Public celebration of National Day at Paraparaumu Beach and Waikanae Marae
The public are invited to join an informal gathering, with a karakia and open forum, at the Hinepoupou memorial stone, MacLean Park, Paraparaumu Beach, at 8am on Waitangi Day next week.
And an official Waitangi Day Celebration will also be held at at Whakarongotai Marae, Waikanae, from 10am – 3pm.
One of the organisers of the Paraparaumu Beach ceremony, Chris Webber, is a descendant of Kāpiti Treaty signatory Te Rangihiroa.
He says the recent uenuku (rainbow) appeared at a time of many tohu (signs) of significance to tangata whenua (local Maori).
Rainbow follows whale stranding
The photo was taken from Fisherman’s Island (Motungarara) looking back at Paraparaumu the day after the recent whale stranding.
Chris Webber, whose family, the ‘Webbers of Kapiti Island,’ are all descended from Te Rangihiroa, says ‘He Tohu’ literally means ‘signs’ in Maori, such as those observed in our physical and spiritual environments that alert or connect people to important things.
“There are many around if we can be open to them – some of us doing ancestral work and connecting with the environment have noticed an increase (either more tohu or being more spiritually in tune to notice them),” he says.
Whale stranding and other signs
“A whale stranding on its own is often significant, but when other unusual things are discerned, the being is prompted to feel more deeply what is happening.”
Mr Webber adds: “‘Haere He Awatea’ means ‘a new day dawning’ and is an old family motto that seems to fit with current signs.
“With a new year and Waitangi Day in mind, consider the following for the Kapiti area: Tribally, Ngati Toa has just settled historic Treaty claims which include Kapiti Island – a lot of ancestors and spiritual connections involved.
“Further Treaty claims on the Kapiti Coast (Te Ati Awa, Ngati Raukawa and others) are heating up as the Waitangi Tribunal focus moves to the area this year.
He says:”Local families and Maori leaders are becoming more active in uncovering their stories, identities, battles, hardships and ways forward – often for the first time in colonised generations.
“The Maori spirit world must be abuzz!”
Expressway and other issues
Mr Webber also points out that issues in the wider community, like the expressway, are coming to a head.
“It is not just the living concerned – the remembrance and peace of countless ancestors around Takamore burial grounds are implicated for example,” he says.
“Recent rifts in our midst are indicated by youth unfairly lost as part of the torn fabric in our community.
“As leaders and decision-makers do more of what they do, are ancestors watching over us happy with the future they see for next generations?
“Are the beautiful tohu we witness suitable blessings to encourage us on…?”
The reminder for everyone
Chris Webber says Waitangi Day reminds us how our nation started, and the promises made to move Maori and Treaty partners forward together.
“Faith, hope and charity for such a vision is still needed today,” he says.
“When we forget, harmony and progress is lost – sometimes tohu remind and reconnect us.
“Let this Waitangi Day prepare us for challenges and changes ahead, and may we embrace them in the true spirit of nation building that we may all fulfill our potential and contribution in the world.
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui – be strong and courageous.
Ko te mea nui,he tangata – the important thing is people
Te mea nunui ko te aroha – most important is love”
A dawn ceremony is planned at Paraparaumu Beach on Waitangi Day – and the public are invited to join a casual gathering, karakia and open forum at an 8am meeting at the Hinepoupou memorial stone MacLean Park. Contact Chris Webber 027-4353-755 or WebberNZ@gmail.com..
And official Waitangi Day Celebrations are to be held at at Whakarongotai Marae, Waikanae from 10am – 3pm.
(Chris Webber is director of Kapiti Area Research Unit (KARU) – sponsors welcome)