Waitangi Tribunal Hearing Week 6, 9 – 13 April 2018, Day 1 Kaiewe Marae (Site Visit)

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Kaiewe Marae and the Kotahitanga Movement, Day 1 Waitangi Tribunal Hearing Week 6 (9 April 2018)

Whanau and Manuhiri visited Kaiewe Marae after the Powhiri at Opaea Marae.

Kaiewe Marae

Miria Wi Paki and Tama Wi Paki providing korero at Kaiewe Marae

We might see Kaiewe marae today as a dilapidated whare, sitting forlorn in a paddock.  Some of us remember running around it and through it as tamariki when visiting with the Wi Paki whanau here. Not caring for its state or understanding what it represented.


So what a revelation it was to learn through the korero of Miria Wi Paki and Tama Wi Paki of the significance of  Kaiewe Marae.

E te whare Te Tahi o Piripi tena koe

Miria explained Te Tahi o Piripi, the name of the whare, “is believed to refer to the date when the Whare was erected being 2nd August 1893”.


Kaiewe Marae was built for a specific reason. That was to hold a Kotahitanga movement hui on the 2nd August 1893.  Hosted by Ngāti Whiti, Ngati Tama, Ngati Hauiti and Ngati Te Rangi Haukaha of Pātea (Mōkai Pātea).  Kotahitanga means unity.  The national Kotahitanga movement aimed to unify Maori on different issues pressing in on Iwi, resulting from the growing settler population. Kotahitanga sought to allow autonomy and tino rangtiratanga of individual rūnanga to be recognised.  Providing united leadership to protect tangata and whenua through a collective voice to hold the settlor Government to account.

Richard Steedman in his statement of Tangata Whenua Evidence, presented at Moawhango after the Kaiewe visit describes the Western and Eastern Districts Te Kotahitangi Hui held on the 2nd August 1893, as

“another example of the tino rangatiratanga and resilience once held by our people in constructing Rūnanga … to combat the onslaught of colonisation.

This was a time when the number of our tupuna was fast depleting and the number of settlers fast increasing.  The Crown was enacting laws which would allow the sheer weight of numbers of their new colonisers to take over the resources of the country and leave us with just the remnants.  We hold fast today to the memories of those long gone, and their mahi rangatira.

We are proud that our tupuna of Ngāti Tamakopiri were able to host this national movement created to attempt to hold off the settler Government right here in our rohe”.

(Statement of Evidence of Richard Steedman 21 March 2018)

Nga mihi

Tena koutou Wi Paki whanau, whanau nui. Thank you for your mahi preparing for this site visit, sharing your korero, knowledge and Kaiewe Marae with us.

Nga mihi mahana Mōkai Pātea Waitangi Claims Trust

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE KOTAHITANGA MOVEMENT?  https://teara.govt.nz/en/kotahitanga-unity-movements

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