Ngāti Awa prepares to commemorate Te Kupenga a Taramainuku

Photo/ Te Kupenga a Taramainuku Pā Commemorations Facebook page

The people of Ngāti Awa are preparing to host a national commemoration and the 152nd anniversary of Te Kupenga a Taramainuku Pā.

Thousands are expected to come together from all parts of the country to partake in the event which will take place on 20 October at Tahuna Road, Te Teko. 

Te Kupenga was a pre-European settlement of the hapū of Ngāti Awa. It was recognised as a social, political and economic hub of the lower-Rangitāiki region until September 1865 when Crown forces and their loyalist allies invaded the rohe of Ngāti Awa and eventually laid siege to Te Kupenga in pursuit of Ngāti Awa tribes involved in the death of Hemi Fulloon. This lead to the confiscation of a large part of the tribal rohe. 

Te Kupenga Heritage Committee spokesperson, Hakahaka Hona says, “This is a very significant event for the people of Ngāti Awa, Rangitaiki and Te Teko.” 

The day will begin with a dawn ceremony at 5am followed by a mass powhiri for the Kingitanga, dignitaries, special guests and iwi from across Aotearoa.

“The commemoration marks a time where as a Iwi we are able to remember what happened, educate our rangatahi and future generations and restore the community's awareness of such a significant historic event that occurred within our community”. Mr Hona says.

In the lead up to the 2016 commemoration, Te Kura Wānanga o Te Kupenga a Taramainuku was formed to nurture traditional teachings, including mau rākau, waiata, haka, kōrero o neherā, karakia, amongst the tamariki, and pakeke of Ngāti Awa.

Te Kura Wananga, alongside local schools and iwi, will provide a 300-man strong haka powhiri contingent to welcome dignitaries, special guests and visiting iwi.