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Noho Kainga

Noho Kainga at Tapu Te Ranga Marae Island Bay Wellington We’d like to meet people interested in living in a Noho Kainga (village) at our Marae at Island Bay (established 1974). We occupy 50 acres – it is freehold - 60% has been reforested in natives. Our aim has always been to create a co-operative – a self sustaining/ community lifestyle based on the principals of/ Tikanga Maori - Cohousing – Kaitiakitanga (permaculture) . Not just a place to live – a way to live – advantages of private space/ community space/a diverse/green dollar/caring-sharing/ friendly community. We plan to build an Eco Village using Maori architecture/ with renewable energy/ solar powered/ recycling water-composts. A vehicle free, common/ organic vegetable gardens/ glass houses. Whare design will have 4/5 bedrooms with two bathrooms to care for 3/4 generation whanau. They’ll have wisdom/knowledge of elders who in turn will be cared for. Noho Kainga aim will have the advantages of Marae buildings/ their Turangawaewae/ self sustaining workshops for engineers/ builders/ gardeners’/ arts, crafts. Fishing boat/ café/ art gallery. The Noho Kainga will be set within its substantial reforestation with walking tracks. ‘They who build the house are built by the house’- our mahi for last 40 years. The building of our Noho Kainga will be a major Trade Training activity. Contact: Bruce Stewart

What's in a given Maori name

What’s in a given Maori name. Here at Tapu Te Ranga Marae- Pare Hinetai O Waitaha is the name of our Principal Whare -it’s my Mums name. On her first day at school at Te Puke the teacher renamed her Polly Hilda-she didn’t know what the teacher said because she only spoke maori so she asked her cousins at play time. “You got a new name-Polly Hilda!” Mum said she cried when they told her-she said when she was at home on The Marae the Kuia (old ladies) asked, “He aha tou ingoa kotiro?” (“What’s your name little girl?”) “Pare Hinetai O Waitaha,” replied my Mum. “Ae, you know your name, little girl,” they replied in Maori. Mum said when she went back into class in her broken English she pleaded with the teacher, “Please Miss not-my-name?” “Nonsense Polly-you’ll see in the future it will help you-they’ll know you’re educated and a Christian!” My Mum carried her rename to her grave-plus all us kids and most of our grand children have pakeha names. Mum’s name went back to the 14th century. Carrying a forbears name is very important in the Maori World. Our Principal Whare not only carries my Mums name-she IS my Mum. When we welcome our Manuhiri we say, “Haere mai ki te koopu O toku Whaea!” (“Welcome to the womb of my Mother!”) The old people talk to her-they know she is The Mauri (life force) of our principal Whare. I talk to her every day-she is very real to me-that’s why those Kuia kept asking my Mum her name…lest we forget


I bought some timber on Trademe-this is the reply I received back.

Dear Bruce...Your auction price was a good deal more than I expected. I do not want you to be dissapointed so i have reduced the price so that you'll be happy with your purchase

Best wishes B Famton


We’re working hard towards the opening of our .
Sometimes I’ve thought there’s too much to do…I can no longer do what was once easy…we’re not going to make it but then I’m hit with the thought that if it’s not this year then I’ll be worse next year. Plus Sir Michael Is getting older…so are the am I.
So like an old had-it warrior who can no longer strap on his armour…my young kids dress me… pull on my pants, my shoes and do my hair as I can no longer reach that high. They build a pyramid of pallets so I can climb into my digger. Once I fire her up and have the controls…I’m fired up…I’m no longer ‘the-had-it-old-man…I’m Robocop with a job to do.I take a bottle to piss in as getting out is too hard. My body can’t do what it used to so I find other ways.
Many pain-killers later…when I’ve finished. There’s no bounce in my step they half carry me back to my lazi-boy. I turn back into the had-it old man…though if you look hard…there’s a wee twinkle in my eye.


Today is ANZAC 2009. I have been watching excellent coverage on Maori TV. All day I’ve felt the presence of my cousin Haere Hirini. He was killed in Vietnam. Some time ago my whanau rang and asked me if I’d march for Haere….. the country was going to pay respects to those Veterans…… The Civic centre was packed…thousands including Vietnam Vets from USA-Australia. Up Front of this mile long procession were thirty five flags representing those who were killed.We carried the flags for our loved ones the military band clearing the way ahead. Overhead jets flew in formation-big guns boomed and crowds clapped…cheered. With only one walking stick, I was having a job keeping up as Haere’s flag was in the other hand. Others were also struggling….none of us were ‘spring chickens’…. some one yelled for them to, “Slow down or one of us will crash.” After the official part… Haere’s SAS mates asked me to join them for a beer a kind of ‘hakari. ‘What happened’ I asked. ‘We were moving forward, slowly, softly and lightly for we knew ‘they’ were there. Haere was left-handed, a scout right off to one wing... All hell broke loose he went down. We cleaned them up…we came back but he was already dead. We carried him for three days it was too hostile to call in a chopper. All the time Haers’s flag was leaning against the bar. I asked if I could take it back to put in our Marae, “He stays with us!” was their quick, short reply. They sent a photo, it hangs In our Whare Tupuna.

23 MARCH 2009

When I was fifteen I asked my Grandma ‘What’s the best thing in the world…to have?’ ‘Your Health.’ Was her instant short reply and I thought Grandma had no idea about important things…like how about a Ford V8 Super Deluxe.

In the same way the other day I was watching a doco, they were asking very poor black African woman the same question. This old lady said, ‘Clean Water’.


[copied from Guestbook]

Kia Ora Koutou...i haven't written in Daybook for a long time because I can no longer contact the kind person who set this all will write my comments here.
I was watching the Rugby 7's, Sth Africa beat NZ. It was hard and close.
I saw this Black Man and White Man unashamedly hugging with deep passion...their sweat and tears mixed together.
It would not have happened a short time what happened for them to show this affections in front of millions?
They had worked long and hard together and formed a new family.
Na te Aroha Bruce

15TH JUNE 2007

Yesterday I was out on my wheelchair, sunning…I was approached by a handsome young maori tane wearing an equally handsome ta moko.

'Tenakoe', he said as we made hongi.

“Could you give me $2 for a feed”? he asked.

For some moments I was completely disorientated…what with the mix of ta moko…hongi…tenakoe and begging almost in the same breath was a brand new experience.

“Tama, you bring shame to your ta moko,” was my curt reply.

Not to be derailed he carried on down the street merrily begging his way through the people.

My lovely daughter, Pare Hinetai with great expectation made an official announcement at her recent thirteen birthday, “I am now a real teenager,” she proclaimed.

She loves kapa haka and said she wants a real moko,

“Not until you understand how to live full time in Rangatira mode.” Said I.

27TH APRIL 2007

There are some Sisters of Compassion staying with us at the moment. Next door, at The Home of Compassion they are having their centennial celebrations this weekend.

When I was in jail and read about Mother Aubert in 'Never Let Go' What a stubborn- battler for the disadvantaged and poor. It changed my life…and so by some roll of the dice I ended up next door.

December 1999 Sister Loyola came from The Home of Compassion, “Bruce a small group of us Sisters are coming over in the morning…we have something to tell you.”

“What's it about”? I replied.

“We'll tell you in the morning,” she said.

Sure enough they arrived with the dawn chorus…freshly out of bed without my wake-up-coffee…I joined Sisters Loyola, Sister Ann Marie and Sister Josephine we had karakia (prayer)…me, a little anxious as I still didn't know what it was about.

“We have been watching you all these years and we have decided to forgive you of the dept. “…So you can get on with your dream,” they added.

It was the complete unexpected suddenness of it all…(Churches have a reputation of taking land off the Maori, not giving it) a huge weight was taken off my soul…it left me legless…I was barely able to stand…I was also unable to speak for fear of crying…the Relief…the Joy and Thankfulness was over-whelming.

It was a real big gesture because they were about to close their hospital as the running costs were out of reach.

I'd taken on the dept alone…I was half-hoping, even half expecting someone to step forward to share the burden but there was no-one…the idea of setting the land free from private ownership…replanting the original forest to bring back the birds…building a Noho Kainga (Maori Village) was mine, so I had made my bed…many good people came forward for the reforestation but no-one to share the dept of buying the whenua and paying the rates…at it's worst- all up it was $8000 a month. A lot of money for me to find. By some kind of miracle and a lot of hard work, I never missed a payment.

I believe Mother Aubert must have known my back had given up and I was unable to continue with the payments much longer that's why she sent her Sisters that day.


Dean Baigent-Mercer

The tongue of Rawene and in fact the extensive Hokianga Harbour is by and large fringed with manawa, the native mangrove.

I often wander down to my favourite place: the boardwalked Rawene Mangrove Walk which weaves through the oldest mangroves/manawa I have ever seen (some trunks would be 70cm thru).

I've adopted this little area and visit at different levels of the tides.

It's a very shy place, and I'm curious about its secrets. So far they've given me great joy.

I listen to the snapping shrimps, watch the crabs scuttle down holes and white-faced herons stab into the mud on a low tide. I lay on my tummy actoss a small bridge and watch the young mullet leave swirling sediment trails behind them.

I've seen graceful eels the size of small chopsticks.

Today something big was up. There was a flock of white-faced herons - around 40 or so - filling the air with their throaty croakings looking sinister in the sky near the shitponds. Normally they're in pairs of solitairy but they were partying or warning about the end of the world or something...