Nga mihi mahana mai tenei pito ki tena, ki tena – huri noa atu ki te hapori o Te Wairoa.

We all are living in times some think are uncharted and challenges our tikanga. But we are not.

My grandfather, who will be 89 next week, as a child was restricted to home at Tahaenui because his brother had infantile paralysis. This whanau quarantine lasted six months. Grandfather is still here today because his whanau followed the rules. We can do the same.

Kawa is permanent. Kawa is the law set by the example of our Gods. Tikanga adapts and changes according to current situations. Tikanga is based on kawa, yet tikanga adapts to the times we live in. Tikanga tells us to do so in the meaning of the word which is ‘that which is right’. This is knowledge according to our ancient Takitimu teachings.

Our marae are now faced with a change in tikanga. In considering your options be sensible, be wise, be mindful of future generations and of those who today carry our culture. Tikanga has never, ever been set in stone.

Each of our marae is their own kingdom. Our marae will always do what is right for them. Some marae have done this already. We are here to support each other. I encourage you all to make firm decisions on how our marae in Wairoa District operate based on fact and practicality – in the end that is the essence of tikanga.

Pai Marire, Nigel.

Nigel How
Inaugural Chairman of the Kaumatua Council of Tatau Tatau o Te Wairoa Trust
Chairman of Ngati Kahungunu Wairoa Taiwhenua Incorporated
Board Member of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated