Tūwharetoa strengthens ties with Kiingitanga

Ngāti Tūwharetoa invited iwi to strengthen ties with the Kiingitanga at Pūkawa Marae over the weekend.

Ariki Tumu Te Heuheu and his people of Ngāti Tūwharetoa hosted the Kiingitanga for two days at the marae situated to the southwest of Lake Taupō, to celebrate 160 years of the Māori King movement.

Jack Williams of Pūkawa Marae says, "The name of this event is called 'Hīnana ki uta Hīnana ki tai' which represents the bond between Ngāti Tūwharetoa and the Kiingitanga."

Williams says Pūkawa was where discussions of the Māori King movement first took place more than 160 years ago.

On the final day of the event, iwi from across the country were welcomed by Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato and the Wanganui tribes. And rangatira from each hapu and iwi were invited to stick a pou whenua or land post in the ground which were then tied together by one rope to represent all the tribes in support of the Kiingitanga.

This custom also took place 160 years ago at Pūkawa Marae when Pootatau Te Wherowhero became the first Māori King.

Māori King spokesperson Brad Totorewa says, "The sticking of the pou whenua into the ground represents the geneology of each iwi and their support for the Kiingitanga."

Aaron Iwikau of Pūkawa Marae says he hopes the future generations carry on these relationships passed down by their ancestors.

"Hold fast to the dreams and aspirations our elders have had from long ago up until now. Let's achieve those dreams together."

The Kiingitanga are now looking ahead to attend a Poukai at Te Awamaarahi Marae in Onewhero this coming weekend.