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  • Writer's pictureNgati Kawa Taituha

Did you know... March 24'

Did you know that in December 1985, on the Voyage of Rediscovery, the Hawaiian double hulled voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa was escorted by Ngaatokimatawhaorua as it made historic landfall at Waitangi? The Polynesian Voyaging Society and Kamehameha Schools were warmly received with unprecedented ceremony, celebration, and hospitality at Te Tii Marae. This significant occasion was further enhanced when a senior Ngapuhi Kaumatua and Lieutenant of the 28th Maori Battalion Sir James Henare declared that Hōkūleʻa was living proof of the maritime ingenuity of our tupuna, and that the crew and the nation they represented would be known as the 6th tribe of Te Taitokerau. He then charged Māori to build their own double hulled catamarans and to sail with pride and promise across Te Moananuiakiwa.


This task was courageously accepted and fulfilled by Hekenukumaingaiwi Busby, thus changing the course of Pacific history forever. In February 1990, under the name Ngāti Ruawaahia (meaning “tribe of Hōkūleʻa, or the star Arcturus"), the Hawaiian tribe returned as special guests at the 150th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. A stone that was brought on the 1985 voyage was enshrined with bronze plaques in the rock wall at Te Tii Marae. In March 1992, Ngāti Ruawāhia erected its poupou Māuipāmamao on the grounds next to Te Tii Marae which became a physical manifestation of the Hawaiian tribe. To consolidate this rich history and to strengthen its kinship bonds, on the 10th of December 2019, Te Tii Marae and Ngati Ruawaahia signed a Declaration of Kinship. This positive initiative and amazing concept will pave the way forward by taking these united tribes well in to the future. It also sets the benchmark for inter-indigenous relationships.

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