A special wānanga to revive Hautapu practices in Manurewa has helped dozens of locals
reconnect with te taiao (the natural environment), matauranga Māori (traditional Māori
knowledge) and their neighbourhood.
Despite its densely built urban landscape, Manurewa still has many sites of Māori
significance in its surrounding whenua, awa and moana spaces.
During the wānanga, the banks of the lower Puhinui Stream in industrial Wiri became an
outdoor classroom for the 40 participants. Led by Krissy Bishop, CEO of Te Puanga Maara,
and her team, participants helped to plant 3000 native shrubs and trees along the lower
catchment. The taiao restoration is a mission that Te Puanga Maara has been working on
with rangatahi from their Tiaki Taiao Hub for the past nine years.
“Te Puanga Maara started here with rangatahi from Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae, Manurewa
Marae and Makaurau Marae,” says Krissy.
“Each had their own aspirations around the taiao, and then we set up a charitable trust so we could employ our rangatahi to do therestoration work.”
“Over generations we’ve lost contact with what it means to be in that environment and
historically, the Puhinui was part of our pātaka kai. We want to be involved in the restoration
of that pātaka kai for the Te Waiōhua whānau and those that call this area home.”
As temperatures plummeted in the afternoon, wānanga participants returned to Manurewa
Marae to warm up and turn their gaze to the heavens.
The Cause Collective’s Were Maiava was on hand to teach the group waiata and support
With three weeks to go before official Matariki celebrations began, the kaupapa was to
prepare people with knowledge they could take home to their whānau. As well as learning
the names of the stars in the Matariki star cluster, participants were able to set their
intentions for Te Maatahi o te Tau and the Māori New Year.
Hautapu ceremonies were traditionally held by Māori to celebrate the appearance of Matariki
in mid-winter and involved star gazing, karakia and kai.
In the pre-dawn hours the following morning, the wānanga shifted to the Scenic Lookout in
Goodwood Heights. With clear, unobstructed views of the sky and over Manukau City,
participants began their climb led by karakia and karanga to acknowledge those who had
passed away in the previous year. It was also a chance to think of the year ahead.