Kia ora, ko Hinemoa tōku ingoa, nō Te Hiku o te Ika ōku tūpuna, kei Te Motu Arai Roa ahau e noho ana. Nei a Mihi ka rere ki a koutou.
A rāhui was recently established prohibiting four species of marine life being collected around the entire island coastline. Tipa (scallops), kūtai ( mussels), kōura ( crayfish) and pāua (abalone) are restricted from collection from the shore and out to sea for one nautical mile for at least the next two years.
Ngāti Pāoa, our mana whenua, have led the way in making this decision and the community is behind them. We celebrated with a pōwhiri and breakfast feast after the early morning ritual at Oneroa beach at Piritahi Marae, one of the most precious places for me here. It is both a place of healing and of the visibility of our histories and our aspirations. Get in touch with Bianca Ranson at @potikiadventures who can organise an authentic experience for you. She can also take you on expeditions around the coast to see first hand why the rāhui is so desperately needed to restore our moana.
Our waka ama club also has a base beside the marae, together with some waka at Onetangi. How lucky are we to have northern and southern coasts to go paddling in most weathers. If you would like to join us, get in touch with Waiheke Waka Ama on Pukamata (Facebook) to jump on board for a social paddle. Seeing the island from the ocean side, so close to the surface of the water and feeling the synchronisation of paddles moving the waka is sublime. Bucket list stuff.
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You will want to visit our local theatre Te Whare Tapere o Waiheke,
. There is a very cute bar and a relaxed outdoor area with bean bags and umbrellas for pre- and post-show catch ups. Yummy Mexican fare is available right there too. My Name is Moana (20 March, 7pm), with our beloved, iconic Moana Maniapoto, and Sorry for Your Loss (16 March, 7pm) written and performed by explosive new talent Cian Gardner, will be performed there during the Auckland Arts Festival.
When you are in the arts precinct, drop into the Waiheke Community Art Gallery. We are well-endowed with local artists presenting their work in this airy space, plenty of dangerously tempting gifts in there too. My other fave gifts place is Timmy Smith (Ngāti Porou) in the main street of Oneroa, for exquisite jewellery, and delicious fizzy teas in a can, perfect for picnics. Waiheke Cinema is well worth a visit if the weather is inclement. Sit on couches and watch the latest releases in a larger version of your own living room.
Our transport is going electric on the island, with our bus fleet already changing to more planet-friendly fuel, and e-cars abound here electricisland.co.nz. Make sure you get around on eco-friendly bikes at bikesandbeyond.co.nz Bikes and Beyond (don't be confused by the bikes and barbers sign, it's the same thing).
In the summer months, our community infrastructure struggles because of the volume of visitors. So please come, we would love to see you. Tread lightly on our precious motu and respect Tīkapa Moana, our Hauraki Gulf.
Kia tītoki, kia koroī!
Hinemoa Elder is a 2021 Festival and Toitū Te Reo Ambassador. The Auckland Arts Festival runs 4-21 March, alert levels permitting. aaf.co.nz Please check alert level restrictions and Ministry of Health advice before travel.