Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke
In Aotearoa, people, place and connection are bound by stories. Rātā Foundation has been on a journey of Māramatanga, one that brings us closer to understanding the aspirations of iwi, hapū and whānau across Waitaha, Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui and Wharekauri.
Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke have invigorated their whānau by building a wharenui and wharekai, as well as renovating the historical church at their home in Rapaki, on the Port Hills of Outautahi.
The wharenui and wharekai serve as a point of connection for whānau – a place where they can create whakawhanaungatanga.
Ngāti Wheke General Manager Andrew Scott says it is important for Māori organisations to develop a shared understanding of their iwi’s needs with organisations they partner with.
Building a strong relationship with Rātā Foundation has been a key part in achieving the aspirations of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.
“The support from Rātā Foundation towards these capital projects, the wharekai, the wharenui and the church, has been vital,” he says.
“Rātā Foundation has supported and enabled us through their funding to have this wonderful space for training, kapa haka, whakawhanaungatanga, whānau gathering and spending time together. It enables whānau to achieve more of their own aspirations, giving the strength, self-determination and knowledge to be able to do the things as whānau and as a hapū.”
Rapaki pa is at the centre of the hapū, providing a space for community activities – from whānau celebrations and farewells, to school visits and wānanga.
These projects have revitalised the whenua (land), restoring and protecting the church and reserves down to the foreshore, and refreshing the streams that flow into the traditional food gathering areas.
Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke’s role is to support the needs of the people of Rapaki and build an understanding of Māori history and culture in the Lyttelton Harbour area.
They aim to enhance the spiritual, cultural, educational, moral, social and economic wellbeing of both members of the hapū and the wider community.
The revitalisation of the marae is vital to ensuring tamariki and rangatahi can play an active role within their hapū, carrying their knowledge of tikanga and te ao Māori to future generations.
Rātā Foundation supported Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke in their journey to building their wharenui and wharekai, and restoring their church, by providing funding under its Participate focus area.
Rātā aims to enable individuals and whānau to participate in te ao Māori, and have a deeper understanding and connection to tikanga Māori.
Rātā is committed to continue working with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, strengthening their connection and understanding, and sharing the future kotahitanga (together).