Hokianga: Māori Roots
It’s important to make the stops in getting here to this particular place because it really reminds us of how connected we can be.
One of the chief servant of Te Roroa, Jason Fox says that “This community is called Te Roroa. It’s a combination of about six Marae – six communities and their affiliated family groupings. They come together under a single umbrella in order to look after pretty much from the Hokianga, about an hour north, to down to Te Wairoa river which is about an hour south.”
While the crew visited Hokianga on the West Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa, they traveled up uka. There the crew visited Tane Mahuta, Aotearoa’s largest known living kauri tree who is also considered the Lord of the Forest. According to Māori culture, all living creatures of the forest are considered his descendants.
“I think it’s important to make the stops that we did in getting here to this particular place because it really reminds us of how connected we can be and they are to their place. And to hear the significance of those different places – whether it’s the names of their mauna, the names of their beaches, and those stories that relate to each one of those places, and then bringing it right back here to their Kauri, to their nāhele, and really how that connects them to every place that we have gone. Really, they continue to Mālama Honua in their sense here.” says pwo navigator Chadd ʻŌnohi Paishon.
“What we got here on behind us is the remnants of the last largest Kauri forest on the planet. And as the iwi here, our principle responsibility is to look after what we call the domain of Tane Mahuta, or the god of the forest. The wellness of Kauri is also the wellness of our community, and we have to make sure that we continue to elevate that” says Fox.
“Knowing that each one of these places that we get to go, hold significance for those people who come from those places, and that we get to experience them and those places first hand from them, that’s special.” says Paishon.