REREAHU HISTORY

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Introduction

I whanau mai te tangata   Man is born with dignity me tona ake mana    and honour Na te Io i homai.   Bestowed by God Ko Mataarangi,    This source of heaven Ko Mataanuku   This point of earth Na, ka puta ko tooku whakapapa   Gives rise to my lineage I here au ki te whenua   and binds me to the land Tihei Mauri ora!   The breath of life!

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Tainui Canoe

In the ancient land of Hawaiki, a great ocean voyaging canoe was fashioned from a great tree that grew at the burial site of an infant child who sadly did not survive childbirth. Tainui was the name given to that child and eventually to the canoe that brought our ancestor to Aotearoa. Led by the chief Hoturoa, the Tainui waka was one of the migratory canoes that voyaged from Hawaiki across the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa over 800 years ago. Landfall was made in Whangaparaoa. After extensive exploration of the new found land the Tainui canoe and its people arrived at Kawhia where she lies buried at her final resting place at Te Akau Maketu.

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Rereahu

Rereahu is a direct descendant of Hoturoa, the captain of the Tainui canoe which voyaged from Hawaiki to Aotearoa (New Zealand) over 800 years ago. He was born, the eldest son of Raukawa and Turongoihi. Rereahu was a man of peace. His younger siblings were Takihiku, Whakatere and Kurawari. As a young man Rereahu went off to find adventure and a wife. At Taumarunui, Rereahu met and settled down with Rangianewa. They made a home at Okahukura and had a child who they named Te Ihinga-a-rangi. They then moved north to the village of Tihikoreoreo not far from the present town of Waimiha. Rangianewa and Rereahu separated soon after, and the infant Te Ihinga-a-rangi went with his mother. Rereahu then married Hineaupounamu; Rangianewa’s highly esteemed cousin. The couple then moved further north to the Mohaonui district, settling at Hikurangi village. The couple’s first child Maniapoto was born there at Hikurangi followed by seven more children some born at Hikurangi and others born in the southern district of Maraeroa. Rereahu visited the costal communities of Kawhia and Mokau often to gather fish, shellfish, and sea birds of every kind to provide for his family. The forests of Maraeroa abounded with mamaku the black fern whose tender fronds or pitau were a favourite food of Rereahu. But most favoured of all was a cake made of hinau berries and rengarenga root. At Tiroa, atop of Puketurua hill, a house was built and dedicated there for Rereahu, the house was named Otararehua. Still another house was built and dedicated to Rereahu at Nga Herenga village in the vicinity of Maraeroa. Rereahu lived a long and prosperous life and provided his people with great knowledge. He was blessed with many children and grandchildren, and, at the hour of his death at Nga Herenga he was surrounded by them. The name of Rereahu lives on in his descendants who bear his name as their tribal identity.

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Whakapapa - Geneaology

Hoturoa (Chief of the Tainui canoe) Hotuope Hotuawhio Hotumatapu Motai Ue = Kahaupekarere Rakamaomao Kaakati = Tawhao = Turongo = Mahinaarangi Raukawa = Turongoihi Rereahu Rereahu = Te Rangianewa Te Ihinga-a-rangi Rereahu = Hineaupounamu Maniapoto, Matakore, Tuwhakahekeao, Te Io Wanaanga, Turongotapuarau, Kahuariari, Kinohaku, Te Rongorit

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The Land

Of all things it is the Land which Maori hold most precious. The Land is Papatuanuku (the Earth Mother) and needs to be cared for if she is to provide life’s essentials, such as water, food and shelter. Conservation and respect for the land was therefore an integral facet of Maori life and was practiced on a daily basis. Maori were Kaitiaki (guardians) of the land during their lifetime and were therefore responsible for ensuring that the land was handed on to the next generation in a better or same condition that they had received it. It is the lands between the Rangitoto and Tuhua mountains which Rereahu descendants have continued to occupy since the death of Rereahu and continue to claim mana whenua (authority) over, as the local Hapu (Tribe). Much of that land remains in Rereahu care today with farming and forestry the principle activities engaged in by the families who have remained in the region.