• No results found

Ngā reo o te kainga: voices from home

Te hunga hoki mai – Rakapurua Tipiway (Scobie Nana Tāmati)

I think it was Uncle Rātema [Tāmati] who registered me at primary school as

‘Scobie Nana Tāmati’ and I didn’t know my real name – Rakapurua Tipiwai, until I was twelve. The name ‘Scobie, Nana Tāmati’ stuck, but my legal name is still Rakapurua Tipiwai. I was born in Whangaparaoa, Cape Runaway but from birth to ten years, I was brought up by my kuia Wehipū and my koroua Te Heru Rātema Tamati, in Mourea; I think because I was semi paralysed in one leg and we were closer to the doctors and the hospital at Mourea here. My kuia was Wehipū. She was an Awhimate from Ngati Mākino, Otamarākau and she married my koro Te Heru Tāmati from Ngati Te Takinga, Ngati Pikao. They brought me up. We had a mill home down at Okawa Bay Mourea; that was our first home (S. Tamati, pers. comm., 2005).

An open, amiable and personable character with a great sense of humour, it was without hesitation that Scobie Tamati (Uncle Scobie) enlisted to participate in the Te Takinga stories project. Our first meeting for the purpose of what was a comfortable, relaxed and valuable interview took place at his Rotorua city home in the early spring of 2005.

In keeping with the tradition of his own kuia and koroua at the time of his interview, Uncle Scobie was also caring for one of his mokopuna. Known as ‘taura moko’

(Hemara, 2000) this practice entails grandparents taking a grandchild (moko taura) in order to start a process of life-long learning. The grandchild (mokopuna) functions as a link between generations, becoming the seedbed for the knowledge of the grandparents (N. Raerino, pers. comm., 2006). An enduring custom, the practice was evidenced during the visit to Uncle Scobie’s home and to the homes also, of other Ngati Te Takinga elders who participated in this stories project.

The story of Uncle Scobie’s early years at Mourea, his move away and then his return after some forty two years, provides valuable insight into four significant phenomenon which have direct relevance to this project. Firstly, Uncle Scobie’s story highlights the influences in his early life which impacted on the ways in which he has conceptualised,

constructed and maintained a sense of home regardless of his geographical disconnection after leaving that home. Secondly, his story expounds the practical ways and means by which he maintained his links with home, the marae and the people of Ngati Te Takinga throughout the time that he was ‘away’. Thirdly, Uncle Scobie’s story provides an insight into the Iwi reintegration (inclusion) process that has enabled him to re-establish,

reconnect and assume his place at Te Takinga marae and within the Iwi; subsequent to his long years of absence. Uncle Scobie now sits on the paepae at the marae and his presence and his position are integral to the maintenance of Māori cultural continuity on behalf of and for, Ngati Te Takinga – Ngati Pikiao and Te Arawa whānui.

Finally, the stories recounted by this Kaumātua elucidate the notion of the

deterritorialised nation or, the autonomous nation-state that ‘remains intact even though the geographic boundaries of the state no longer can be understood to contain the citizens of the nation state’ (Basch, et. al, 1994, p. 260). The deterritorialised nation comes to exist in the hearts and minds of the people of that nation, although they may live outside its geographical boundaries. In the case of Uncle Scobie, the nation state of Ngati Te Takinga, Ngati Pikiao remained branded into his heart and mind; although living many miles away and lead a life which was far removed from that which he had lived at Mourea kainga. The means by which this nation state was created and remained in his heart and in his mind are expressed and illuminated through his story telling.

Uncle Scobie’s stories of home are charted using these themes as their navigational points; conceptualising and constructing notions of home; the move from the rural hearth to the city; the return home and finally, deterritorialisation. The stories will begin with his recollections of the formative years he spent at Mourea with his grandparents Wehipū and Te Heru and also, with his mother Martha and stepfather Ted Walker. Due to the in-depth, detailed and ordered way in which Uncle Scobie recounted his stories during the interview process the first section, which sets the scene for the sections that follow, will be biographical in nature. This biographical account of Uncle Scobie’s early years actively captures the intangible essence or ‘hau’ of his Mourea home or kainga, and in so

doing, explicates the fundamental purpose of this thesis; the exploration of notions of home, belongingness and identity.

The account of his early years will be followed by a description of the practical ways in which he maintained his links with home after leaving and finally, his closing story will constitute a personal exposé on his return home including the steps he took in preparation for this journey.

Scobie Nana Tamati - The early years: A biography

My father Takurua Tipiwai, was from Te Whānau a Apanui; Omaio. My mother Martha met him at the Ministry of Works camp in the Waioeka Gorge; she was staying there with my kuia Wehipū and my koro Te Heru who were working for the Ministry of Works at the time. After meeting, my Mum went to live with my Dad at Whangaparoa Cape Runaway at a place called Te Piki. They had these Māori work schemes at the time; set up by Apirana Ngata. There were about 10 families and they lived in tin shack camps.

The people worked farming and breaking land in. All my whānau were born there;

Manuariki and Reweti known as Scratch and Te Piki who is also known as Pigo and then me, Rakapurua (Scobie); Atareta (Hine), Kereopa (Pope) and Maui. My dad died in 1945 and that was when my family came to live at Mourea. I was the first of the family to come; my mum and the rest of the family came a bit later. It was only recently that Aunty Mabel Paul told me these things about my mum and dad until then, I hadn’t known.

So, after my dad died, my family came to Mourea. They lived with my kuia and koro Wehipū and Te Heru. I think [I came early] because I was semi paralysed in the leg and we were closer to the doctors and the hospital at Mourea here. We had a mill home down at Okawa Bay Mourea; that was our first home and we lived there until I was about five.

The name of the mill was the Rotoiti Timber Company. The logs used to come from Waione and from the south side of Ngati Pikiao’s tūpuna maunga, Matawhaura. I have vivid memories of the logs coming up because my koro took me down [to Matawhara] on the barge. Uncle Makiha was operating the launch which towed the barge to Matawhaura

where the logs were loaded and then towed them all the way back up to Okawa. It was an exciting time; the mill was our playground … as long as you didn’t get caught there!

We then moved to our present home, which is in the middle of Mourea. It was brand spanking new and we were in one of the two or three new homes at that time which was during the 1940s; that was my kuia and koro’s first homestead. We don’t have photos of Te Heru or Wehipū, which is tragic. Wehipū was a very humble woman. She was marvelous. She used to carry me around because of my paralysed leg. We used to go to the doctor who came to Sam Emery’s shop in front of our place. The Doctor came there, which was very good for me. Wehipū would carry me down on her back to the surgery area. Ani Pātene, who was Sam Emery’s sister in law, was running the shop at the time.

As young children we weren’t allowed to go to the marae. My kuia was pretty strict on that area but when I was about nine or ten, I would go down there quite often to the tangis and hui that we had on. The marae was used for various events. There was Sunday school there with Mr. Patterson and they used to run a lot of fundraising things like housie and games and dances, it was really like the community centre then. I had a cousin Mānahi Walker - Nash – my mother married his father Ted when Ted lost his wife.

Mānahi, we used to come back from school sometimes and he would rub his leg and I would say “what’s the matter, is somebody dead at home” and sure enough. We would come back and there’s a tangi at home. Well there’s no way we could tell this at school with no telephone …. He wasn’t freaky or spooky; he would just go down and rub his leg. We called him Nash. He had a certain gift of seeing, of knowing those sorts of things.

There were about thirty or forty of us in our era – our age bracket and I suppose we were all pretty close. There was Jackie Inia and Matiu Te Puia or Tamehana, Teddy Grant, Napi Waaka, the Rapana boys; Wihau, Bobby and Thompson and the ones from across Pārua and Kahumatamomoe. I suppose our up bringing was pretty tough you know ….

clothes to wear and food and it was just difficult for my kui and koro. But all of our kuia

and koroua they brought up mokopuna; after their kids, the whole lot of them. It was just the natural thing to them. Mourea back then, there was a different feeling. It was closer, a closer feeling because everybody was just about on par. There were only a few families that were just a bit higher you know, had a bit better [living] standard than us; the Rogers family and the Newtons. [But] I think that the Māori were closer knit in that time; it was in your genes you know, because of the closeness of the family because we are under one tūpuna and we just go back to him [sic] to Te Takinga and its all part of your inner system I suppose (S. Tamati, pers. comm., 2005).

In summary

In their retelling, the stories of the formative years of Uncle Scobie’s life reveal the fundamental values and beliefs that have shaped his personal construction of home belongingness and his Ngati Te Takinga – Ngati Pikiao identity. The old people, particularly his kuia Wehipū and his koro Te Heru, for whom he expressed great love, feature predominantly in his kōrero. The hau kainga for Uncle Scobie is evoked through memories of his kui and koro and of the other people of Mourea – Ngati Te Takinga, to whom he was close and with whom he was raised. The intergenerational relationships that were shared and fostered by all of these people formed the foundation of the ‘close knit’ Mourea whānau - community to which they all belonged. Uncle Scobie’s nostalgic recollections replenish and rebuttress his sense of identity by consolidating his ties with his history (Ritivoi, 2002).

The applied roles that grandparents had in raising their mokopuna in days past, continues.

The tradition is maintained by research participants such as Uncle Scobie, Aunty Hilda, Ngāhuia, Merepaea and Aunty Nancy who all had mokopuna living with, or in close proximity to, them. Effectively, their homes were/are the classrooms where

intergenerational transmission of Māori custom, knowledge and practice occurs. For Uncle Scobie the memory of the old people who raised him imbue the Mourea kainga with a sense of home. Overlooking the Mourea settlement stands Motutawa. Sentinel urupā and final resting place of the ancestors who are revived and remembered through these stories. Although no longer amoungst us, the enduring nature of the teachings of

kuia and koroua such as Te Heru and Wehipū and those others of their generation offer guidance for the succeeding generations of Ngati Te Takinga.

Home and away: maintaining connections

Te Takinga is very much my tūrangawaewae; I went away from there in 1958 – came back in 2000 - but I always came home once a year when I had leave [from work]; no matter where I was living; I have always loved Mourea (S. Tamati, pers. comm., 2005).

Prior to leaving Mourea in 1958 Uncle Scobie, like the majority of the Ngati Te Takinga – Ngati Pikiao men at the time, was employed at the Waipa State Sawmill. Leaving this job he began work for the New Zealand Electricity Department laying the power lines to, and between, Mourea, Te Puke and Edgecumbe. He then went on to another job,

constructing the Atiamuri dam. In his words:

Well the line, that was closing down and we were finishing off and then one of my whānau, Dan Manahi, he said “come over to Atiamuri big money there” and so me, Uncle Ratema, Billy Boy Waaka and Jim Henry we all went and applied for and got a job. Well, our first fortnight pay was 25 pounds and our next one was 113 pounds; and I owed the Petley’s store [at Mourea] a lot of money about 60 pounds! Well, I just wiped off my big bills just like that; and that’s what got my family and I to a better standard of living. It was hard work but the money was too good and it got better as it got on.

Uncle Scobie’s determination to improve the living standards of his whānau was reinforced when his first born child, Te Arani, died of pneumonia.

We had our first child at Mourea. She was born in 1957 and we named her Te Arani Maryanne Tamati. We were living where Uncle Ratema is now. There was a two room bach there; no power and we only had a woodstove for heating. Te Arani caught pneumonia and she died. For three days she was unconscious in the hospital. Life was hard; no power, down to the lake in the winter to wash the clothes … I used to lie my baby on my chest to try to keep her warm.

Te Arani’s passing was to be that catalyst for Uncle Scobie’s departure from Mourea.

With thoughts of higher wages and better standards of living for his whānau in mind, he and his Tuhourangi – Ngāpuhi wife Ngāwai Toitoi Mihaka left Mourea. He was 23 years of age.

‘He taura here’

A binding connection

Uncle Scobie’s forty-two year absence from Mourea did not impact his sense of connection to the hau kainga. Yearly visits home meant that he “never lost touch”.

Recounting his ongoing efforts to sustain his connections Uncle Scobie said:

Every time I went away, I always made a point of coming back. I would visit Uncle Ratema and then Rangiwhaea and Aunty Mabel and Te Arani. Funny enough, in all that, my mother and step dad weren’t in the equation until 1990. But I always made it [coming back to Mourea] a point. I saw Mourea progress and I was there giving a bit of a hand in 1976 when they were doing the wharekai and all that with Paki and Rai Inia and them; they were making all the tables [for the wharekai]

Rekindling and maintaining ones family connections in the ways described by Uncle Scobie, is known in Māori terms as matamatateaone (also referred to as matemateaone).

Explaining this term Ngāmaru Raerino (2006) stated “ko te matamatateaone he

whakahonohono, he whakaohooho i te whānaungatanga: it is a revitalisation of your links with your family” (N. Raerino, pers. comm., 2006). For those Māori who live outside of their tribal areas, matamatateaone or returning home and visiting ones relatives however briefly, is one way of rekindling the home fires. By this means, one is enabled to keep their ties with home and family alive.

It was during his visits home that Uncle Scobie’s desire to whaikōrero emerged. At the time, the mantle of kai-kōrero (kaumātua) for his whānau was quiescent. Recognising the need to remedy this situation for and on behalf of his whānau, he took active measures. Recounting his experience Uncle Scobie said:

I used to come back [to Mourea] and I would get envious of Whakarewa and Matiu and them on some occasions. I see them whaikōrero and I couldn’t talk Māori then, never had a blimmin clue;

until one time we were down in Turangi I think, in 1976 and I was getting on a bit and I thought blow this! So I started picking up dribs and drabs you know, but not through anybody teaching me, just through listening.

Uncle Scobie’s inherent desire to whaikōrero and his pro-active measures to learn te reo Māori in preparedness for the role of kai-kōrero – Kaumātua for Ngati Te Takinga, came to fruition in 2001. Assuming a speaking position on the marae paepae (orator’s bench), his learning of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori was greatly enhanced through the sharing of knowledge with other Te Arawa elders both male and female.

He matemateaone Longing for home

Like the term ‘matamatateaone’ the term ‘matemateaone’ also refers to a person’s sense of belonging to place. Matemateaone however, infers a sense of longing for home. This

‘longing’ – te matemateaone, is discernible within the next account of Uncle Scobie’s life. Although away from Mourea for 42 years, Uncle Scobie’s desire to return was constant. His efforts to “come back home” however, were thwarted by this wife Ngāwai’s lack of desire to leave their Cromwell home and return to Rotorua; “she was that obstinate” he said, “I tried for ten years and I won in the end but only because she died”. When asked as to the reasons behind Ngāwai’s decision not to return to home, Uncle Scobie pondered a while and said:

She went into her shell ….. I would come back home to tangi but she would be sick or a mokopuna would be sick and she just wouldn’t come. She just went into her shell and I just couldn’t get her out of it. She said “if you want to go just go. You can go back, but I’ve still got three children down here”.

On the one hand, Ngawai’s desire to remain in Cromwell beside her children rather than return to Rotorua was understandable. On the other hand, in Uncle Scobie’s view, her withdrawal from the local Cromwell kapahaka group Te Roopu o Kawarau, described in the following quote, was baffling. The couple had been instrumental in establishing this group. Their participation in its activities had also been an important means by which they had recreated and maintained a sense of whānaunga and Māoritanga while absent from the hau kainga. The following excerpt highlights these points:

When we went down to Te Waipounamu where we formed a Māori club and she was into it. We called the club Te Roopu o Kawarau, after the river flowing through [Cromwell]. I ended up being with the Ngāpuhi fullas, we were the cooks and then we ended up being the Kaumātua. Then all of a sudden she just wasn’t interested anymore, she wouldn’t come. She just went into her shell.

A pan-tribal ‘kapa’, or Māori performing arts group, Te Roopu o Kawarau was a forerunner to the establishment of other pan-tribal ‘kapa’ which had their genesis in the 1970’s. Pan-tribal kapahaka groups were a form of Māori voluntary association that provided a forum in which urbanised Māori from any Iwi, could once again feel ‘the

camaraderie that existed in their home communities [through] the whānaungatanga in a kapa’ (Papesch, T. 2006, p. 38). The activities of the kapa brought those involved ‘closer to home’ quelling loneliness and also, allowing them to ‘still be Māori amoung a strange new population majority that was not Māori’ (Papesch, T. 2006, p. 38). Given these underlying principles Uncle Scobie’s inability to comprehend Ngāwai’s withdrawal from Te Roopu o Kawarau, is understandable.

We can never know the reasons for the choices Ngāwai made during her lifetime. Under the circumstances however, Uncle Scobie’s choice to remain with Ngāwai and the children in Cromwell while harboring intense desires to return home (he matemateaone), speaks of two things. Firstly, a commitment to the promises made and kept by way of his marriage to Ngāwai and secondly, his allegiance to his immediate whānau. His actions are underpinned by the fundamental values of whānau and the manaaki (care) of the whānau. These values form the basis of a Māori way of being and knowing. Durie (2003) asserts that the maintenance of whānau is critical to the survival and well being of Māori as a distinct people. Concurring with this thinking, the New Zealand Ministry of Health (1997) maintains that the well being of whānau Māori is vital to the overall health status of Māori. Uncle Scobie’s actions were at the time, a practical demonstration of his commitment to the well being of his whānau.

He hokinga mai A homecoming

Contrary to her wishes, when Ngāwai died in 1999 she was brought back to Mourea to lie at Te Takinga marae. She is buried at the urupā Motutawa. On this matter Uncle Scobie said:

In my mind I made the decision whenever or whoever dies, they will be brought home. So I just put her in my van and home we came. She had half a day at Te Takinga marae and we buried her at Motutawa.

Bringing Ngāwai home for burial is representative of the Māori concept of ūkaipō.

Ūkaipō as described by Barlow (1991) and Metge (1995) relates in a physical sense, to