE STAFFORD




Rore and Lynne with their mokopuna Wade Stafford, Wakatū 40th celebration dinner, 2017. (Photo: Kate MacPherson)

for the rest of her life. She was not insane, she was

not going to accept that there was no legal remedy,

just very angry about losing her land.

we decided to go to court. We were not going to

In the early days, when the Labour Government

lie down, that’s for sure, we felt we should fight on,

was still in power, there was some goodwill to

on behalf of the descendants of our tūpuna. The

settle the Treaty claims for the Tenths’ Reserves

only place we could go was the High Court, and

and Occupation Reserves. This changed when

of course it’s a journey, quite a legal journey, and

National came into power, and as a result we

you’re in the hands of one judge who is looking at

had to go down a legal road in an attempt to

both sides of the kaupapa, and trying to come to

get the redress we felt was deserved. I think the

the right decision. In the High Court and the

saddest thing in the whole process regarding the

Court of Appeal we lost – although we did very

settlement of Treaty claims in Te Tauihu was the

well in terms of establishing the facts of the case.

way the Crown fed incorrect information to the

All the history is written down in those decisions

different groups involved, and led the iwi entities

now. The timeframe goes back to the early 1800s

to believe that if the Wakatū claims were settled

in London right up to 2017. It just blows your mind.

as part of the settlement process, then they would

We won in the Supreme Court.

lose out in monetary terms. This was really unfair and created a lot of angst at the time.

Can you tell us about that day in the Supreme Court, when the decision was announced by

Can you talk about what happened next in

Chief Justice Sian Elias, and you knew you

terms of the decision to go to court to deal with

had won?

the Crown’s breaches in relation to the Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation Reserves?

Rore: It happened so quickly. You know, they basically just came in and read out the outcome,


Rore: This was a new process for me. I’d never been

it was very fast. Then the judges just stood up and

through a court process before but because we were

walked out.


Lynne: We were like stunned mullets. Did we really hear what we heard? You know, Paul [Morgan] looked at me and he burst into tears. It was years and years of work and negotiation coming to an end, a huge weight lifted from our shoulders. All that time, all we had been seeking was fairness and to be told we were right. That we had prevailed was just such a big win. Rore: I remember I said to our team, the ones who were around us on the day, supporting us in the court, ‘Just stay grounded; this is not over yet. Yes, yes, just relax and take it step by step.’ Lynne: I think it’s interesting to see how some of the iwi groups who initially did not support us in the court proceedings have now realised that it is a win for everybody – not just the Owners but for Māori in Aotearoa and indigenous people around the world. So many people have come out of the woodwork to contact us at home, to ask how was

Rore at the Wakatū AGM, 2017. (Photo: Kate MacPherson)

the decision arrived at, and what did it look like. We have had all these requests from different universities and faculties of law to come and talk about the case to students and academics. All sorts of articles and journals have been written about

negotiating directly with the Crown to settle the

the case. I believe it is the first time the courts in

case. At the end of the day, we want to make sure

Aotearoa have recognised that the Crown owes

we do the best we can for our whānau and our

fiduciary or trust-like duties to Māori. These duties

wider community here in Te Tauihu. We are about

are legally binding and have real power. Some

creating jobs and good opportunities in our region,

people might say, what made you do it? We felt that

so regardless of which government is in power, this

Wakatū had a responsibility to the descendants and

is what we want to focus on.

to our mokopuna going forward, to make the effort, give it a go. If we lost, nobody could say we didn’t

What are some of your reflections as you look

give it a go, but if we won, everybody was a winner.

back over the role and work of Wakatū over the last 40 years?

What is the next step following the Supreme Court’s decision?

Lynne: We have got to the point where we have addressed many things for the benefit of our

Rore: The next step is to work through resolving

children and grandchildren, although there is still

the issues with the Crown. To me it is simple: land

a great deal to do. It was a heavy and painful road

was taken by the Crown that should have been part

in the beginning. I don’t think people who have not

of the Tenths’ and Occupation Reserves – this has

been involved can fully comprehend what it was like

to come back to the Owners. So, the next step is

in the beginning, before Wakatū was established

heading back to the court to sort out the extent

and when our lands were under the control of the

of the losses to the trust and to seek the return

Māori Trustee. You were just a piece of paper, a

of our land. The other option we are looking at is

number, with no authority or mana over your own



It is beautiful to see how capable and confident our young people are – this confidence was missing when we were younger because we didn’t have the same sort of opportunities. LYNNE STAFFORD

was missing when we were younger because we didn’t have the same sort of opportunities. Wakatū has been able to create a strong financial base and many opportunities for our young people and their families. We see the likes of Kerensa, Rachel, Johnny, Miriana and Jeremy coming into management roles and onto the board – this is a huge achievement for our families. Rore: It’s working, you know, the things we put Lynne at Te Hunga Panuku summit, 2009. (Photo: Carly Ave)

in place are working in terms of the generations coming through to run the organisation and our businesses.

land. Rore and I did not want that for our children

When you look into the future, what are some

or grandchildren, so our role is to make sure the

things you’d like to see for the families of Wakatū?

future is a positive one. Here we are, 40 years or more down the track, and we have built something

Rore: Looking forward, education has to continue

really positive. What we have achieved has been very,

to be number one. Build the skill base. It is a must.

very worthwhile.

It has to be in all areas, tikanga, te reo, kawa, the values, as well as commercial and professional skills,

What are some things you’re most proud of?

they all go hand in hand – we can’t leave anything behind. So the young people today, they have to

Rore: I am very proud of our Owners and our wider

learn about values, tikanga and most importantly

whānau, and seeing our people come to hui and

who they are. Actually, number one is knowing who

wānanga. Looking at our rangatahi getting up

you are. Genealogy, whakapapa, it’s all a collective

there on the stage and presenting themselves so

way of coming together. You can’t leave anything

well in terms of their education and their plans

at the door.

for the future, it just blows me away. I love all of the different kaupapa that we are working on.

Lynne: I think for me the biggest thing, in the

I mean you can talk about dollars and cents at the

future, is that the people who take ownership and

meetings and that is important, but to hear about

responsibility for Wakatū remember the struggle

the different projects going on and to actually see

and the history of the organisation and the people.

our young people getting up and talking about

Remember it’s a gift. It’s not something to be

how they have performed and where they want to

squandered. It’s to be developed in a way that

go is significant.

develops all of your people. Not just for some of your people. That’s what I’d like to see happen


Lynne: Yes, it is beautiful to see how capable and

and remain in place, in terms of how we think

confident our young people are – this confidence

and do things.


What advice would you give to future leaders of Wakatū? Especially those who may want to serve on the Wakatū Board?

In the future, our families will face different challenges, for example, climate change is going to be a huge challenge. RORE STAFFORD

Rore: I think just work, work your guts out. Don’t muck around. If you’re going to come, if you’re going to be part of this, you’ve got to work hard. Earn your space. And you know, if you have got

we always want it to be about our families. And for

skills that you can use on the Wakatū Board or any

me, it’s making sure the skills are there to grow

of our subsidiary boards, bring them to the table,

this taonga, and never forget where it came from,

don’t hold back. But at the end of the day, don’t

never forget the history of it, what’s brought us here.

muck around. We’ve all worked hard for you. We

Never forget the migration, the heke in the 1800s

look at the generations, who go right back to when

and what brought our people here to settle.

the heke came here from Kāwhia and Taranaki –

In the future, our families will face different

they all worked hard for us. So going forward, all

challenges, for example, climate change is going to

I’m saying to the new generation, just put yourself

be a huge challenge. We’re talking about water now,

out there, work your guts out.

that’s another challenge – who owns the water, who manages the water? So, I see those big things in

Lynne: I think for me, it’s about people being

the next few years as being at the forefront of our

astute about those they choose to take leadership


roles at the governance table. You can’t afford to have one idiot. So, choosing the right person,

Lynne: Looking back for me it is about realising

nurturing them, supporting that person in a really

that at the very beginning, our people had security,

constructive way has got to be positive. The moment

health and wellbeing, and then we lost all of that

you bring a person in who has a personal agenda,

and have gone down the path of poverty. I don’t ever

you’re lost. So be careful, choose wisely.

want to see that revisited, but don’t forget about it – because we don’t want that going forward. Going

Rore: There’ll be other challenges in the future

forward it’s about the quality of the whenua and the

and they will be quite different to our challenges.

health of our whānau – is it going to be in a good

I mean, we’ve fought to get the whenua back and

state for our children and our grandchildren to take

I hope they’ll keep growing it and protecting it

ownership of?

for the longer term and for the benefit of our mokopuna.

Everything that is done has to be done in a way that is going to benefit the people now and in the future. It also has to benefit our whenua, our sea,

That brings us to a nice place to finish, which

our water, everything is related to our wellbeing.

is Te Pae Tawhiti – our 500-year intergenerational

And don’t waste the opportunities that are going to

plan. Te Pae Tawhiti is about looking backwards

come. I’m really proud about the fact I’ve been given

and forwards. What does Te Pae Tawhiti mean

the opportunity to make a contribution.

to you? Rore: I didn’t get a hell of a lot of education at Rore: Well, when you talk about that 500-year vision,

mainstream schools, but I have learnt a lot in the

Te Pae Tawhiti, we’re talking about our children,

last 40 years – and its all stored in my computer,

we’re talking about our great-grandchildren, those

here in my brain! I have had lots of opportunities

we’ll never see but how we’re going to make sure

and together as a board we have done our best to

the foundations are right for them in the future.

create opportunities for our families and make

It’s about looking long-term and what would this

sure we are leaving things in a better state, so that

taonga look like in another 40 years or 500 years.

they can continue on into the future. Glory to God,

We always want to be land owners here in Te Tauihu,

peace on earth.



Remembering our past, ­­creating our future. What does the Supreme Court decision mean for the families of Wakatū?



ere, at the top of a small island in the

accommodate the landscape. Buildings hug the

waka a Māui, our whānau live amongst

trees, native plants define the contours of the roads

rich podocarp forests of rimu, kahikatea, miro,

and urban hubs provide a common place to come

mataī and tōtara. Here, we grow and gather

together, to learn, to trade, to eat, drink and share;

nutrient-rich and healthy food to sustain us.

to grow and flourish as a society.

Our houses are modern and well designed to

We live in accordance with our environment,

connect our whānau together, and yet open to

mindful of the changing patterns of our climate,

embrace the sea and our ancestral mountains.

and in a relationship with the water and the plants

Our papakāinga provides a place where we come

and animals we share this whenua with.

together. We live as whānau and hapū as we have


Our cities are built amongst the forests and

South Pacific, known as Te Tauihu o te

Te reo rangatira, the language of our tūpuna,

always done, supporting one another in times of

is spoken by everyone. It is the first language that

stress and need, and celebrating together when

our children learn, regardless of whether they

times are good.

are tāngata whenua, the first people of this land,


“ the promise of colonisation has not delivered the benefits our tūpuna imagined ”

Fox, William (Rt Hon Sir), 1812?–1893. Fox, William 1812–1893 :On the coast near Kai-terri-terri, Blind Bay. Jan. 1846. Ref: C-013-007. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22396832

or tāngata tiriti, those who came later and have

ancient concepts combine seamlessly with

chosen, by our invitation and subject to the sacred

introduced concepts such as the rule of law,

covenants contained in Te Tiriti, to make Aotearoa

equality and democracy. Together, we have built

their home.

a global economy and legal system, recognised as

Then, when our children begin their formal

one of the best in the world. Because of this, there is

education, which is underpinned by the depth and

good work available for all, here in Te Tahuihu and

complexity of wānanga and humanist values of

for those living in other parts of Aotearoa.

equality and collective good, they begin to learn

Having intermarried with the ones who came

second, third and fourth languages, which will

later to our country, we are creating strong,

carry them forward into the world.

resilient and healthy families who are truly

Our political structures and economy have

indigenous to this place Te Tahuihu o te waka a

evolved to apply our values of manaakitanga,

Māui, our home.

whānaungatanga, kaitiakitanga and


rangatiratanga in this modern world. These



An early example of land surveyance in Motueka, 1926 (Image credit unknown)

Of course, here in 2019 in Aotearoa, this is not our

tikanga; such as tapu, utu, mana moana and

reality – yet. Our reality as the indigenous people

mana whenua.

of Aotearoa, like indigenous peoples throughout

what would become Nelson because they hoped

colonisation has not delivered the benefits our

for and believed in a future where together we

tūpuna imagined.

would prosper and thrive. They authorised the

But the state we imagine on the previous page

Nelson settlement, subject to two very important

was real to our tūpuna. It was the reason why,

conditions, which were subsequently enshrined in

at Kaiteretere in Tasman Bay in the spring of

law via a Crown Grant of 1845:

1841, our rangatira engaged with New Zealand

Firstly, all papakāinga, wāhi tapu, urupā, and

Company officials, led by Arthur Wakefield, who

cultivation lands would be protected in perpetuity

were searching for a viable New Zealand Company

for the benefit of the customary owners. These

settlement of land to follow the establishment of

places would be protected from settlement; they


were the places we revered, where we lived, and

At that time, our tūpuna living in Whakatū

where we depended on the land and water for

(Nelson), Motueka, Mōhua and the area we now

survival and prosperity. This category of land

know as the Abel Tasman National Park, lived as

became known as the Occupation Reserves.

we do now, according to fundamental principles of


Our rangatira agreed to the settlement of

the world, is vastly different – the promise of

Secondly, one-tenth of all land used for the


Nelson settlement would be reserved in perpetuity

a decision taken lightly. The Wakatū Board and

for the benefit of the families of the customary land

our kaumātua knew it would be a long, costly

owners and their descendants, the whānau and

and painful exercise. Our legal advice was that we

hapū of Western Te Tauihu. This category of land

were likely to lose in the High Court and Court

became known as the Nelson Tenths’.

of Appeal but we had a chance of success in the

However, by 1850 the Crown had reneged on the

Supreme Court. Despite the obstacles, the litigation

deal to reserve and protect our land, and although

was strongly supported by the majority of Wakatū

a small portion of land was reserved in Whakatū

families whom, I believe, understood the important

for the benefit of our families, it fell well short of

principle that was at stake and recognised the

the guaranteed one-tenth of land acquired by the

injustice done to our families because of the

New Zealand Company for the Nelson settlement.

Crown’s failure to adhere to the original agreement

Furthermore, no attempt was made to reserve and

made in 1841.

protect our papakāinga and other occupation lands as agreed by the Crown and our tūpuna. Our collective memory of this history and our

From 1844 onwards, the Crown assumed the role of trustee and manager of our lands – an estate that was much smaller than we anticipated. By

engagement with the New Zealand Company is

1845, the Nelson settlement officially amounted to

that the agreements relied on a binding legal

approximately 151,000 acres (although in reality it

relationship between our families and the Crown.

was larger), but our papakāinga lands and sacred

They created an ongoing relationship based on a

places were never protected from settlement as

mutual honour for both parties to adhere to the

agreed, and the full one-tenth of land was not

terms of the deal, which was established as a trust.

reserved. The actual ‘Tenths’ fell well short of what

This is how our story has always been told by

had been guaranteed: from an original 15,100 acres

our kaumātua and the families of Wakatū, which

to be reserved for our families, the area of reserved

today represents the owners of the Tenths’ and

land in fact amounted to less than 3000 acres.

Occupation Reserves in Whakatū, Motueka and

In 1892, the Native Land Court embarked on

Mōhua. Wakatū Incorporation was established

the exercise of identifying the individual Māori

by the whānau and hapū of Western Te Tauihu

land owners of the Nelson Tenths’ estate. At the

in 1977 when it took over the management of the

Native Land Court hearing, the whānau and hapū

Tenths’ Reserves and Occupation Reserves from the

provided lists to the Court of those tūpuna who

Māori Trustee. Wakatū is an organisation which is

had been living on the land at the time of the

governed by its Māori owners, with its committee of

establishment of Nelson in the 1840s and who were

management being elected every three years by the

considered to be the Māori customary owners of

Māori land owners of the estate.

the land according to tikanga, international law

In 2009, Wakatū, supported by its kaumātua Rore Stafford and the trustees of Te Kāhui Ngahuru

and colonial law. The list of whānau and hapū members approved

Trust (a trust established to represent all of the

by the Native Land Court has become known

descendants of the Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation

colloquially amongst whānau and hapū as the ‘254

Lands), decided to file proceedings against the

owners’. The majority of the owners and families of

Crown, alleging a breach of trust and fiduciary duty

Wakatū descend from these original named Māori

by the Crown for its failure to reserve and protect

land owners, who are close whānaunga – cousins,

the Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation Reserves as

father and daughter, husband and wife. It is these

guaranteed by the Crown Grant 1845. It was the

tūpuna and their descendants, who from 1893

firm belief of our tūpuna, our kaumātua and the

onwards, fought to have our land returned to our

committee of management of Wakatū (the Board)

management and care.

that the agreements made by our rangatira in 1841

Between 1893 and 1977, a number of delegations

created legally binding obligations on the Crown

and petitions were presented to Parliament and to

which must be upheld.

other officials in an attempt to find out what had

The decision to initiate legal action was not

happened to our land in Whakatū, Motueka and



Mōhua. It was very difficult to obtain information because so much of our land had been sold or leased to others, and as a result many of our families were forced to move away from Te Tauihu to live elsewhere. In the 1970s, this state of affairs led to a commission of inquiry into the

What would the lives of our families look like had the Crown adhered to its side of the bargain in 1845? How different would our political, social and cultural landscape look today?

state of Māori Reserved Lands, resulting in the establishment of Wakatū Incorporation in 1977. Our kaumātua, Rore Stafford and his wife Lynne Stafford, along with many others, were instrumental in establishing the incorporation. When the land was transferred back to the control of the owners, very little of the original estate remained, and what had been reserved

our whānau and hapū. Our argument was simple: A trust had been

had been slowly whittled away in the intervening

created, the Crown trustee had failed to meet the

years by the Māori Trustee who, on balance, had

legal obligations of that trust and as a result we

essentially failed in its duty to preserve and protect

wanted our land, the trust property, returned to

the trust land on behalf of its owners.

its owners.

By 1985, because of an amendment to the Treaty

The thinking behind our legal strategy was

of Waitangi Act 1975, the Waitangi Tribunal claims

grounded in the belief that we as Māori and

process was underway in Te Tauihu. Rore Stafford,

as property owners were entitled to the full

as a member of the committee of management (the

protection of the law and, in our case, trust law, in

Board) of Wakatū together with Hōhepa Solomon,

the same way as any other beneficiary in Aotearoa.

filed the first Treaty of Waitangi claim for the top

We strongly believed, despite how hard the Crown

of the South Island on behalf of the families of the

argued against it, that Māori land owners have

descendants of the Tenths’ Reserves. This claim was

the option to choose whether to look to the

known as WAI 56.

Waitangi Tribunal or the law courts for a remedy in

It is fair to say we began the Treaty of Waitangi

Aotearoa. Like all New Zealanders, we argued, we

reconciliation process with the Crown in good faith,

are entitled to the full protection of the law. This

with a willing Labour Government that was open

surely is one of the guarantees of Article Three

to settling whānau and hapū claims; including our

of the Treaty of Waitangi as well as an inherent

claim which was specific to the Nelson Tenths’ and

constitutional right as a New Zealand citizen.

Occupation Reserves. Unfortunately, once Labour

Unbelievably, this was an argument which the

lost power in 2008, it was replaced by a National

Crown tried to discount – making the case that

Government focused on a policy of settling with

we were only entitled to be heard by the Waitangi

large groups – preferably iwi or groups of iwi –

Tribunal and had no right to be heard before

rather than dealing with hapū about discrete issues

the courts.

and specific areas of land.

The Crown argued that the guarantees they

The failure of the Treaty settlement process and

made were not binding agreements that created a

the policy adopted by National at that time to deal

fiduciary relationship between the Crown and our

with our case led us to the courts: to construct

families, which the Crown is duty bound to uphold.

an argument based on first legal principles. It was

For over nine years we argued before the courts.

decided we would argue a breach of trust in the

Then, finally, in February 2017, the Supreme Court

courts rather than a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.

found, by a majority of four to one, that the Crown

This therefore was the subject of Proprietors


Stafford and Wakatū Incorporation, on behalf of

does owe a legal duty to reserve and protect the

of Wakatū and Others v Attorney-General [2017]

Nelson Tenths’ and Occupation Reserves as defined

NZSC 17, [2017] 1 NZLR 423. This case eventually

in the Crown Grant 1845 for the benefit of the Māori

went to the Supreme Court and was led by Rore

customary owners, our whānau and hapū.


Tuo Hippolite, Turi Elkington and Wara Kātene, celebrating the establishment of Wakatū Incorporation. Nelson Evening Mail, 1977

While, technically, the focus of our arguments

together we must embark on a journey to remember

was on the legal aspects of the case and in

and create our future based on the aspirations

particular the guarantees set out in the Crown

of our tūpuna. This remembering depends on

Grant 1845, the broader principles at stake were

our land being restored to our families so we can

always about restitution and justice. We asked the

take our place as the leaders of our region and

questions and dared to imagine a different reality:

our own future.

What would the lives of our families look like

This is the next step in the work that is underway

had the Crown adhered to its side of the bargain in

in the aftermath of the 2017 Supreme Court decision

1845? How different would our political, social and

– that is, ensuring that the trust property or an

cultural landscape look today?

adequate substitute is returned to the owners.

Would we lead the world in terms of our

As the Chair of Wakatū, Paul Morgan, who is

approach to the environment, our economy, the

also one of the descendants of the original Māori

development and education of our people and our

customary owners of the whenua points out,

cities, in the ways our tūpuna might have imagined?

‘Proprietors of Wakatū presents a real opportunity

What would our part of the world, a small island in the South Pacific, look and feel like, had we

for the Crown to restore its mana in relation to our families. This is well overdue.’

adopted the best of our customary practices and

For our whānau and hapū, it provides an

values and amalgamated them with the best the

opportunity to realise the vision of our tūpuna

settlers had to offer?

and to ensure the cultural, spiritual and economic

We will never know. However, what our families do know as a result of Proprietors of Wakatū is that

wellbeing of our families in Te Tauihu now and in the future.



TE POARI O WAKATŪ The Wakatū Board

The Board with Wakatū CEO Kerensa Johnston.





akatū Incorporation is governed by the Committee of Management of Wakatū, which is known as the Wakatū Board.

Appointment on the board is for a term of three

years and is made via an election process by the Owners (shareholders) of Wakatū at the annual general meeting held in Whakatū. Terms are staggered so that only some directors’ terms expire each year, and directors may stand for re-election. This rotation allows for continuity and stability while enabling the election of new board members. The skills and experience of the directors mean there is oversight of the activities of the incorporation and its associated and subsidiary businesses, Whenua and Kono NZ LP. The board’s focus is long-term, ensuring Wakatū meets the objectives in our intergenerational plan, Te Pae Tawhiti. The board also has an important strategic role in setting the direction for Wakatū and ensuring risks are well managed by the management team. Looking forward to the next 40 years, it is part of the board’s responsibility to put in place long-term strategies such as Whenua Ora, our land and water wellness programme and Tangata Ora, our people

Paul Morgan

wellbeing programme. At its heart, the role of the Wakatū Board is to fulfil the ambitions of our tūpuna, to ensure that our taonga are protected and continue to grow, while meeting the aspirations of current and future generations. The current Wakatū Board is: Paul Morgan (Chair), James Wheeler (Deputy Chair), Rore Stafford, Barney Thomas, Miriana Stephens,

The role of the Wakatū Board is to fulfil the ambitions of our tūpuna, to ensure that our taonga are protected and continue to grow, while meeting the aspirations of current and future generations.

Hōne McGregor and Jeremy Banks. Paul Morgan says, ‘Directors have to be prepared to work very hard and constantly absorb and consolidate a lot of new information – especially

focused on Te Tauihu 2077, the development of a collaborative and cohesive strategy for our region. Each year at the AGM in Whakatū, and a special

in a changing world where technology, science

general meeting in Wellington, the board gives an

and politics move rapidly. There are risks to being

update on the past year and an overview of future

a director which people need to be very aware

plans. These hui mean whānau can get a better

of but there is also a great deal of satisfaction in

understanding of what’s going on and have input

seeing our businesses thrive in our region and new

into the future direction of Wakatū. There are

initiatives being put in place to help support and

opportunities to ask questions from the floor, as

develop our whānau further.’

well as to meet and talk with the board members

In 2019, the work of the Wakatū Board is

over a cup of tea or kai at the break.



Clockwise from top left: Jeremy Banks, Miriana Stephens, Barney Thomas, Rore Stafford. Opposite page, top left: James Wheeler, top right: Hōne McGregor. Bottom image, from left to right: Bob Shore (Independent Director), Waari Ward-Holmes (Independent Director), Jeremy Banks, Hōne McGregor, Rore Stafford, Paul Morgan, Andrew Bishop (Associate Director), Miriana Stephens, Rachael Kerr (Associate Director), Kerensa Johnston (Wakatū CEO), James Wheeler.

The board also considers the future governance and management of Wakatū. Equipping Wakatū whānau so they have skills, confidence and experience to be involved in managing and governing the organisation and our businesses is an important focus. As part of its succession planning, the Wakatū Board oversees Te Amonuku, our associate director and manager programme.Other programmes to ensure that Wakatū whānau are well equipped for their own future and the future of Wakatū are our academic scholarships and Te Hunga Panuku, our network of people who have taken part in Wakatū programmes.








Who are you and where did you grow up? My dad’s family is from Wharekauri (Chatham Islands) and my mum is from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom – I connect to Wakatū through my dad, Brian Kerr, to Metapere Rahira. I grew up in Blenheim with my three younger sisters. We spent a lot of our childhood in the outdoors and enjoyed many summer holidays camping at Lake Rotoiti, and Anakiwa. One sister is now living in Melbourne, while the other two are in Wellington. PHOTOS: KATE MACPHERSON

Where do you live now? I’m based in Singapore, with my husband John and our two young boys, Charlie and Jack.


Te Amonuku, our associate director and

What do you do there?

manager programme, is an important part

I’m the East Asia Regional Marketing and

of our succession planning for the future of

Communications Manager for Te Taurapa Tūhono –

Wakatū. Each year we bring on board new

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. In my role,

associate director and associate managers for

I support New Zealand export companies with their

a two-year programme to gain experience in

market entry and international growth strategies.

the governance and management of Wakatū.

I’m responsible for creating opportunities for New

They spend the first year on one of the Whenua,

Zealand companies to increase their brand visibility

Kono or Manaaki boards, and the second

in competitive international markets. My role also

year on the Wakatū Board. Previous associate

involves supplying these companies with market

directors include current board members

intelligence and consumer insights so they can hit

Jeremy Banks, Miriana Stephens and Hōne

the ground running when they start exporting. I’m

McGregor, as well as Wakatū CEO Kerensa

passionate about helping New Zealand companies

Johnston and Kono CEO Rachel Taulelei.

tell their unique stories to an offshore audience,

We spent five minutes with Rachael Kerr

and I’m incredibly lucky that I have an opportunity

(associate director 2019) and asked her some

to live overseas but maintain a deep connection with

quick-fire questions.

Aotearoa through my work.


I’m learning about the history of the families and the land, and I feel privileged to make a positive contribution to the future of Wakatū. RACHAEL KERR

Where else have you worked? Most recently I was based in Dubai and Saudi Arabia working with a group of New Zealand businesses exporting to India, Africa and the Middle East. Before I moved oversees in 2014, I was working in the Beehive as a press secretary to a cabinet minister, and I also worked on the other side of the media divide as a political journalist. What qualifications do you have? I’ve got a law degree from Victoria University, but soon after graduating, I decided to follow my

What does it mean for you personally to

passion for storytelling and politics and enrolled

be an associate director?

in a masters in broadcast journalism from the

I am enjoying every moment of my ongoing journey

University of Westminster in London. This was a

with Wakatū. I’m learning about the history of the

big decision for me at the time, but one I have never

families and the land, and feel privileged to have


an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the future of Wakatū. Both my children were born

What do you do in your spare time?

overseas, and my involvement with Wakatū means

With two small boys and a busy job, I don’t have a

they will have a strong grounding in their identity

lot of spare time. But we enjoy getting out of the

as Māori and as part of the legacy of Wakatū.

hustle and bustle of Singapore as often as possible to visit nearby Indonesia, switch off our phones and

Are there any whakataukī you live by or are

escape the dense city environment. I also try and

important to you?

get back to Aotearoa frequently and love to spend

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua:

time with my whānau, drink New Zealand coffee

As man disappears from sight, the land remains.

and recharge with clean air and native bush. Who is an influential person in your life? Why did you apply to be an associate director?

My father. Our dad is passionate about our family

I wanted to deepen my connection with Wakatū

history, always striving to ensure my sisters and I

and contribute in a meaningful way. I’m spending

know of our ancestors, which is how I first learnt

my first year as associate director on the Kono

about the Wakatū legacy. My father’s commitment

board. In my day job I help New Zealand companies

to unlocking whānau links and stories through

find success in offshore markets, and as exporting

hours of research and conversations is something

is also a big part of Kono’s success, it matches my

we will always cherish and hope to pass on to the

professional skills and interests.

next generation.




Celia Hippolite-Hāwea was born and raised in

wall in my office and I requested to have the names

Celia’s connection to Wakatū tūpuna are to

of our tūpuna written on the wall. Their names and

Rīria Pakake through her mother’s whānau

stories are my inspiration. It’s important for me,

and Hohapata Te Kahupuka, Te Ratapu Hōani

and important for everyone that comes in here, to

Akitini and Wetekia Hōani Hukaroa through

see how they connect. I want people to know and

her father’s whānau. Leaving Whakatū as a

feel that they belong.

teenager, Celia then lived in Hamilton, Hawaii

My role is all about connection, communication

and Utah, USA. She is a mother of six, and has

and caring – I think of what I do as ‘heart work’.

many mokopuna. Her family has always had a

When I first started here, the role was much

strong focus on whakapapa, and her faith as a

more transactional, with the focus around the

member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter

administration of share transfers and dividends.

Day Saints is an important part of her life. She is

While that is still an integral part of what I do, we

passionate about all things Māori, including te

now have a component of whakapapa and research,

reo Māori. In 2009 Celia returned to Whakatū

with a database of over 20,000 names from different

and joined Wakatū in the role of Owner Liaison.

families, including information from Māori Land

She believes she has ‘the best role at Wakatū

Court records and other whakapapa sources.

because she helps connect whānau with their

If anyone has photos of their tūpuna or other

history, whakapapa and shares’. Marking ten

information you would like to share with us, we’d

years in her role this year, Celia tells us why she

love to hear from you.

loves coming to work every day.


Over time we are building an amazing tūpuna resource, by collating whakapapa, court minutes,

hen I first came back to Whakatū in

land interests, newspaper clippings, civil record

2009 I wasn’t expecting to stay more

information and photos. In some cases, by looking

than a few months. I only intended to

at the Māori Land Court minutes from the late

be in Whakatū to write the breaches of the Crown

1800s, we can provide whānau with the actual words

as part of the Treaty claim of Ngāti Koata. While

spoken by their tūpuna, which is very powerful and

awaiting the Crown’s response to my report my

moving for them.

whānau told me about this role. Once I was in the


I remember, when I started, I had a large blank

Whakatū around a large and supportive whānau.

What I love about my role and what the team

role I quickly realised how much I loved working

does is how we can help people see how they

here. Ten years later and that passion has only

connect to Wakatū and Te Tauihu. To see the light

grown and strengthened.

come on in people’s eyes when they realise how they


are connected to this wonderful, vibrant, diverse organisation is a taonga. We share with them their history, stories and their whakapapa. One area we’re focusing on is the importance of whānau trusts, to prevent land interests and Wakatū shares from fragmenting. Shares have become smaller and smaller down the generations. Sometimes when the shares get so small, people think it’s not worth keeping in touch. We’re here to help keep those share parcels all together – it seems a Māori kaupapa to keep things together in a whānau. We appreciate that sometimes the legal jargon can be a bit off-putting. We can help with getting the right consents from family, assist with filling out forms, drafting minutes for the Māori Land Court, and we can even help pay for the court fee. Currently we have over $2 million of unclaimed dividends, and we really want people to claim them! The list of people who have unclaimed dividends is sent out each year, and it’s available on our website and messages on Facebook, as we try to track whānau down. Sometimes the dividends are unclaimed because someone needs to succeed through the Māori Land

Celia Hippolite-Hāwea. (Photo: Russ Flat)

Court; other times it is as easy as proving a bank account or address. My biggest message to whānau is to contact us – your tūpuna want you to be connected, we want you to be connected. You can come and see us, email us, or talk to us on the phone or by Skype. We travel around the country, so we can meet one-on-one and talk with you and your whānau and, if necessary, help fill out the forms while we are there with you. I’m very clear about whom I work for and why I love coming to work every day. Everything my team does is for our Owners. I want people to know that they belong to this amazing whānau organisation. I’m so lucky to have a role where I help people and where I am at the heart of a living legacy. Celia can be contacted at

CELIA’S TOP TIPS Talk to your whānau about the benefits of setting up a whānau trust. Contact us. We can help with whānau trusts and succession. Once your trust is set up, make sure you under­ stand the duties of a trustee – the Māori Land Court has factsheets in both Māori and English. Keep all your bank account and address details up to date. Make sure you are following Wakatū on Facebook and have signed up to receive our email pānui so you have access to all our news and opportunities.

or phone 03 546 8648



TŌ MĀTOU WHARE SPEERS WHĀNAU Tom Speers, his wife Kirsten Revell and their children Maya (17) and Ethan (14) live in the Wood in Whakatū. Kirsten runs a graphic design company; Tom works at Garin College where he is Māori Dean, and teaches PE & outdoor education. His whakapapa connection to Wakatū is through Haimona Turi Patete, Ngāti Koata. In 2019 he co-led the Wakatū outdoor wānanga, ahi kaa.





his house has been our home for about six years. Moving here was bitter-sweet, as this was Jenny,

Kirsten’s mum’s home. She moved to Whakatū to be closer to us and help us. Sadly, when she was diagnosed with cancer, the caring roles were reversed. After she died, we negotiated with Kirsten’s brother to buy the house. We maintain a lovely connection with her especially through the garden, as she was an amazing gardener. We’re in a cul-de-sac that backs on to bush-covered hills. We often see and hear native birds, including ruru, kōtare and kererū. But we’re still just a five-minute skate or walk into town. It’s kind of best of both worlds. Our favourite room in the house is this one. We do most of our living here. Like many families, our daily routine revolves around cooking, so I like the connection between the kitchen and the living room. In summer, we open the doors out into the garden; the outside area is perfect for entertaining.









With over 25 years’ involvement in the

waiata and haka but they’re also learning about

development of indigenous education in

the history of Wakatū and the whenua, about

Aotearoa and internationally, Bentham has

teamwork and stamina, and about connections.

seen first-hand the transformative power of

It is a fantastic example of learning through


experience, and year after year we get feedback from the kids and their parents about how


transformative the wānanga has been. was born, bred, buttered and spread in Waikawa

Last year I was privileged to facilitate the

Bay, near Picton. My whānau have been a part of

pilot of Te Rākau Pakiaka, a series of whakapapa

Wakatū from the beginning. Our whakapapa is

wānanga. The Wakatū Board challenged us to

interconnected with the Tainui and Taranaki tribes

establish wānanga that would focus on developing

who came down from the North Island.

our whānau knowledge of our whakapapa, tikanga

My parents, Monty and Linda, along with my

and history. Our first Te Rākau Pakiaka was held

whānau whānui, have been hugely influential in

over three weekends at three marae around Te

my life and career. Throughout my upbringing

Tauihu. It’s challenging to articulate the impact of

in Waikawa we were encouraged to make a

these wānanga as content and subject matter is so

contribution to our whānau and community. Our

personal and profound. Part of the kaupapa of Te

whānau values ‘to serve, to love and to work hard’

Rākau Pakiaka is for the participants to share the

have inspired and guided me. My wife Kate and my

knowledge they gained with their whānau, so it is

tamariki share and live these values too.

going to have a multiplier effect, with more and

Over the years I’ve been involved with Wakatū

more whānau getting a better understanding of

in different ways. I was the third associate director

their family history. We’ve got our second intake

on the Wakatū Board in 2005. This gave me an

this year, so there will be more whānau empowered

insight into how an indigenous business operates,

with knowledge about their history and identity.

balancing the usual corporate requirements with wider community and cultural responsibilities. I’ve also been a pakeke, an adult mentor, on

I’m now in my third year lecturing as part of Aotahi, the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies Master of Māori and Indigenous

the taiohi wānanga, our youth leadership wānanga

Leadership (MMIL) programme at the University

based in the Abel Tasman National Park. On

of Canterbury. This programme was founded on

the taiohi wānanga, every waking moment is

the belief that the most significant contribution

an opportunity to learn. Over the five days they

to advancing our tino rangatiratanga at this time

may be doing waka ama, tramping, or learning

is people with courage, vision and culturally



Top: Bentham giving a presentation (Photo: Kate MacPherson) Bottom: Bentham with Rore Stafford (Photo: Naomi Aporo)

We want to create the next generation of Māori leaders, from across iwi, Māori and government sectors and foster international indigenous relationships around a cohort of Māori leaders. BENTHAM ŌHIA

embedded leadership skills. Ultimately, we want to create the next generation of Māori leaders, from across iwi, Māori and government sectors and foster international indigenous relationships around a cohort of Māori leaders. A big part of education is access to learning. For some people, doing a tertiary course like a Masters hasn’t been possible because they don’t meet the academic requirements. However, our students can gain entry on the basis of their experience working with iwi, and in Te Ao Māori. Taking on a Masters is a big commitment, and our model of ten monthly weekend wānanga puts further time pressure on our students. I wanted to make the course more accessible, so this year for the first time we have an intake of students who will be doing their monthly wānanga here in Te Tauihu. The challenge is for each of us to find our own pathway to knowledge, whether through formal education like the MMIL or experiential learning like the taiohi wānanga. The great thing about working with organisations like Aotahi and Wakatū is that they are coming from a Māori world view first and foremost. They recognise the power of education and see it in its full social, environmental and cultural context.






you’ve been at the last couple of AGMs or SGMs you may have seen Helen Carew – she’ll have

been either out the front selling Wakatū t-shirts and books or in the kitchen as part of the hākari crew. Her whakapapa connection to Wakatū is through her mum Joan Rini, to one of the original Owners, Te Wera. A two-year course at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) Culinary Arts school followed by a business management course via Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has given Helen the skills and confidence to take her passion for kai one step further, and in 2019 she is launching her own catering company, 3Ts. The name comes from the first initial of each of her three adult children, Tamaira, Tyla and Tyrion. ‘I come from a big family, and sharing meals together is important to us. Our family meals are

Helen with her youngest, Sophia. (Photo: Kate MacPherson)

noisy and fun, and we always have delicious kai. ‘I’m inspired by using local and fresh

Sophia. ‘We are totally besotted with Sophia. And

ingredients. I’ve done a lot of cooking on the marae,

2019 is going to be an exciting and interesting year

and I like to have my own take on traditional dishes.

– having a young baby, putting more emphasis on

On the marae you are often cooking for big groups

my catering, as well as continuing to strengthen my

of people, and I love the challenge of cooking on a

links to the Wakatū whānau.

large scale while still keeping the food interesting.’

We enjoy being at Wakatū events like the AGM

In 2018, Helen was the kaitunu kai for two noho

where Sophia can meet her whānau whānui – all

organised by Wakatū, which focused on whakapapa. ‘It was such a privilege to provide the kai. It was

the aunties, uncles and cousins. I sing and speak to Sophia in te reo Māori, and I loved that she heard

good fun and really deepened my connection to

her first kapa haka in the wharekai at Te Āwhina

Wakatū. Being in the wharekai gives you such a

marae when she was just one month old.

sense of purpose – knowing that people appreciate the kai that you have prepared with love is an

I’m excited she is growing up surrounded by her whānau, her culture and a whole lot of aroha.’

awesome feeling.’ At the end of 2018, Helen and her husband Nick welcomed a new addition to their whānau, daughter

On the next page Helen shares with us her 3Ts seafood chowder.








Ingredients 50 grams butter

2 cups coconut cream

1 leek, white part only, finely chopped

250 grams of each kaimoana, cut into 4 cm chunks: mussels, prawns, salmon, snapper

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp plain flour

salt and pepper for seasoning

125 mls (or 1/2 cup) Tohu Sauvignon Blanc (optional)

juice of half a lemon

3 cups of seafood, fish or chicken stock (homemade is best or good-quality store-bought liquid stock)

cup of parsley chives for garnish

Method In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then sauté leek and garlic until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in flour and cook, stirring continuously for one minute. If using wine, add it in now, stirring continuously to avoid lumps forming. Keep stirring for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol. Add stock and coconut cream, mussels and prawns and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the kaimoana and continue to simmer until fish is just cooked through Take off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the lemon juice, stir in parsley and garnish with chives. Helen’s tip: The trick to a creamy delicious chowder is to not overcook any of the kaimoana. And make sure you keep it at a gentle simmer throughout, without allowing the chowder to come to the boil.




WHENUA SERIES celebrating Tohu wine




Left page: Whenua Awa vineyard in the Upper Awatere Valley, Marlborough. Above: our soil from Whenua Awa vineyard. Next page: Pinot Noir grapes at Whenua Matua vineyard, Upper Moutere.

In 2018, Tohu Wines celebrated a milestone:

Through Tohu Wines we get to take kaupapa

20 years since it was launched as the world’s

Māori to the world every day. We strive to work in

first Māori-owned wine company. Rachel

ways that are kind to people and the environment

­Taulelei, Kono CEO, shares the background to

without compromising quality and integrity. We

Tohu’s latest offering, the Whenua series.

have a strong spiritual connection with the land


and a responsibility to pass it on in good health to ur vision in founding a wine company was to have a platform to share our culture, story and values with the world. They

future generations. This strong connection with the land, our tūrangawaewae here in Te Tauihu, is what is being

were modest beginnings, but thanks to the mahi

celebrated and explored in our new Tohu Whenua

and vision of pioneers such as James Wheeler and

series of wine.

Mugwi MacDonald, and the hard work and talent

In wine-making there is a concept called

of our winery and vineyard teams, we now create

‘terroir’ – this is the characteristic taste and flavour

award-winning wine that is enjoyed globally.

imparted to a wine in the environment in which

We had a great year last year. We released a

it is raised or created – climate, soil and terrain.

very special, limited edition Rewa Rosé, with

In Māori, we have a term, te wā. Te wā is about the

its stunning label and gift box designed by New

convergence of time and place. It speaks of seasons

Zealand artist Flox. Bruce Taylor, our chief

and time, of areas and regions and space. When the

winemaker also marked his ten-year anniversary

human element is added to te wā, the relationship

with us. In looking ahead for his next challenge, he

between people, land, the seasons and light result

started working on a concept of a range dedicated

in a nexus of interconnecting elements. And it’s

to our whenua, our land.

this magic convergence and our connection to the

With Tohu we are proud that we can take our own grapes from our vineyards, to our winery, to the people who buy and drink our wine.

land where we grow our grapes that is celebrated in the Whenua series. Each Whenua wine is an expression of the





Left page: Rongo at Whenua Awa. Rongo have an important role as kaitiaki on our productive land. Above: Tohu Whenua series. Below: Vineyard manager Jonny Hiscox at Whenua Matua.

distinct contours and complexities of our

Both our vines and our people are sustained and

tūrangawaewae, our standing place. All the wine in

defined by roots entwined in this part of the land;

the Whenua series can be traced to the individual

whenua that bore the footprints of our ancestors,

blocks from where the grapes are sourced. These

and which we tend now in anticipation of the steps

blocks were chosen because they represent the

of our grandchildren’s great-grandchildren. Our

true characteristics of the land. Our two vineyards,

inherited values underpin our treatment of the

Whenua Awa in Upper Awatere Valley, Marlborough,

land and the wine. We take care to tread lightly

and Whenua Matua in Upper Moutere, Tasman,

and minimise our impact, and recognise the

have quite different characteristics and produce

characteristics that make it, and us, special.

very distinct flavours in the wines. Whenua Awa is perched high on the remote

With launching this series, we’re giving an insight into some of the beauty and complexity

terraces of the Awatere Valley where the climate is

of our tūrangawaewae through wine, and how it is

cool, winds are strong, braided rivers powerful

woven through time as a part of us and our legacy.

and the frosts are harsh. It’s here where Rore Stafford, Mugwi MacDonald, James Wheeler, Paul Morgan and others planted our first grapes – such a significant day for us. Whenua Matua sits on the sunny slopes of Upper Moutere. It was given its name, which means ‘significant land’, to recognise its deep meaning for the whānau of Wakatū, as it was one of the orginal blocks of Tenths’ lands returned to us when Wakatū was incorporated in 1977. It had been leased out for a long time, and when we took it back, it was covered in gorse. We started planting grapes in

2005, and now Jonny Hiscox and his team not only produce stunning grapes but also have restored wetlands and planted thousands of native plants and trees, which has seen the return of native birds and fish to the area.







am the youngest of three. I’ve an older brother,

stronghold of whakapapa in our whānau. She was

Callan, and a sister, Janis. I grew up in Whakatū

also a talented craftsperson, proficient in weaving,

until I was around 11, when my English step-dad

piupiu-making and taaniko; she was always creating

and my mum decided to move to the UK. I lived

something, or gardening or cooking.

with them in the UK for a year. Although it was an


My grandad was a hard worker with a quick sense

interesting experience, I got homesick, so I asked

of humour and a big heart. He involved all his moko

if I could move back to Aotearoa and live with

in work – whether it was potato harvesting, picking

my grandparents, Teoti-Hou (Jo) and Shirley (née

pinecones and sorting the seeds. He also organised

Wilson) MacDonald, and my sister, Janis. Looking

us to gather apples and pears from friends’ orchards

back on it now, I’m surprised my parents agreed,

to give away to families. I became a pro tea-maker

but they did, so I moved back to Whakatū.

for whānau and visitors who called in home most

My grandparents and sister have been hugely

days. It was an automatic thing to do, without

influential in my life. They were all deeply involved

asking. Grandad also worked with those who

in the Māori community. Grandmum was a

needed to complete community service hours.


grandparents, I spent a lot of time involved in iwi

I’ve always been connected to Wakatū through my Grandmum, and through the community and the marae, but it wasn’t until I became a kaimahi here that I’ve gained a better appreciation of what Wakatū does as an organisation.

life, and on marae around Te Tauihu. With us kids


He made real, life-long connections with people and taught me valuable life lessons simply through how he lived his own life. With our roots in Whakatū, our whānau spent a lot of time nurturing and strengthening our Ngāti Kuia and Ngāti Koata ties and through my

in tow, Grandad was involved in the building of both Whakatū Marae here in Whakatū and Te Hora Pā in Canvastown. Even at a young age, I was aware this marked a milestone era for Māori of Te Tauihu.

for our photocopy paper. Working on these projects

My sister Janis was also very influential in my

has led to me making some changes at home as well

cultural development. When I came back from the

– I’m much more aware of the need to reduce and

UK, she enrolled me at Nayland College where I

recycle these days.

became part of the Māori student hub, or ‘whānau

I’ve always been connected to Wakatū through

room’, coordinated by Aunty Jane duFeu. I also

my grandmum, and through the community and

joined the school kapa haka group, Te Whaioranga.

the marae. My tūpuna Te Pou Hēmi (Ngāti Koata)

I’ve kept up my involvement in kapa haka and other

was one of the original Owners but it wasn’t

kaupapa Māori initiatives. Recently I joined the

until I became a kaimahi here that I’ve gained a

Te Tauihu Māori Cultural Council. We’re working

better appreciation of what Wakatū does as an

on upcoming regional events and also preparing for


2025, when Te Tauihu will be hosting Te Matatini. Nearly ten years ago some of us re-established

In my role, I’m learning new things every day – whether it’s about our commercial property portfolio

the Whakatū Marae Waka Ama Club committee.

or the sites that are of deep significance to our

Waka ama is important to me. Like kapa haka, it

whānau. Many people don’t know that Wakatū is one

is more than recreational and helps to keep me

of the largest private land owners in Te Tauihu, and

culturally connected. I also love the challenge and

we have a responsibility to look after sites of cultural

the camaraderie that comes from competitive

significance. I feel what I do is an honour, and I love

racing. Being part of a committed six-woman crew,

being part of the team caring for our whenua.

we’ve gained experience individually and collectively in the past two years. I’m blessed – I love my whānau and my mahi,

Working at Wakatū is more than just mahi for me. I’m learning more about our whānau and our connection to the land. In the Whenua team we are

but with a busy family life, time for myself is scarce.

all aware of the responsibility we have, not just for

Being on the water is healing. I value the intrinsic

this generation but for the generations to come.

connection with the moana and paddling means

I love a lot of things about Wakatū but I am most

you can be in the moment – it is almost like

proud of being an active part of the overarching

meditation for me.

vision and purpose, Te Pae Tawhiti. I have much

In terms of my role as property assistant, it’s a

respect for ngā pou e ono or uara that guide us in

varied one, ranging from minute-taking at board

the way we want to achieve that vision. I see each

meetings to health and safety for contractors. I’m

of the six values - kaitiakitanga, whanaungatanga,

involved in a lot of administration and support,

rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, hihiritanga and

as well as being part of the team looking at ways

pono - as important as the other and look forward

we can reduce waste at Wakatū House to help us

to playing my part in this journey.

reach our zero-waste goal by 2028. We’ve made some

People probably don’t think of what we do in

changes already, from a campaign to encourage

terms of love, but I can say that there is a lot of

people to use Keep Cups for their daily takeaway

aroha – love of the mahi we do, love of the people

coffee, to changing to a more sustainable option

we do it for, and love of the whenua and moana.



Portia Barcello

Wakatū scholar & intern

Portia Barcello is one of our Te Hunga Panuku. She is a Wakatū scholarship recipient and was the 2018/2019 summer intern at Wakatū. She tells us more about herself, and what the support she's received from Wakatū has meant to her. I’m of Māori and Italian heritage – both cultures that share a love of whānau and food. My connec­ tion into Wakatū is via my dad, and my Ngāti Rārua whānau. I’m the only girl and the youngest in my family – my two brothers are a bit older than me. My mum, dad and brothers are all outdoorsy and sporty – so it was natural that I was too! I grew up around Blenheim and the Marlborough Sounds and spent a lot of time in the bush and in the sea. My mum and dad are in the commercial fishing industry, and I’ve worked for them as a deckhand and a commercial pāua diver. Our idea of a good


time together as a family is to go spear-fishing, or diving for kōura or pāua together. I love eating

University studying for a Bachelor of Commerce

kaimoana fresh from the sea – there’s nothing like

majoring in commercial law and minoring in

thinly sliced pāua quickly cooked over a beach fire.

Māori resource management. I found myself really

At school I was really into sports, including netball and kempo. I also rowed in eights and fours crews at a competitive level. It was great for my


enjoying my commercial law papers, so decided to go for a law degree as well. At the end of my degree I’m planning on

fitness and learning how to work as part of a team,

specialising in Māori resource management.

but the rowing training was intense and demanding,

My family’s livelihood is reliant on the health

and sometimes I would fall asleep at school, so

and wellbeing of the land and sea, so I know how

not ideal for study. I think some of my teachers

important it is to look after what we have for

were surprised when I chose an academic path. I’m

future generations. My connection to the natural

the first in my family to go to university, and the

environment played an important part in my

academic side of things hasn’t always been easy.

upbringing, and has helped define who I am and

But I’ve managed to bring the discipline I learnt

what my values are. I love that one of the values

from competitive sport into my study, so that has

for Wakatū is kaitiakitanga, and taking care of

definitely helped. I’ve also set myself a big challenge

resources and sustainability is at the heart of what

by doing a double degree. I started at Victoria

they do.


week I spent with Kerensa Johnston gave me an

I love that one of the values for Wakatū is kaitiakitanga, and taking care of resources and sustainability is at the heart of what they do.

insight into what it is like to be the CEO and an


This last summer I was an intern at Wakatū, which was great on a number of levels. At university, a lot of the focus for law students is gearing us up to work at one of the big law firms. However, the

in-house legal counsel for a large organisation. I’m also inspired by Rachel Taulelei, who has a law degree, but went into international trade and is now running Kono. The internship helped me gain an appreciation for all the different aspects Wakatū is involved with, as I got to spend time with the property team, as well as the Manaaki team. As part of our scholarship, we do a short presentation at either an AGM or SGM. It was a bit daunting speaking in front of such a large group of people, but I was also grateful for the opportunity to say thank you in person to the Owners of Wakatū for supporting my study. I have appreciated the financial support but also the deepening of the connection between me and Wakatū. It’s also fantastic to be part of Te Hunga Panuku. It is inspiring meeting others of the Wakatū whānau, who are at all stages of their careers.

WAKATŪ SCHOLARSHIPS Each year we invite Wakatū shareholders or descendants of Wakatū shareholders to apply for academic scholarships. Each scholarship provides the successful applicant with financial support for fees and books, for up to a maximum of three years. There are incentives for studying te reo Māori and achieving academic merit. We strongly encourage you to apply. 2019 applications open on 5 August and close on 31 October. More information, including the online application is on the Wakatū website:



Whakapakoko recognise our history and connections On two public holidays earlier this year, while most people were still asleep, our whānau and community were gathering pre-dawn, first at Nayland College on 4 February, Nelson Anniversary Day and then at Kaiteretere on 6 February, Waitangi Day. The occasions were the unveiling and blessing of two whakapakoko in the form of bronze sculptures.


he bronze sculptures were designed and created by multidisciplinary artist Rangi Kipa, one of

the Wakatū whānau. Representatives from all four iwi associated with Wakatū, Ngāti Rārua, Te Ātiawa, Ngati Tama and Ngāti Koata, were at both ceremonies, along with representatives from Nayland College and the Kaiteriteri Reserve Recreation Board. ‘Throughout 2018 we celebrated 40 years since the establishment of Wakatū Incorporation. As part of marking this significant milestone we wanted to contribute artwork to the region that recognised and celebrated our tūpuna and our special connection with the region. These two taonga are the first in a series that will be placed at sites of significance for Wakatū and our whānau,’ Paul Morgan, Wakatū Chair says. The sculpture at Nayland College recognises the part played by Nayland College in hosting the inaugural AGM for Wakatū Incorporation on 28 October 1978. The sculpture stands at around 2.5 metres tall and its design reflects the surrounding environment – the Waimea plains and the estuary.

Whakapakoko at Nayland College (top) and at Kaitereretere (below and

The sculpture is placed so it looks out towards

opposite page). Photos: Kate MacPherson

Tu Ao Wharepapa (Mount Arthur) and Pukeone



(Mount Campbell), both significant mountains for local iwi. ‘There was added meaning to having the ceremony on Nelson Anniversary Day, a day that commemorates the start of Pākehā settlement in the region with the arrival of the first New Zealand Company boat, the Fifeshire on 1 February 1842, another thread in the history of the people of Wakatū, and the Tenths’ Reserves,’ Paul says. The taonga at Nayland College was unveiled by respected artist Puhanga Tupaea who led the design and creation of the tukutuku panels in Kakati, the wharenui at Whakatū Marae, and by the kaumātua Priscilla Paul, a well-known leader of Ngāti Koata in Whakatū. At the unveiling, Nayland College Principal Daniel Wilson acknowledged the special relation­ ship between Wakatū and the college. He said the sculpture and what it represents will be incorporated into the school’s curriculum to explore stories and history of the mana whenua. Already Nayland College art students have been inspired by the sculpture to create their own artwork. The second whakapakoko was unveiled at Kaiteretere by Rānui Young (Ngāti Rārua) and

Whakapakoko are traditional artforms which invoke the presence of atua (gods) and act as a connection between people and the surrounding land. RŌPATA TAYLOR

Paul Morgan. Its design includes reference to the swirling waters of Kaiteretere. ‘Kaiteretere was the site of the negotiations in

‘We are honoured to have an artist of Rangi

1841 between our tūpuna and Captain Wakefield of

Kipa’s calibre involved in this project. As well as a

the New Zealand Company to agree the settlement

sculptor, Rangi is a talented creator of taonga puoro

of the Whakatū, Motueka, Mōhua districts, and

(Māori musical instruments), a carver, an illustrator

what became known as the Nelson Tenths’.

and tā moko artist.’ Across all the artforms he

‘It was appropriate to unveil the sculpture

is involved with, Rangi is motivated to combine

on Waitangi Day, a day to reflect on our past

and explore customary Māori art traditions in

and look forward to our futures. Kaiteretere is a

contemporary contexts. ‘Our sculptures join other

popular beach, and this sculpture is a reminder to

taonga throughout the region, including carved

everyone who comes here of an important moment

waharoa (gateways) at Te Puna o Riuwaka and at

in history. It represents the coming together of

the start of Abel Tasman National Park. A series of

two cultures on one land, and the migration of

concrete tūpuna figures are planned, to be placed

many people to Whakatū and Te Tauihu. While

through the park; the first two are already installed

this taonga reminds us about our past, it is also

at Anchorage and Medland. Recently a taurapa,

symbolic of discussions that are still ongoing today,’

a waka sternpost commissioned by Nelson City

explains Paul.

Council and designed by local artist Maia Hegglun

‘Whakapakoko are traditional artforms

was installed at the Waka Landing site at Mahitahi

which invoke the presence of atua (gods) and act

walkway. Many people are unaware of the layers of

as a connection between people and the

Māori history in this region, and these taonga are

surrounding land,’ Rōpata Taylor, General Manager,

one way of making our history and stories more

Manaaki says.

visible,’ Rōpata says.





Contribution and community

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi With your contribution and mine, the people will be well

Māori entities such as Wakatū are

they will focus on at different

of Nelson Central School to

responsible for managing taonga

times. These areas of focus could

attend the regional kapa haka

in order to meet the aspirations

be education and building our

competitions in the North Island.

of our whānau and our purpose,

people’s capability, which is

We contribute to the

which is to enable whānau

a particular area of focus for

development of the arts in

wellbeing across generations

Wakatū, to housing and health

Whakatū, particularly through

while preserving and enhancing

initiatives and economic or

sponsorship of the Nelson Arts

their taonga or assets.

environmental work.

Festival and performances which

Across Te Tauihu, Māori

Since our establishment in

celebrate te reo Māori and Māori

entities differ in purpose and

1977, the Owners of Wakatū have

stories. We also support national

size. They range from Wakatū,

been committed to supporting

and international events which

which is a whānau and hapū

different initiatives for our

celebrate Māori success and

organisation representing its

whānau and within our region,

build Māori capability, such as

Māori land owners, to entities

through targeted support which

the annual Federation of Maori

such as Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi

aligns with our sponsorship

Authorities (FOMA) conference

Trust (NRAIT), which represents

policy. We believe the initiatives

and the University of Auckland

the interests of hapū based in

we support are good for our

Aotearoa Māori Business

Motueka, to iwi entities such as

whānau and, by default, good

Leaders Awards.

Ngāti Tama ki te Waipounamu

for the wider community of the

Trust and Ngāti Koata Trust,

Whakatū region.

which manage post-Treaty

Through our sponsorship

Our sponsorship is related to a key aim in Te Pae Tawhiti, our 500-year plan, which is

settlement assets on behalf of

activity, we have contributed to

committed to making Te Tauihu

their beneficiaries.

waka ama, by purchasing waka

a great place to work and live –

to support our regional waka

a place where our families are

everything, decisions need to

Recognising they can’t do

ama clubs as well as providing

able to work and live well, over

be made by Māori organisations

financial support to attend

generations. When we are making

about how best to use the

national and international

decisions about which initiatives

resources and about the areas


to support in our community,

For many years, we have

we do so by thinking about how

supported the growth and

they will contribute to the health

development of the marae in our

and wellbeing of our families

rohe through grants for targeted

and the wider community, in the

Bottom: Members of Te Pitau Whakarei

capital expenditure. We are also

short and long term.

kapa haka from Nelson Intermediate

keen supporters of kapa haka. In

School (Photos: Melissa Banks)

2018, we supported the students

Top: Members of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tuia te Mātangi kapa haka.



On track for zero waste by 2028

Helping Wakatū reach its zero-waste goal by 2028 is Blair Taylor, our wānanga food and logistics specialist. He’s been looking at ways to reduce waste on the outdoor-focused programmes like the annual taiohi and ahi kaa wānanga.

During one of our wānanga we

of vacuum-packing and using

waste products go. During the

provide all meals and snacks

plastic snap-lock bags.

wānanga we remind all the

for around 30 people for five

Because we’re quite often

participants about the need to

days, and around 100 people

eating on the move, we provide

reduce waste and recycle where

for the final hākari, so our food

packed breakfasts, lunches and

we can. We have one rubbish bag

requirements are substantial.

snacks. We’ve been using paper

per van, and at the end of each

We aim for healthy kai that

bags for a while, and last year

day, it is someone’s responsibility

fuels people for the physical

we switched from clingwrap to

to sort the waste to make sure

activities on the wānanga, so

beeswax wraps and this has made

it is all separated into compost,

this means heaps of fresh fruit

a huge difference. Beeswax wraps

recycling and landfill.

and vegetables. In the past we

can be used for almost anything

used plastic bags for everything

you would use clingwrap, from

water, each participant on the ahi

– which added up to quite a

wrapping sandwiches to covering

kaa gets a Camelbak. A reusable

few bags! We now do our fresh

food bowls. The only things you

drink bottle is also now on our

fruit and vegetable shop at our

can’t use them for is meat or fish.

gear list for all our wānanga.

local greengrocer, and don’t

With the right care, the wraps

use any plastic bags at all. Fruit

can be used again and again.

and vegetables are weighed

We do most of our food prep

Instead of plastic bottles of

These are some of the steps we have taken so far, and we’ll refine what we’re doing each

as we go, and then put into a

in the wharekai of the different

time we run a wānanga. It’s good

large cardboard box. The box is

marae around Te Tauihu. Most

for the participants to see that

then used for transporting kai

of the marae have already been

we’re taking the zero-waste goal

throughout the wānanga, and

separating their waste into

seriously, and to involve them

is recycled at the end. Through

recycling and composting for

in what we’re doing. They share

experience, we’re also getting our

a while now – so we make sure

their ideas with us, and they take

quantities just right – so there is

everyone who is on clean-up duty

on board some of the things

less waste overall.

knows where all the different

we’re doing as well.

We looked at what else we could buy in bulk that would also reduce packaging and found that going to places like

Beeswax wrap starter-packs giveaway

Bin Inn helps.

We’re got five beeswax wrap starter-packs to give away. Each pack contains pinking shears, cotton fabric for sandwich-size wraps and beeswax. To go in the draw, email with Beeswax wrap in the subject line, and write what you and your whānau are doing to reduce waste at home, work, or on the marae. Winners will be drawn at random from all the entries and we’ll share the best tips on our Facebook page. The draw closes on 1 July 2019.

The way we prep and transport the food has changed, too. We’re using glass or ceramic bowls that can be washed and reused to transport our food now instead



Auora : a new direction

Auora, a consumer-focused, health-solutions business will join Kono and Whenua, two other Wakatū businesses.

The name Auora is a novel combination of two traditional Māori words: ‘ora’ meaning 'health' and 'vitality', and 'au', which has multiple relevant meanings, including ‘current’ and ‘wake’ relating to waka and movement. This name was coined for Wakatū by Dr Karena Kelly (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine). It draws on the imagery of a waka being drawn by a current, reflecting external environmental influences, and also suggests leaving a wake, evoking trailblazers and innovators.

Miriana Stephens (Photo: Kate MacPherson)

‘Au’ is also associated with a string or cord, acknowledging

Auora will design new food,

ingredient industry is converging

whakapapa and the connections

ingredient and health solutions

with the health and life-science

between our Owners, employees,

based on the biomatter and

industries. People are increasingly

and the wellness of our whānau

active ingredients obtained

looking for healthier solutions

and environment through the

from the natural resources of

from what they eat and drink

solutions we provide.

Wakatū, and will work with other

rather than taking traditional

partners who are aligned with

medication,’ Miriana Stephens

as for any new business name

the values of rangatiratanga,

says. ‘With that in mind, we’re

that is adopted by Wakatū,’

manaakitanga, whanaungatanga,

going to be concentrating on

Miriana explains. ‘We had a

kaitiakitanga, hihiritanga and

developing products that solve

couple of different options and

pono at Wakatū.

existing consumer health

explained the thought processes

problems. We’re going to be

behind them. We presented these

Stephens (Executive Director

rigorous and make sure that

to the Wakatū senior leadership,

of Innovation). ‘From our

any benefits are backed up by

who then sought endorsement

research we can see a number of

scientific research. We’re excited

from the Manaaki board. The

opportunities through recent

to be commercialising ideas we’ve

recommendation went to the

trends and predictions for the

been working on over the last

Wakatū Board, where the name

future. The food, nutrition and

three years.’

‘Auora’ was approved.’

Auora will be led by Miriana

‘We followed the same process



Names connect people with place

Manager, Manaaki, shares the stories behind the names of some of the Wakatū subdivisions and streets.

‘As kaitiaki of our whenua and

the heke (great migration),

place names can disappear from

our legacy, a lot of care goes into

Tana Pukekōhatu was a chief of

use and, as a result, history and

the naming of our subdivisions

Ngāti Rārua, and the leader of a

stories of tangata whenua, the

and their street names. It is

Motueka-based hapū called Ngāti

people of the land, can be lost.

important to us to keep the old


All of these names ensure that

names alive, to ensure they are

‘This hapū emphasises the

the footsteps of our families

not lost and they continue to

relationship between Ngāti

continue to resonate throughout

be part of the living landscape.

Rārua and Te Ātiawa. Many of the

Te Tauihu.

Reclaiming the original names is

people associated with Wakatū

about honouring the past.’

today have Tana Pukekōhatu as

Pukekōhatu was a connector,

their tūpuna,’ Rōpata says.

between the North and South

Puketūtū, a subdivision near Port Motueka, is the traditional

Other names associated with

‘In his lifetime, Tana

islands, between Tasman and

Māori name for the area, and

Tana Pukekōhatu are woven

Marlborough, between iwi, and

for the pā site which was on

through nearby streets. His son,

between Māori and the new

beachfront land near present-

Kerei Pukekōhatu, is recognised

Pākehā settlers of the late 1800s.

day Trewavas Street. Puketūtū

in the naming of both Kerei and

Naming one of our prominent

translates to ‘hill of the tutu tree’.

Grey streets. Rore Street is named

subdivisions after him ensures an

The native tutu tree, often found

after another son, Rore. Close

ongoing connection to the deep

in coastal areas, is notorious for

by, Paretōna Street is named

history of our lands,’ Rōpata says.

being highly poisonous, but the

after another hapū which Tana

carefully strained juice of the

Pukekōhatu led. Paretōna hapū

berries was used in rongoā Māori.

was based over in the Wairau and

‘Puketūtū reflects one of

emphasises the links between

the Māori naming traditions

Ngāti Rārua and Ngāti Toa

that is focused on the land


form – the mountain, the river,

‘And it’s not just people from

the lake. Other times, names

our early history we recognise.

commemorate an event or an

Another, Kuini Street, is

activity that took place at that

named after our beloved aunty,

location. There is also a tradition

Kuini Kātene (née Rōpata).

of recognising significant

Kuini Kātene lived all her life

people, which is the case for

on the lands just near to this

another Motueka subdivision,


Tana Pukekōhatu. One of the original chiefs associated with


Rōpata Taylor, General

‘One of the impacts of colonisation is that traditional


New kupu for Wakatū

As part of our te reo Māori strategy, we’re increasing the use of te reo Māori across Wakatū – and we’re bringing in some new te reo Māori terms for some of our schemes and programmes.

Three terms we introduced last

that express the concept and

gain experience in the gover­

year at Wakatū:

meaning behind the words. This

nance and management of

is the approach we took with Te

Wakatū. It’s an important part of

Hunga Panuku and Te Amonuku.’

our succession planning, helping

Te Rautaki Haumanu Haungahuru –

Te Hunga Panuku is our

to ensure we have people who

Making the Tenths’ Whole

new name for the community

have the skills and experience to


of people connected through

lead our organisation.

Te Hunga Panuku – formerly known as the Wakatū alumni group

Wakatū education programmes and scholarships. ‘For some time, we have been

Te Amonuku was chosen as it is a play on ‘amorangi’, meaning leader, and using ‘nuku’ as a nod

calling the group of people

to the partnership between Rangi

who have participated in one

and Papa and associate and

of our education programmes,

director/manager. ‘Papa’ is also

training, scholarships, wānanga

an appropriate reference for this

or one-off projects our alumni.

programme, given this notion of

Rōpata Taylor, General Manager,

However, the word ‘alumni’ is

succession planning and creating

Manaaki, explains the back-

often used in the context of

new leaders, and it also means to

ground behind the new terms:

people who have graduated from

move, shift or extend.

‘It’s exciting that we are using

academic institutions such as

more and more te reo Māori

universities and, increasingly, it

the name of the position and the

across Wakatū and our associated

didn’t feel like the right fit for


businesses. With rautaki, meaning

us. Our kaumātua, Rore Stafford,

strategy; haumanu, to rejuvenate,

encouraged us to find a name

Kelly (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine)

revive or restore to health; and

for this group that better reflects

a linguist and te reo Māori

haungahuru meaning tenth,

the kaupapa of the group, and of

specialist who worked with us

Te Rautaki Haumanu Haunga­

Wakatū,’ says Rōpata.

to create the kupu Te Amonuku

Te Amonuku – our associate director and manager programme

huru is a translation of Making

The name Te Hunga Panuku

the Tenths’ Whole strategy,’

has a broad meaning of a group

Rōpata says.

of people moving up and forward

‘However, when you are translating between Māori and

together. Te Amonuku is our new name

Amonuku will be used as both

‘We acknowledge Dr Karena

and Te Rautaki Haumanu Haungahuru,’ Ropata says. ‘Having te reo Māori terms for our programmes is another way we are reaffirming our

English, it’s not always necessary

for our associate director and

commitment to supporting the

to have a literal, word-for-word

associate manager programme.

taonga of te reo Māori.’

translation. You can instead

This programme provides our

explore ways of using te reo Māori

Owners with the opportunity to




Wakatū is a Māori-owned Incorporation, established in 1977 to manage the Nelson Tenths’ Estate and occupation lands in Whakatū, Motueka and Mōhua. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Wakatū is one of the largest land owners in Te Tauihu, the top of the South Island. Wakatū and its associated businesses employs around 500 people. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Wakatū Group consists of Whenua (property), Kono NZ LP (food and drinks), Manaaki (people and culture), and Amo (business services). ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In 2019, Wakatū is establishing a new business unit to sit alongside Kono, Whenua and Manaaki, known as ‘Auora’. The focus is on new science-based products and innovations which promote health and wellbeing for people and the land. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Our Manaaki sector offers scholarships and development programmes for our whānau to further their study, and learn about whakapapa, tikanga and history. For more information contact ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

The whānau of Wakatū descend from those tūpuna identified in the Native Land Court in 1892 and 1893 as the traditional land owners of Whakatū, Motueka and Mōhua. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Our corporate office, Wakatū House is in Whakatū (Nelson) and we have staff and offices based throughout Aotearoa, in Shanghai, China, and North America. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In 2019, we will export almost $59m of goods to over 40 countries around the world. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

We’ll complete major residential subdivisions in the Tasman region in 2019. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••



2019 1 May

Applications open for Te Amonuku – our associate director & manager programme

14 June

Te Amonuku applications close

5 August

Tertiary scholarship applications open

30 September – 4 October

Taiohi tamatane wānanga – our youth wānanga

31 October

Tertiary scholarship applications close

29 November

Owners’ bus tour, Blenheim

30 November

Annual General Meeting (AGM), Whakatū

10 December

Deadline for summer bookings for camping at Mārahau

2020 30 January – 3 February

Ahi kaa

28 March

Special General Meeting (SGM), Wellington

6 April

Applications open for taiohi taitamawahine wānanga – our youth wānanga

1 May

Applications open for Te Amonuku - our associate director & manager programme

14 June

Te Amonuku applications close

3 August

Tertiary scholarship applications open

28 September – 2 October

Taiohi taitamawahine wānanga

31 October

Tertiary scholarship applications close

27 November

Owners’ bus tour

28 November

Annual General Meeting (AGM), Whakatū

10 December

Deadline for summer bookings for camping at Mārahau



Writers: Kerensa Johnston,

Photographers: Kate MacPherson,

Printed by Spectrum Print in Christchurch

Felicity Connell, RĹ?pata Taylor

Russ Flat, Oliver Webber, Naomi Aporo,

on a chlorine-free stock made from pulp that

Editor: Jude Watson

Melissa Banks, Carly Ave

is sourced from sustainable tree farms.

Design: Floor van Lierop (

Cover photo: Russ Flat

Printed using soya based inks.

Profile for Wakatū

Koekoeā - the magazine for Wakatū - issue #1 Hōkoke 2019