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Koia ko rātou ngā tamariki manioro kukume panekoti me ngā pātai rau ka makere i te waha, nā te aha i pēnei ai? me pēwhea nā ? ā, ko wai hoki? Hēnā, ko ahau tēnā tamaiti pakiki nā taku whakamīharo ki ngā pūrākau a ngā koeke me tō tātou ao Māori i pēnei ai.
Ka mea mai ētehi hoatu kē ki wāhi kē me tō reo tino oioi! Nā ngā pūrākau a Raimona Inia mō Hongi Hika me tana riri ki a Ngai Te Arawa ka toko ake tētehi pūrākau ki te rae o maharatanga hei kōrerotanga māku. He hahau ki te rongo i a Nga Puhi me Te Arawa te pūrākau nei.
Ko Ruapotakatata Tawhai te kaupapa. I whānau mai i te nōtā nōna e taitamariki ana ka hūnuku ki te puku o Te Waiariki ka noho ki Mokoia, kai tua atu te kāinga o tōna whānau i te tiriti o Froude āhua tata nei ki taku kāinga, ki te Whakarewarewa nei na tō rātou ahi kā.
Ka noho ahau me te mōrehu o tō rātou whānau, ko Sally Moana Tawhai West tōna ingoa me tetehi o āna mokopuna huhua ko Ngarepo Eparaima.
I whānau mai a Ruapotakataka (Rua) i Hokianga i te tau kotahi mano e waru rau e waru tekau mā ono ka haria e tōna māmā ko Ripeka Whakarongohau Rewiri ki Te Kauri.
He papakāinga kai te kaha nōhia e ona uri i ēnei rā tonu. Nō Rua e āhua kotahi tekau mā toru, kotahi tekau mā whā tona rahi ka haria ia e tōna kuia ko Hinekoia ki Mokoia ki te noho i ōna hapū nei, ki a Ngāti Rangiteaorere ki a Te Ure o Uenukukopako, ki a Ngāti Whakaue ā me te maha noa atu o ngā hapū o Te Arawa.
He tamāhine a Hinekoia nā Rangiwhakaekeau ka moe i a Mohi Tawhai, whoi anō ka taka te wā ka hoki atu rāua ki Ngāpuhi.
Nā Hinekoia rāua ko Mohi ka puta ko Hone Mohi Tawhai ka moe i a Makere Cassidy, nā rāua ka puta ko Hone Takarei Tawhai ka moe a Hone i a Ripeka ka puta ki waho ko Rua.
Hei tā Sally ko te pūtake i whakahokia mai a Rua ki Te Arawa kia kāua e mātaotao ōna whenua taketake.
Ka noho a Rua ki Mokoia tae noa ki te tau he kotahi mano e iwa rau, kātahi rā, ka hūnuku ki Te Ngae ki te whare o te Mihingare e tino pātata atu ana ki Karioi kai Tuarahiwiroa. Nā te rōreka ōna ki te waiata ka mau i te taringa o Rev Frederick Bennett ka whakaurua ki te pahi waiata tira i Ohinemutu, ehara kau ko te whānau Pēneti anahe engari ko te whānau Mītere me te whānau Kīngi hoki. Ka noho mai ia hai tamaiti poipoi.
Nā, ko Pēneti te tumu whakaputa i te kaupapa ko Hinemoa.He kaupapa ōperā i tū mō ngā pō e ono ki te puku o te Whare Ōperā Whakahirahira i Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Ko Mihi Tirita Butt te pou-whakaari ko Hinemoa (he reo kōtike), ko Mihi Mere Amohau (Tupa) koia te taina o Tutanekai – ko Matua Tiawhi Rogers (he reo tawara) a Tutanekai ka oti ana ko Matua Rua Tawhai a Ngāraranui ( he taina nō Tutanekai) Koia nei ētehi o ngā pou whakaari o te Ōperā.
I te Akuwhata o te tau he kotahi mano e iwa rau kotahi tekau mā wha, ka whakaatungia te kiriata mōhū nei i Tamaki Makaurau. Ko Rua te kaea mātua ko Hera Tawhai a Hinemoa, ko Miro Amohau a Tiki, ā , ko Tamai Amohau a Ngāraranui. Mō te kapa haka kai a ia, kai a Rua nā tōna pai ki te haka ka tae ki Ingarangi hai pou haka mā te rōpū kapa haka a Makereti Papakura.
Nō te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau kotahi tekau ka pōwhiringia te rōpū kapa haka ki a tū whakangāhau ai ki Poihākena te taenga atu ki reira ka whakatū pā Māori hoki rātou.
Nā te whakamīharo o te kapa nei ka pōwhiringia a Makereti me āna whānaunga ki te Huinga whakaharahara nui o te Emepara ki Ingarangi. Ka whakaemingia e Makereti kia wha tekau ngā mātanga kapa haka he whānaunga te nuinga ko tōna taina ko Bella tetehi o rātou ko tōna tuakana a Tiki (Dick) Papakura hoki tētehi ko te amokura whakahīhī ngākau whakaiti ko Mita Taupopoki.
I te Aperira o te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau kotahi tekau mā tahi ka wehe atu rātou i Poihakena ki Ingarangi.
I whānau mai tā rāua tamāhine ko Paparoa Julie Tawhai i te Kaipuke o te SS Paparoa i te kotahi tekau mā whā o Mei i te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau kotahi tekau mā toru. Ka rēhitangia tāna whānautanga mai i Tāhimania.
Nō te hokitanga o Rua i te pakanga tuatahi o te ao, kua wehe kē atu a Hera. Nā reira ka hakoke atu ai rāua ko tana hoa takatāpui a Te Mutu Rikihana ki Matata, he wahine te pūtake rokohanga atu e raua tokorua wāhine he tuakana taina he kotahi tekau mā ono te rahi. Nā wai rā ka hoki katoa mai rātou ki Rotorua.
Ka moe a Rua i a Maki Witeri ka whānau mai a rāua tamariki. Kotahi tekau mā rima.
Ka whakawhiwhia a Rua ki tetehi tūnga tiaki i te whenua mā Ngāti Whakaue ko Peka te ingoa o te poraka. Ka timataria e ia tetehi kohanga whakatupu rākau itiiti nā wai rā ka hua mai ko te ngāhere ururua ko Kāingaroa.
Nō te mutunga mai o te pakanga tuarua ka hūnuku rātou ki te tiriti o Froude. E ai ki a Sally, he tangata mārō tō rātou matua tāne me te kaha hoki ōna ki te tiaki i a rātou katoa. He whakatūpato hoki nāna ki ōna tamahine tokorua i moe hōia ai, ki te moe hōia ka whakahuri katoa tō ao nā ngā āhuatanga wetiweti o te pakanga e pēnei ai. Whoi anō he tino mōhio kē nō tātou ināianei ko te PTSD ara ko te māuiui tuakiri pāmamae kōhuki tēnei.
Nō te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau, e rima tekau mā rua ka whakamoea ngā kanohi o tēnei rangatira e ngā hau whakahoki he ono tekau mā ono noa ōna tau.
Ki te peka atu koe ki Te Whakarewarewa tirohia ngā amo o te pīriti ka kitea e koe te ingoa o tēnei rangatira e ngangahu kau ana. Ko Ruapotakataka Tawhai.
Nō reira e koro e moe.
You know those annoying kids who always ask why or how or who? I was one of those kids and it meant I heard some wonderful stories. I was also told to go away and mind my own business.
Raimona Inia's wonderful pūrākau from the era of the warrior chief Hongi Hika who attacked our rohe in the 1820s brought to mind one such story.
It is about how peace was finally brokered between Ngāpuhi and Te Arawa.
The instrument of peace was a young boy, Ruapotakataka Tawhai, born in the North, transplanted to Mokoia Island as a teen and whose family home is just up the road from mine in Froude St, Whakarewarewa.
I had a korero with his last surviving child, Sally Moana Tawhai West, and one of his many mokopuna, Ngarepo Eparaima.
Ruapotakataka (Rua) was born in the Hokianga in 1886 – and taken to Rawhiti by his mother, Ripeka Whakarongohau Rewiri, to live at Te Kauri. His Rotorua uri have a papakainga there.
When Rua was 13 or 14 his kuia, Hinekoia took him to Te Arawa to live on Mokoia Island with her Te Arawa people, Ngati Rangiteorere, Uenukukopako, Ngati Whakaue and many other hapu. Hinekoia, a daughter of Rangiwhakaekeau and married to Mohi Tawhai, returned to Ngāpuhi.
Hinekoia and Mohi had Hone Mohi Tawhai who married Makere Cassidy. Their union produced Hone Takarei Tawhai who married Ripeka and they had Rua. Sally said part of the reason Ripeka brought Rua to Rotorua was so her whanau lands in Te Arawa would not be lost.
Rua lived on Mokoia until 1900 when he moved to the Mission Station at Te Ngae Junction, which is the Rotorua-Whakatane highway.
At the Mission Station, he caught the ear of the Rev Frederick Bennett who immediately had him join his Ohinemutu choir and brass band.
As well as Bennett, the Mitchells and Kingis took Rua into their whanau.
Bennett produced Hinemoa by the Maori Opera Company production, a six-night season in the Grand Opera House in Wellington. Miss Tirita Butt was Hinemoa (Soprano) Miss Mere Amohau (Tupa) Tutanekai's sister – Tutanekai played by Mr Tiawhi Rogers (Tenor) and Rua Tawhai played Ngararanui (Tutanekai's brother).
In August 1914, the silent film Hinemoa was released in Auckland. Rua had the lead role, Hera Tawhai was Hinemoa, Miro Amohau played Tiki and Tamai Amohau was Ngararanui.
Rua was a strong exponent of kapa haka and that took him to England with Maggie Papakura's Concert Party.
In 1910 Makereti and her group were invited to a Sydney exhibition where they gave concerts and set up a model Maori village.
It was so successful that Makereti was asked by Sydney businessmen to take part in the Festival of Empire celebrations in England.
Makereti gathered around 40 members of her extended family, including her sister Bella, brother Tiki (Dick) Papakura, the Tuhourangi leader Mita Taupopoki. In April 1911 they left Sydney for London.
Tawhai married Hera Insley Rogers in May 1911 at Sheperds Bush, London, England.
Their daughter, Paparoa Julie Tawhai, was born on May 14, 1913, on board the SS Paparoa and was registered in Hobart Tasmania.
When Rua returned from the First World War Hera had moved on. With his friend Mutu Rikihana, Rua went to Matata to search for a bride. They came back with two 16-year-old sisters. Rua married Pikihuia Maki Witeri and they had 15 children.
Mutu married Mereana Te Koru Witeri and they had 16 children.
Rua and Pikihuia lived on the Ngati Whakaue Land of Wharenui, for a number of years and that's where the first of their children were born.
Rua was offered a position on the Ngati Whakaue Peka block where he started a tree nursery, a fore-runner for the Kaingaroa Forest.
They moved to Froude Street after the war. Sally said her father was hard on his children and very protective. He warned two of her sisters who married servicemen to be aware that war would change them. That change has a name these days: PTSD — post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rua died in 1952 at the age of 66. His name is on the roll of honour at the bridge at Whakarewarewa.