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Aotearoa 

New Zealand Scenic View

Ngā mihi … Greetings to all

 Tiheia te maunga

Rotorua-nui-a-Kahu mata momoe te moana

Tarimano te Marae

Tawakeheimoa te tupuna whare

Ngāti Rangiwewehi te iwi

Te Arawa te waka

Ko au tetahi maramara pounamu o nga pumanawa e waru o Te Arawa

English translation of pepehā:

Tiheia is my mountain

Lake Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe are the waters that surround me

Tarimano is my marae

Tawakeheimoa is my tupuna whare/tupuna/ meeting house

Ngāti Rangiwewehi is my tribe

Te Arawa is my waka

I am a descendent of the tribal confederation of Te Arawa

A pepehā (proverbial saying) is one way in which Māori identify and introduce ourselves to the world.  It consists of geographical sites of significance that confirm individual and tribal identity and establishes a person’s tūrangawaewae (right or authority to stand and speak in a particular location). 

The pepehā above identifies who I am, the whenua (land) and environmental features that I relate and owe responsibility to and confirms my tribal affiliations.  In a sense the pepehā serves as a cultural passport. 

Once recited the gathering can determine who you are (whakapapa), your tūrangawaewae (relationship to them), whanaungatanga (close connection/kinship) and will treat you accordingly.

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Taniwhā Springs (Te Puna o Pekehauā)

Ngāti Rangiwewehi are the customary kaitiaki (guardians) of Taniwhā Springs.  A crystal clear, life-giving, cold-water spring located on the western shores of Lake Rotorua. 

The Springs join two main waterways in Ngāti Rangiwewehi that feed into Lake Rotorua and serve as the traditional playground for tribal taniwha, Pekehauā and Hinerua.  Taniwhā Springs is a taonga of major historical and cultural significance. 

Under the Public Works Act 1966, the local authority at the time, Rotorua County Council confiscated the Springs to supply water to the Rotorua township.  Ngāti Rangiwewehi challenged this ruling and in 2012 the Crown acknowledged their wrongdoing and returned the Springs in the Ngāti Rangiwewehi Treaty of Waitangi Deed of Settlement.  

Today the iwi continues to use the spring water for practical, cultural, healing and recuperative purposes.

 

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It all begins in Aotearoa NZ…

Nestled on the shores of lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty is a North Island township called Rotorua, renowned for its enriching Māori culture and distinctive geyser/geothermal activities.  Many a weary traveller and returning relative know well the healing of a soothing hot pool soak or the indulgence of a mud pack facial and body treatment – with the uniquely Rotorua aroma thrown in for free 😉.

I am Maria Pinker born in Rotorua Hospital, daughter of Elizabeth Hahunga and Paul Pinker.

Mokopuna (grand-daughter) to Samuel & Rangimarie Marla Hahunga and Taui Joseph & Makura Kerei Pinker.

Maria Pinker and siblings image

My whakapapa is Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Tuhourangi Ngāti Wahiao.

My childhood in Aotearoa circa 1980’s revolved around whanau (family) – parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.  Weekdays were for school mates, but weekends were ALL about whanau and seeing my cousins at the marae or up at the village.

Awahou – correctly known as Tarimano Marae and Whakarewarewa (aka Whaka) – The Living Māori Village are places full of childhood memories – times spent with cousins, dreaming up ingenious ways to get a Mr Whippy ice cream or extra lollies by doing as little as possible.

Pinker family photo

Nonetheless it wasn’t uncommon for the mokos (grandchildren) to be wading in the awa (river) to collect puha (sow thistle), help dig up kumara (sweet potato), find the kamo kamo (squash) for nanny to cut or help with picking strawberries, feijoa, lemons, plums, blackberries and even walnuts.

Rotorua Vilage Image

In 1988 life shifted and I moved to Hobart, Tasmania with mum and her new partner.  In 1990 we relocated to Brisbane, Queensland where I still live today. 

In 2017 a breath-stopping diagnosis changed “my” everything.  After successful surgery, chemotherapy and theta healing treatments I reconsidered a different kind of lifestyle that suited my new-found disposition.

In Easter 2019 I returned to Awahou for a whanau reunion where descendants of my great grandmother Hoana Kakawa Hahunga (my koro Sam’s mother) gathered and reconnected.  For some of us (including me) we were connecting for the very FIRST time.

During my visit back to Aotearoa, I shared heart felt korero (discussions) with my whanau who reminded me of the healing ways of our tupuna (ancestors).  I returned to Queensland inspired and six months later by complete accident (or divine intervention) I started selling beta-Caryophyllene hemp oil at my local Sunday market…the first of numerous plant based remedies I have discovered on my journey of self-care, kindness and healing.

This space is in honour of the healers and teachers spread throughout my Whakapapa.  A safe space to share information on traditional and alternative therapies and treatments that have effected positive changes in everyday individuals like you and me.  What you do with this info…well that’s entirely up to you but information sharing is always appreciated.

Arohanui & Kia Kaha … Much love & stay Strong

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