Historic Day at Mowhanau - Oct 2006

Saturday 7 October 2006, the day the Sisters of St Joseph annually honour their founder, Julian Tenison Woods, will now have added significance for the Whanganui group.

That day was the culmination of a growing relationship between the Tamareheroto people to whose ancestors the land belonged, and the Sisters who had been the users of the land for the past 40-50 years. The Sisters by legal Deed of Transfer and the agreement of the Tamareheroto people, have transferred back to the people the title of the land on which the beach house stands. This property at Mowhanau is particularly significant for the Tamareheroto people as their traditional camping place where their ancestors would land their waka and dry fish for winter. The Tamareheroto people have agreed to offer the Sisters a lease of the property for up to 25 years.

The photograph above shows the official signing party of Sisters Marie Roche and Marie Skidmore, and the Tamareheroto representatives, Raukura Waitai and Anne Waitai. Richard Moore, member of the Congregational Trust Board attends to the documents.

After the formal welcome to the Tamareheroto people, and the signing of the document by the representatives of the Sisters and the Tamareheroto people, all attending were asked to add their signatures to the document. The pens used to sign were to be kept by each signee.

A group then blessed the house itself and a miro tree was planted by the Tamareheroto people and their mokopuna.

The formal part of the day concluded with a prayer together:
“We gather to restore mana whenua to a people;
We honour the ancestors of Tamareheroto and Rakeihoea;
Their children , Pukeko and Iti, and all their mokopuna;
We acknowledge nga marae of Kai Iwi, Te Aroha and Taipake;
The Kai Iwi stream. Maunga Papanui, Omatua Urupa
Landmarks of special significance.”

We remember the six living strands of Tamareheroto-tanga, which the people express as follows:
“Matauranga - our unique expression of a Maori pathway;
Waiora Hauora - nurturing our mokopuna and kaumatua into toiora, a holistic approach to life;
Wairuatanga - the belief that we are part of the whole cycle of life;
Te Reo - revitalising korero me o nga tikanga to develop Tamareheroto knowledge;
Whakapapa - that which defines us as a people which links us to our tupuna and this land;
Kaitiakitanga - accepting responsible guardianship over this particular whenua and kainga.”
“Ahu mihi whakapai - We give thanks and praise!”

All shared together in the meal and further korero and waiata. The relationship between the Tamareheroto people and the sisters will continue to be nurtured, and an annual gathering will be held.

This photo shows some of those gathered in front of the house.

In the words of Sr Marie Roche to the Tamareheroto people:
“…Fr Tenison Woods…along with Mother Mary MacKillop… were very much people of the land, and our acknowledging your mana whenua today would have been a cause close to their hearts.”

Gallery / Whakaahua

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