Last of Song of Waitaha.

Dear friends,

Seasons greeting to all on farewelling the old and welcoming the new. And with that is this news that in fact there are few remaining copies of Song of Waitaha: Histories of a Nation, left. In fact we are down to the last 200. This means as well that the set of Song and Whispers is only possible to purchase while the Song is available. There is no vision to reprint Song in the future.

Please advise others of this should you know anyone wanting to purchase Song of Waitaha as a set or individually. Once the word is out that this is the last opportunity to purchase this unique taonga they will go very quickly.


Posted on January 9th, 2015 | | 3 Comments »

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest literary event in the world. Each year there is a country of focus and this year it was New Zealand. Jenny Haworth of Wily Publishing, Christchurch chose 12 books specifically from Canterbury to show at this prestigous fair. With the focus on New Zealand at the Frankfurt Book Fair this has generated record breaking rights sales for New Zealand writers and publishers. And so Song of Waitaha: Histories of a Nation and Whispers of Waitaha: Traditions of a Nation featured and was the most popular on the stand. We are very proud of this as it had always been the dream for the books to attend this fair. Interestingly the German translation of Song of Waitaha was also there with Drachan Verlag publishing house of Germany.

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012


Here are photos of the books at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012. Jenny Haworth is wearing green and the other woman is Astrid Reis who is one of our friends in Germany.

Posted on November 11th, 2012 | | 2 Comments »

Aroha mai, aroha atu.

First sighting.August 16 2012 dawned clear and cool in Tamaki ma Kaurau, Auckland. We waited on the brow of te Maunga Uika, North Head, for the first glimpse of nga waka hourua, the double hulled waka who left these shores in April, 2011.

We strained our eyes against the silver hued waters of the Wai te mata harbour until to our delight we saw the first speck of the first waka hourua returning. We waited with baited breathe in fact hardly daring to breathe. Slowly but surely she came down the harbour. The excitement was palpable among the small group gathered to witness this magnificent event, the return of two of the waka hourua who began that journey as a fleet of 7 in 2011.

Closer and closer she came until we could distinguish that she was Haunui and then to our delight she came in close to the headland. The voices of welcome rang out to greet them accompanied by the sound of the conch shell. A special moment in time. A re enactment in fact as this was the place that they stood to watch the arrival of waka in times long passed.

Closer and closer.Two double hulled waka came in from the original fleet that completed this amazing feat of sailing 140,000 nautical miles on this journey of connecting and reconnection under the mantle of aroha and peace, involving teaching the young people who sailed with the fleet the ancient art of celestial navigation, connecting with our whanaunga/relations of the great ocean of Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean out across and through to Turtle Island, North and South America, back through the Pacific Islands and right across to the Solomon Islands where the project ‘finished’ and the 7 waka then sailed home to their islands of Samoa, Rarotonga, Fiji, Hawaii and Aotearoa

Haunui led the fleet in, followed by Te Matau a Maui,  Okeonas was the third waka to arrive. She is an extension of this project in that she was built to operate as a cargo and passenger vessel in the Vanuatu islands. Such is the dream for all of the Pacific Island groups, ie. to use this style of vessel as the transport systems which run efficiently on fresh air, as they do not need fossil fuels to run them. This fleet is the only fleet in the world which use this ancient technology of utilising the energy of the elements, wind, sun, stars, moon, tides, and the birds, and animals of the sea are their tracking systems so to speak. The Evahoe is the support vessel/yacht which accompanied the waka throughout the journey also sailed in with them and later that night the Tahitian waka named Fa’afetai came in.

Yes an amazing feat and sadly there was not a word of it in the mainstream media, except for TV3 and they did a wonderful news item of some minutes. The waka were received with much aroha from friends and family who were there to meet them.

The crews of these waka wanted to arrive in time to send out another two waka hourua to Rapanui, Easter Island. So the following day we all gathered at the Viaduct to witness another historical event unfold.

This has been the dream of Hector Busby who built the  waka hourua , Te Aurere which has made many many journeys through the Pacific Islands, connecting and reconnecting with our relations. His dream was to sail the legge from Aotearoa to Rapanui/Easter Island thereby closing or completing the ‘Polynesian Triangle’. He built a sister ship to Te Aurere named after his late wife, ‘Nga Hiraka mai Tawhitinui. Together they set sail for Rapanui leaving August 17 after a huge send off.  This voyage is called Te Waka Tapu. They are currently on the water having made their first land fall on route to Rapanui at one of the small islands of French Polynesia. Google Te Waka Tapu for regular updates of their voyage.

Haere atu ra Nga Hiraka Tawhitimai nui.Through these magnificent projects, Te Mana o te Moana and Waka Tapu the people of the Pacific including Aotearoa are reclaiming who we are by travelling the sea trails of our ancestors. At the same time we are connecting deeply to the element of Tangaroa, the waters. With that is the responsibility of respect and caring for our waters, both within and those on which we travel. The ocean is our second breathe. We must promote the concept of caretakership of all that we do with and on the waters.

Waitaha speaks of the need to keep our waters still within to be at Peace. To maintain optimum health we need to be mindful of what we eat and drink. So it is with the ocean and all waters. We are responsible for how clean the waters are. We are responsible for the food that we collect from the waters. We must keep our waters clean. We must keep the waters within the land and the oceans clean. It is as simple as that. Aroha mai, aroha atu.  Love is reciprocal, flowing in and flowing out.


Posted on November 2nd, 2012 | | No Comments »

Waitaha taonga special release

Tena koe

The stories of Waitaha linger and seem to float on the breeze like the long threads of spiderwebs that the Grandmothers speak about in Whispers of Waitaha p.77.

Listen to hear the stories, look to see the patterns of the land that our beloved ancestors sought and lived by. They left the legacy of Peace for all who stand still long enough to sense, feel acknowledge and recognise it.

It is time to pick up this precious taonga/gift of Peace, for the sake of our children and grandchildren. It is time to relearn how to live in harmony with all the realms we are blessed to live alongside and within.

Song of Waitaha: Histories of a Nation and Whispers of Waitaha: Traditions of a Nation are the Grandfather and Grandmother stories of this land and contain many wisdoms and teachings for these amazing  and sometimes overwhelming times we now live in. The dignity and grace of these stories resonate with all who seek peace and a gentle way of living with our beloved Mother Earth, Papatuanuku.

Wharariki Publishing Ltd is proud to offer a limited number of both Song of Waitaha and Whispers of Waitaha for $50.00 + $7.50 GST = $57.50 + postage and packaging. This offer is for a limited time only.

Order online now in time for a special gift for Christmas, a birthday, equinox celebrations or just to have close.

Ordering one book will cost $14.00 for postage and packaging.

Ordering two books will cost $19.00 for postage and packaging.

For those who wish to pay by cheque post to Wharariki Publishing Ltd., P.O. Box 14, Darfield, 7541, Canterbury.

Toku awa ko toku ora, my river is my life

Toku awa ko toku mana, my river is my authority

Toku awa ko toku kaha, my river is my strength

Toku awa ko toku wairua, my river is my spirit.

Mauri ora,

Makere Aroha Anikaitawa – Ngati Te Whiti te hapu, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Tama, Kurawaka te hapu, Waitaha.

Wharariki Publishing Ltd.




Posted on October 20th, 2011 | | No Comments »

The hoop is complete.

It has been a dream of  mine to see a double hulled waka making the return journey from Aotearoa back to Turtle Island/USA. I have had an avid interest in these magnificent vessels since the Hokule’a was launched in 1976. She sailed to Tahiti and back in her maiden voyage. The resurgence of  celestial navigation for our peoples of the Pacific nations and here has been astounding and there have been many voyages between here and the islands over the years since. But as i say my dream was to see one on the water making this voyage before I leave this earth plane.

Imagine my surprise on July 28 2011 when I just happened to be speaking to a friend of mine who informs me that this indeed was happening. She was unsure of dates and who or what or when but she gave me a garbled message about a webpage with pacific voyage or something in it (her words). Well i eventually tracked them on their website entitled and I discover that there is not one double hulled canoe on the water almost due to land in San Francisco but six!!!! There were meant to be seven but the one from Tahiti had to return to their island due to other obligations.

So I discovered lots of information about their voyage, including their due date to land on Saturday July 30. So I sent messages of support and encouragement but Saturday came and Saturday went. They were becalmed and had to remain anchored off Port Reyes until Sunday. And Sunday came and Sunday went and they were still becalmed. By now they were very frustrated as they had been on the water from Hawaii for 20 odd days and were looking forward to landing on terra firma not to mention the lovely city of San Francisco.

There was something stirring in me though at a deep level. Three days in a row i was aware of the feeling of being on the ocean. Of course living here in Canterbury where the earth has been constantly moving for 10 months with the 1000’s of earthquakes i thought it was yet another shake but no they were not.

As it turned out i knew the person who was co ordinating all the messages to the waka/vaka and so i asked her if it would be possible to let me know the moment the captains decide whether they were to go in on Monday or not. Remember we are 19/20 hours ahead of California. Meanwhile I was sending messages to them saying things like there is a reason for the delay. What you are about to do is absolutely huge in the spirit world at least and so this is all preparation for your entry back to the beginning shall we say.

So imagine my delight when at 5.30a.m. Tuesday August 2nd New Zealand time when the message came through that they were indeed delayed again. Their new time of arrival was to be Tuesday August 2nd at 3p.m. (California time).

I was so excited because i knew that if all things were lined up i could get there in time to witness this event. So with that news i went outside where there was a heavy frost on the ground. I looked up into the clear starry heavens and could see the stars that make up the waka in the sky, Te Waka o Tamarereti. I asked from deep in my heart whether it was appropriate that i try to do this trip. I talked to our mountain and river and the precious pounamu that graces my home and the answer was yes.

I rang the travel agent at 9a.m. as they dont open until then and asked if there was a chance to get on the evening plane leaving for San Francisco that day and yes there was and at the sale price too!!!! So by 1.30a.m. i was at the Christchurch airport ready to fly through to Auckland to catch the flight to San Francisco. That flight left at 5.30p.m. 12 hours exactly after i received the message that they were delayed until the following day.

As i flew over Te Waka o nga Atua, Te Waka a Maui, Te Waka a Aoraki the sun lit up the faces of the ancestor mountains. The flight path was directly above Golden Bay and it crossed over the ancestral grounds of one of my tupuna whaea of the Nelson area. I could see the island and the old pa of Hawaikii  where she was born. Taranaki was the only maunga visible on the Te Ika a Maui. I felt like all the wairua were giving me their ihi, wehi and kaha to pass on to the waka and their magnificent crew members.

Of course i was so excited i shared the news with the crew of my waka rererangi and they announced it over the intercom and this caused much excitment among passengers and crew alike. Everyone was asking the same question, how come we did not know about this. How come it was not on the news!!! Indeed!!!! These waka/vaka had left from Auckland in mid April. All six of the waka left from Auckland. The waka from Fiji and Samoa sailed to Auckland to begin the journey from there.

A friend of mine picked me up from the  San Francisco airport and took me to Crissy Park. I knew i would be able to witness their arrival into the embrace of Turtle Island from here as they came into the Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge. And so we waited. There was a small group of people from the Pacific who  live in San Francisco. And we waited all a little nervous.

And then they came into view!!! The sight of them travelling so fast on the strong wind was breathe taking. It is etched on my mind, heart, spirit and soul forever. I was so so happy to witness this that i could have returned home that evening if i had too.

Well imagine my astonishment when in one moment the waka are travelling at huge speed across the bay heading for the far side and then all of a sudden they turn and begin heading in the opposite direction, that is straight to the beach where we were standing!!!!  I could not believe my eyes. Five of the waka had red sails and the sixth had their cream sails up. The sight was stunnning to say the least. We were laughing and crying (those of us on the beach). They did not come up onto the beach, they anchored about 100 yards off the beach. The vaka from the Cook Islands began drumming. When they finished I felt compelled to karanga to them and so i waded into the water and began to karanga. I did not know if they could hear at first but it did not matter because I knew  the ancestors would and that is what this was all about for me. But what happened next was so deep and beautiful. One of the young women on the waka from Aotearoa, Te Matau a Maui, heard and returned the karanaga.

I was to learn later what happened. They were travelling across the Bay and under the bridge and were thrilling at having done that and the wind was so strong and powerful and then they received a phone call and instruction from the film crew who are making a documentary about this journey to stop off at this beach because they were not ready for them yet!!!! The crews were a bit put out by this but did so anyway. This young woman then thought she could hear te reo Maori in the ethers and she reminded herself she was not at home on the marae she was where she was and yes the tupuna had accompanied them the whole way but surely they hadnt provided a karanga as they entered the bay. It was then that one of the crews told her there was a woman standing in the water calling and so our exchange began. A moment in time where so much happens in the one instance, where wairua converge, where heart mind and soul converge, a moment of such magnitude in honour of our beloved tupuna who wove these pathways for us to follow.

And so began an absolute whirlwind of a trip of 18 days as i met the crews, journeyed a little on the waka and travelled down the coast to Monterey and Malibu to witness them coming in to be welcomed by the tangata whenua of those areas. It was such an incredible event. And it is only beginning as you will learn on their website. the kaupapa is so so sacred and multifaceted but all to do with the ancient trails of our ancestors, the teaching of the traditional ways of navigation using the stars and wind and wave patterns of the ocean to the young people on board. The age range of the crew are from 17 years to people in their 60’s. There are teenagers and grandparents there and everyone else in between oh and of course there are men and women, girls and boys. And as well bringing awareness to the precious breathe of our ocean, Tangaroa, Te Moana nui a Kiwa. I wish to acknowledge the conversation had between Rawiri Paratene and Deitaa when this idea was born. E nga rangatira nga tungane o te Ao kei a korua tenei moemoa hei oranga mo tatou katoa, he taonga tuku iho mo a tatou mokopuna katoa o a tatou ao,  tena korua, tena korua, tena korua.

It was such a privilege and an honour to meet some of these magnificent people and their sacred sacred vaka/waka/ vessels which are honoured so profoundly and deeply by those who sail in them.

To witness this and the meeting of the nations of the Pacific and Turtle Island is something i will treasure forever. And as they say on Turtle Island, the hoop is complete. The return journey has been made after many many hundreds and hundreds of years and so the sacred Hoop is complete.

You see for my people, this was the first return journey in 1000’s of years. This was the first return journey. My ancestors left here between 6-8000 years ago (Turtle Island that is) and had not returned. This was the first return journey. This is why it was so so poignant. This is why it is so very very significant on such a deep, deep level.

He waiata tangi tenei.

Ka tini te aroha i te aue mokemoke

Mai o te whenua tupuna

i noho ai i reira, te mano tini

ki te manaaki, tiaki i nga hapu.

Tera a pukemiro, kei te karanga mai

ahakoa ka rongo i te wairua

mai Te Wharekaurinui ki te Whairepo

ka tangi ai i reira, ka noho pouri

mai te whenua o Iraia

i te Whakapau Karakia e

ki konei tonu i te uru

o Te Ika Tapu eee.



Posted on October 19th, 2011 | | 7 Comments »