Miki Apiti
Ngati Te Wehi - Kaumātua - Okapu Pā
Miki travelled extensively overseas as a musician prior to serving in the the NZ Army.

Following his service with the NZ Army he entered film and television school. He has been with the Maori Programmes Department, Television New Zealand since 1992.
Firstly as a Reporter for Te Karere for the first two years then as a Researcher, Reporter, Director for Waka Huia.

Miki directed the Waka Huia documentary "Arekahanara" which won Best Maori Language Programme at the 1997 Film & Television Awards.
John Mahara
Ngati Te Wehi - Kaumātua - Okapu Pā
My name is John Mahara. I was named after my grandfather, Hone Pehimana Mahara. I lived here most of my life – born and bred here and there is nothing the world that would take that from me.

If I went back in time to when I remember when my parents were alive, and my uncles and aunties, there would have been about 6-8 families living around the marae here. This would have been in the 1950s-60s. They had massive gardens. As children we used to help them turn their beautiful gardens full of potatoes, pumpkin, kamokamo, watermelon, corn. Each whanau had a large garden not only to feed themselves but to also support the Kingitanga – the coronation of the Kingitanga in Ngaruawahia.
We lived off the land and we also lived off the sea. In those days I remember fish was plentiful. I know for a fact that when I was 10-12 years of age we would do floundering and get up to 15-18 good sized flounders and that would feed 2-3 families. We would only get enough for what we needed. I will never forget that we always start and finish with a karakia.

There were no fridges or freezers of any kind in those days and the old people used salt [to preserve the fish]. The mango (shark) took a little bit longer to dry. When they dried we put them into sacks and kept them indoors. We would take the fish out a few at a time. We would just steam them because they were already salty. Dried fish would last more than a year, salted, if not longer.

We were always full with the abundance of food from the sea and the land. I feel very privileged that I learnt off my old people, all these traditions. I want to hand all these down to the next generations, to my children and to their children when it comes to their time.

Today, how can we feed our people, how can we feed our children, how can we feed their children in the future if commercial fishermen are coming into our harbour and destroying everything? There will be nothing left. A couple of months ago my brother Ray and I went floundering and all we saw were three flounders. Something’s not right why the fish is not there any more and I put it strongly down to the commercial fishermen taking all our kai moana. They’re taking food out of our kids’ cupboard – that’s what they’re doing.

Kia ora
Stuart Twemlow MD
Stuart W. Twemlow was born and raised in New Zealand where he received his medical degree (M.B.Ch.B.). Dr Twemlow has a strong Maori heritage. His canoe ( waka), is Tainui, iwi (tribe), is Maniapoto. and hapu, ( sub-tribe or extended family), is Ngati Patupo, who were highly skilled in warfare and were King Tawhiao’s bodyguards.

He immigrated to the USA in 1970 to the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kansas where he completed his residency and was later board certified in general psychiatry. He is a graduate of the Topeka Institute for Psychoanalysis at the Menninger Clinic and held various offices there including faculty member and President of the Topeka Society. Dr Twemlow had a private practice of Psychoanalysis & Psychiatry, with a special interest in problems in organisations and social systems for more than 30 years. Currently he is Medical Director of the HOPE unit for Treatment Refractory Adults at the Menninger Clinic, and is Professor of Psychiatry, Menninger Dept. Psychiatry, Baylor School of Medicine, Houston, Texas a faculty member of the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute. He is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Twemlow has over 200 publications in a wide variety of fields including school violence, prevention of community violence, terrorism and cult dynamics, victim, victimizer relationships, workplace harassment, dispute negotiation and mediation altered states of consciousness, biofeedback, meditation, communication patterns in doctor/patient relationships, mother/son incest, psychopathology of sexually exploitative psychotherapists, and a book on out-of-body and near-death experiences entitled, “With the Eyes of the Mind,”with Dr. Glen Gabbard. He has also published a book entitled, “Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment: A Program for Elementary Schools,” with Frank Sacco, Ph.D. and his son, Stephen Twemlow. He has coedited a collection of articles on analytic work with violence in the community : Analysts in the Trenches : Streets, Schools & War Zones, and another entitled The Future of Prejudice : Applications of Psychoanalytic Understanding toward its Prevention.. He is a founding editor and Editor-in-Chief with Nadia Ramzy, PhD., of The International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, and is President of The International Association for Applied Psychoanalytic Studies .

Dr. Twemlow has practiced meditation and the martial arts for over 40 years. He is a master teacher (Renshi) and advanced Black Belt (6th Dan) in two systems of Kenpo Karate and is 7th Dan in the Okinawan Weapons (Kobudo) systems. He is also a 1st Dan in Shinko Kaiten Aikido and second level Black in Eagle Claw Kung Fu. He practices and teaches meditation and black ink brush painting and has exhibited, sold and published his brush paintings. He is listed in “Who's Who in American Martial Arts”. Dr. Twemlow is Chief Instructor & President Emeritus of the United States Kenpo Federation. The School of Martial and Meditative Arts, owned by his son, Stephen has about 200 students and is located in Topeka, Kansas. Three of his five children have advanced Kenpo Black Belts.

Dr. Twemlow is an international lecturer on the physical and psychological aspects of violence. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Academic Advisory Council of the United States Presidential Campaign Against Youth Violence He has also consulted with the Prime Minister of Jamaica on problems of peace and violence, with representatives of the Australian Government on school bullying, with the FBI on threat assessment and school violence in the US and with individuals from the government of Paraguay on violence in communities. He has worked with several cities and city departments mediating labor disputes, consulting on workplace climate, school climate, and threat assessment. He has completed a successful project to reduce violence and improve the quality of life in a mid-sized community in Jamaica, successfully implemented in several cities in the US. He is Director of the Peaceful Schools & Communities project, The Child and Family Program of the Menninger Dept of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX. This program is becoming a national model. He has held several grants from cities, private foundations and Federal agencies supporting his work.
Eve (Penny) Mataira (nee Apiti)

Aotea is well known for their fishing, pipis, mussels, pupus and now the odd oyster.

As I was growing up I can recall going out floundering with my dad (John Apiti) and catching about 60-120 flounders and we used to share it out with the whanau. We would spend about 1-2 hours to catch this much. It was night time and we’d light up our Coleman lamps and take out our spears.
There were heaps of people living in Aotea at the time.

We had no road from the landing up to the of the road. It wasn’t until after my Aunty Rebecca gave birth to John Charles Paki. Seven months later she passed away.
Hilda Ross had heard about this situation (having no road) so she came out to see what could be done. John Paki had gone over to the landing to pick Hilda Ross up by horse. There she had to double back with him to see where they were situated. The tide was coming in as they got to Matakowhai Point. The water was up to the horse’s puku and Hilda Ross was very scared of this, so after her visiting she went back to korero with the district council to have the road put in.

These are the people who lived at Aotea from the end of the road to the junction: Tom Moke, John Apiti, John Paki, Mahara Whanau (there was a tribe of Maharas), Tom Reti, Poto Ngaru, Moses Moke, Polly Williams, Tom Herbert, Dave Morrison, Roy Moke, Toko Ngaru, Huatahi Wete, Trevor Allen, Frank Turner, Mike Hopa, Bobby Crown, Tia Pouwhare, O’Connor Whanau and so you can imagine all the kids that went to school. We only had one bus that would come to pick us up. The Mokes, Apitis and Pakis all had to walk to the landing to meet the school bus as the road still hadn’t been done. We would cross over the beach when the tide was on the way in. The girls would hold their dresses up until they got to dry land and then put their knickers on. On cold frosty mornings those who had no shoes would see the cows’ droppings and they would run to warm their feet in the cow dung. We couldn’t stand in it too long otherwise we would get left behind from the school bus. Johnston Ranga was our bus driver. If we missed the school bus we either walked to the junction, which is now the main highway 31, or come home and do chores on the farm, so it was better for us to carry on to school even though we were a bit late.

Aotea used to be dairy farming. The Mokes, Pakis, Apitis and Retis used to take their cream cans over to the landing by horse, then would be taken by cream truck to the Te Awamutu dairy factory to be churned into butter and cheese. This also was our transport to Te Awamutu to do our shopping. Then we’d catch the bus home. There was always a horse at the landing waiting for whoever until we got the road in and that was about 1960.

We never did have any power in Aotea until about 1960, the same time we got the road in. Families would light their copper fire to do the washing by hand and cook on the coal range. The coal range was beautiful to cook on. We always had fresh hot bread in the oven, beautiful roasts and our house was always warm in the winter. Some families were lucky they had a wetback added onto their fire so they always had hot water. When the fire was going we also used to put a cast iron on the stove to heat and do our ironing and a cast iron kettle to make our hot drinks. We had no fridges so our butter, bread and meat had to be kept in a mesh cupboard, which was called a safe. This kept the flies off the kai. My dad used to dig a hole in the ground, not very big, just nice, to put our butter and ice cream in. He used to line the hole with brown paper.

We all used to have telephones and they were the ones you would have to turn the hand to ring out. They also used to be partyline so about 4-6 families would talk on one line but we had our own morse code numbers and people would listen in on our conversations, which was very frustrating. You couldn’t ring and have a private conversation with your boyfriend or girlfriend or otherwise because everyone would know the goss’. These are some of the phone numbers I could remember: 2J (that was us), 2U, 2S, 2R, 2M, 2W etc etc.

There was plenty to do on the farms in Aotea. There was shearing, thistling, cutting ragwort, fencing, docking, crutching and milking. Plus whanau had big vege gardens to feed their families, which also provided for any tangi as well as poukai. The old Maori people made sure they had plenty of kai. They had no tractors to plough up the grounds. Some farmers had draught horses to do all the work and as kids we would come home from school and help plant potatoes, kumara, kamokamo, pumpkin, watermelon and sweetcorn. When the sweetcorn was ready they would leave it to dry until hard then put down into a running creek or a deep hole and leave there for three months until ready to eat. They called this rotten corn (kaanga pirau). You would have to get past the smell before it was edible. It’s much better than porridge and is still on the menu today (so eat your heart out). We would have field days at Okapu and Mokai. It was so surprising to know where all the people came from. They would have sports like basketball, horse riding, horse jumping, hurdles and polo. In the evening the events would be followed by dancing. The band used to be James New Year Reti on his steel guitar, Mau Apiti on slap base, Jim Mahara and Tawhi Mahara on guitar, Googie Apiti on mouth organ. Fred Porima had his own band as well. There was rock’n’roll, twist, judda-bug, waltz, spot waltz. Nellie Reti, Pearl Ormsby and Mihi Paki were the best rock’n’roll girls. Kapa haka was also run by Aunty Irina Reti.
We also had sports day down at the beach in Aotea below our place. Once again hurdle jumping, polo, apples on a line, zig zag racing and riders on the horses would see who could get the most apples on a line.

Myrtle Edwards (Paki) had a pet goat and she oiled the goat down and had layers of lollies tied on to the goat. She then let the goat go and all the kids would run after the goat to see who could get the most lollies. This was so much fun.

Some of us had no transport to get to these activities so the horses were the next best thing. We also went to the movies in Kawhia, by horse again. We had to be sure that all the chores were done, like the cows to be milked and getting wood in for the fires. Bill Wallace was operating the picture theatre upstairs and downstairs he had his garage underneath and was situated where the boating club is today. Those who went by horses into Kawhia would tie their horses up across from the pub or by the wharf.

Other entertainment I remember is when the Paki girls would cut branches off the cabbage tree and slide down the hill. It was fun also making toy guns out of wood, go-karts, windmills and trucks etc etc.

The Maori Womens’ Welfare League started at Okapu in 1952. Mrs Sergent was president at the time, then Mrs Myra Moke took over when Mrs Sergent moved to Hamilton. The women involved in MWWL were: Irina Reti, Liz Moke, Mary Paki, Hinga Apiti (my mum), Miriata Mahara, Wai Mahara, Porepore Mahara, Rangi Wete, Mere Wete, Rangi Pihere Moke, Huatahi Wete, Te Ru Apiti, Whero Moke and Rangihora Mahara.

As families grew older they sold up and moved into Hamilton as there was nothing for them to do but farming and the children needed better education. Now some are pining to come home but their parents sold their land and farms. Only Dad has kept his farm out of all the farmers and where we are situated overlooking the Aotea Harbour is now a million dollar view. So we had plenty of fun in the good old days and were all very happy.

I would like acknowledge Nancy Awhitu for providing some of this information.

[The late] Eve (Penny) Mataira (nee Apiti)
aka Matakowhai Reporter

Kaye Whakaruru (nee Moke)

I am brought to tears over the issues because I don't know how I can help! I am in Taranaki married to my husband of 11 years. But was left a lot of Whakapapa so I will put this forward for you to use because its your's also here it goes!

Turi = Hinekewa

Turi Matakino = Rua Moewai

Turi Mata Oneone = Tatairangi

Turi Mata O Rehua = Kahuororo

Koutou o te Rangi = Kaokao

Te Kapunga O Te Rangi = Puru Ora

Hauta E Po = Hia Tarere

Ruaputahanga = Whaithua

1 Uenuku tu Whatu 2 Uenuku Te Rangihoka 3 Uenuku Tu whanai
1 Uenuku tu Whatu travelled to Taranaki in search of his mother Ruaputahanga and married a wahine from there.

2 Uenuku te rangi hoka = Whaitiri

Te Mangohikuroa =

Motai = Hinewai

Kuranui = Ngaruaroa

Rereiao = Pikiao

Hekemaru = Heke i te Rangi

Paretahuri = Maramatutahi

Tuteihi = Parehuka

Taku po o Te Rangi = Mata Ruahine

Kiringaua = Mahuta

Huapiri = Karewa

Te Tiki o Rereatu = Atutahi

Te Rangapu = Whaeaora

Te Koata = Pakaue

Te Wehi = Mariu Tenei te timata o Ngati Te Wehi

their children as written in Dad's hand writing

Te Wehi







From Paiaka = Rangihora

Waenganui = Tawera? or Kirihau

Rangitaupopoki = Parehikitanga

tokowha nga tamariki

Ko Urumahue = Kakeha

Ko Tu Te Mahurangi

Ko Te Moke = Arareia

Ko Ngatokorua
This is my contribution if you have any queries in regard to this whakapapa please feel free to email me or call ...

Keep up the MASSIVE work whanau and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!
June, Kyle, their tamariki and June’s parents
June, Kyle, their tamariki and June’s parents
Kete made by Kyle Shadrock
Kete made by Kyle Shadrock
Hinemoa Mutu Queenie Shadrock
Hinemoa Mutu Queenie Shadrock
Paki-Shadrock Whānau

My partner’s name is June Paki. Her is Peter Paki and her mother is Carmen Paki nee Johnson… We wanted to let you know that we were proud to be associated to Okapu Marae taking control of her local waters and fishing grounds…

Here is a pic of June, myself, our tamariki and June’s parents. It was taken at our Graduation [at Te Wananga o Raukawa, Otaki]. Massive day!
There is also a pic of a kete I made and I am proud to send this photo of my nanny [Hinemoa Mutu Queenie Shadrock] !!...

As far as my studies are concerned I have finished my first paper on fresh water management and [am] currently deep into my study for Waste Management. We have done so much work on our course in just twonoho I would like to suggest to the whanau that this is a great course and worth while to everyone it is only a year long course so far and is jamm packed full of information on how to work with our environment logically with the appropriate scientific background, and doing so under tikanga Mâori ideals!!! Not sure if I have said name of my course before, it is Heke Matauranga Putaiao (or environmental science). Any howz more than anything wanted to send best wishes to whole whanau and missing home like made o well don’t think we will stay down here much longer… does anyone know the name of a good Kura kaupapa Maori?


all our love Paki-Shadrock Whanau!!!

[Kyle Shadrock https://www.facebook.com/kyle.shadrock]
Raymond Mahara

Going back to the late 60s/70s I can remember we used to have gardens around here. I can remember giving the old people a hand to dig out potatoes and cutting ferns to lie the potatoes on and to cover them.

I’ve done a bit of fishing in my life. Now going back 4-6 years ago I went out floundering one night and was lucky to catch two little flounders. I tried one week later and another week later and gave up. I blame it on the commercial fishers. In the old days I never used to see them.

Kia ora tātou
Liz (Naonao) Mahara (nee Taylor)

My name’s Liz Mahara. In the early 50s I lived here and most of my life. Going back to the old days when the old people were alive we used to have our houses around the outside of the marae. Whenever anything happened here like huis and tangis we used to come down here and get the marae ready for whatever hui we had.
I remember growing up here as a child. We had potatoes, big gardens right around the marae. And also fish, plentiful and big. We had orchards. Our parents never bought groceries from town. They only bought essentials because everything was here.

I remember when I was about 6 years old. There must have been about 48 children living around the marae. We used to go and pick blackberries along the side of the road put the blackberries in the tins found along the side of the road. We used to get a stick and stir the blackberries and eat the blackberries. Whenever we got back to the marae our parents used to look at us because all our mouths, our teeth and our tongues were all purple from eating blackberries. That was part of my growing up.
We used to do the plantation. There were no tractors. We used horses with a plough on the back. We used to have an older person guiding the horses on to the rows. For the potatoes we used to have an old milk tin with manure in it and it was the kids’ job to throw the manure in the holes while the old people were in the front planting the potatoes.

A week before the poukai we used to go out on horses out to the beach to get pipis and mussels and bring them back on horseback. The old people used to get a big tin and threw onto a fire, put all the pipis onto the tin. As soon as they opened us kids used to go along and take all the MUMU out of the shells. They had someone else threading the pipis onto flax and hanging them out to dry for the poukai.

There’s a lot I could say about my past but my main concern is what’s going to happen to our kids’ resources in the future. My big worry is my mokopuna. What are they going to eat when it to their time? Especially I have found on the beach now you can hardly catch a fish now.

My main mission is to back my cousin Davis Apiti up because he is one of the kaitiaki for the moana. Also I would like our gardens to come in again instead of relying on the shop.

Petunia (Poti) Te Kirianu Taylor (nee Mahara)

I was brought up at Okapu with my parents. I used to have a few neighbours – Tonga and Whero, Mabel and Davis and also Willie and Porepore and their whanau. I saw them all move away from Okapu but when we were all together staying back here [at Okapu] we all grew beautiful, big vege gardens. It was a special day when we all used put our potatoes in. After that we used to have a big hui, we used to have a big lunch and cook up a big meal. When our potatoes and veges all grew we got together to get them out and everybody used to put in veges for the poukai – so it was all cheap in those days. Some of the whanau used to have pigs and donated them for the poukai.

I remember when I used to go to the beach, when I was 10, with my brothers to get pipis. It used to feed our families. There was about 7-9 of us going out to get them. There used to be heaps of seafood out there but there’s nothing around now and there are only small pipis. Only a month ago I came home, I remember walking out to the beach and I got a shock. When I got out there was no pipis on the beach, nothing! I went right around to Pareapiti, right around to Matakowhai Point. There were only little ones out there but there used to be heaps [full sized]. There’s nothing out there now. It’s really sad.
And now all this commercial fishing is getting all our fish. It’s really sad.

Kia ora
James Mahara

Te mea tuatahi me mihi ki te Atua. Ko ia te timatatanga me te whakamutunga o nga mea katoa.

Ko Karioi tōku maunga

Ko Tainui tōku waka

Ko Waikato tōku awa

Ko Kāwhia toku moana, Kāwhia kai, Kāwhia tangata, Aotea te whenua

Ko Ngati Maniapoto tōku iwi

Ko Ngati Te Wehi tōku hapu

Ko Okapu tōku Marae

Ko Peta Mahara rāua ko Amy Te Kuru me Te Kaha Apiti rāua ko Te Ru Horotini ōku Tupuna Matua.

Ko Jim Mahara rāua ko Ani Apiti ōku Matua

Ko James Preston Mahara ahau.

No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Kia ora koutou,
My name is James Mahara and I live in Te Awamutu.

I’m currently working at Work and Income NZ (WINZ) as a Case Manager. Previously I was at Te Wananga o Aotearoa (University of New Zealand) studying Computers and Business Administration. When I’m wasn't studying I was working at Subway (ahhh... the joys of being a student).

Prior to my studies I was in Queensland, Australia as a Missionary for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years. I learnt a lot of valuable skills, which I will endeavour to carry with me through the journey of life like people skills, communication skills, achieving goals and many more.

I know that if you have a dream in life to become a doctor, a mechanic or anything you desire don’t let anything get in your way! The only person stopping you is yourself so get out there and do it!!!!!

“Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, noona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te maatauranga, noona te Ao.”

Translation: “The bird that feeds on the miro berry, its domain is the forest. The bird that feeds on knowledge, his domain is the World”
Whero Awhitu

Tena koutou

Ko Whero Awhitu toku ingoa,

ko Karioi te maunga,

ko Ngati Te Wehi te hapu,

ko Ookapu te marae,

ko Terewai raua ko Dawn oku matua,

he Mahi ahau mo Te Kura Matauranga Maaori mo a Purchasing Officer.

My name is Whero Awhitu and I currently work for Te Kura Matauranga Maaori as Purchasing Officer.

I have 3 beautiful children: Nalini (8), Wai Marie (6) and Tu-Moana (5). Ko taku hoa Rangatira ko Richard Ball (Ngati Porou/Kahungungu).

I am the second oldest of seven: Gavin, Carol, Huatahi, Braidon, Teira and Rangi, who is the youngest. I also have two beautiful nieces (Miquiz and Seana Leigh) and two handsome nephews (Ranui and Ceeza).

My grandparents are Bill & Rangirangi Taylor, Joeseph & Nancy Awhitu. My parents & grandparents are a huge highlight in my life as everything I have achieved and learned in life has been contributed by them in one way or another.

I love doing anything sporty and fun. I currently do Waka Ama/power swimming and hopefully looking at doing Body for Life this year (2005).
I’m in my last year in completing a DTT – Diploma Tertiary Teaching and then hopefully look at doing BBA - Bachelor Business & Administration in 2006.
I stand proud and say that I am from Ngati Te Wehi, Ookapu Marae!

I could go on for ages talking about the life I once lived at Ookapu. I could remember the days when I used to have to catch the bus to school, however we had to walk a distance to the nearest bus stop, well on the way, stopping to feed the eagles and picking the blackberries for our lunch at school (ha..ha..). As I could remember there were around 20 of us Ookapu kids attending Kawhia School. One part there the school bus driver had to do two rounds to school.

We were all close to each other. We did awesome things like walking the paddocks, chasing the sheep & cows, swimming the beach, riding the horses… I now look back and realise how awesome that life was.

Whanau were just around the hill and there were no worries in the world. If only I could take it all back I would probably live life to the fullest extent.
My goal for life is to become the best I can be, to strive on life and never take life for granted.

Redistribute knowledge to our Rangatahi & Whanau as they are the future.

Always encourage the 5 Rs:

1. Respect – Show love to ALL people

2. Responsibility – The leaders go ahead, while the supporters follow.

3. Reciprocity – The tide that goes out will always return.

4. Redistribution – With your food basket and my food basket, the people will be satisfied.

5. Relationship – My prowess is single-handed; it represents the efforts of many.

As I mentioned above I probably could go on for ages talking about my life and being from Ookapu but to cut a long story short I am proud to be Maaori, to be from Ngati Te Wehi and being brought up on the West Coast (Aotea/Kawhia).

Kia tau te Rangimarie, Mauria te Taake…..

Ka kite… Whero Awhitu

Aroha Apiti

I attended the University of Auckland and attained a degree in Bachelor of Arts: International Relations and Maori Studies. I believe that all the skills I got from family, friends, school and Varsity have helped me be confident, assertive, independent, creative and innovative in not just my job but with all aspects of my life. I have a beautiful little girl named Renate (Renaata).

I attended Palmerston North Girls High School, where I got the opportunity to participate in the Commonwealth Young Designer Awards where I was a finalist. At the end of high school I had many different opportunities to explore and learn different avenues from Design to Law, I chose International Relations and since I have graduated I haven’t looked back! I realised that life is about doing the things that you love and creating an environment where you and your children can thrive, academically, creatively and independently.

Renate and I have gone from Palmerston North to Auckland to Hamilton, to Te Awamutu and have now landed in the South Island. My career has seem to lead me to different places in Aotearoa unfortunately though not yet overseas. Still working on that, though. I have gone from Treaty sector, education and now fisheries. It has all been a bit of whirlwind of change. But I am grateful for the inspiration, motivation and support from my whanau from Kawhia-Aotea.

I am of Waikato and Ngati Porou descent, so that has allowed me to take full advantages of the beauty of both east and west coast beaches, unfortunately I admit I dont get to go home much now, and miss the whanau atmosphere of Okapu Marae.

I have many passions which I research continuously learning new things to implement into my own life.

Wally Rifle

Okapu Marae’s Wally Rifle has represented his country for several seasons as a New Zealand touch representative, both as a player and a coach.

But securing the job as Tainui sports coordinator in partnership with the Waikato Sports Foundation is the dream role for Wally, who is in his final year studying towards a Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Science at WINTEC.

“I’ve always had a passion for sport and the opportunity has arrived now to put what I’ve been studying into practice. What’s even better is that it is working with my own people and that’s cool.”

Wally, of Ngati Te Wehi descent, can still match it with the best in the country on the touch field.

The humble 38-year-old is included in the NZ Senior Men’s training squad for the World Championships in Japan in April.

He’s already represented New Zealand in the Men’s Open team but says his proudest sporting moment was coaching the NZ U21 men’s team – which included Huntly’s Potatau Berryman – to win the World Championship, beating Australia in a tense final in 2001.

On top of his touch commitments, Wally was instrumental in starting the rugby-training academy at Te Awamutu Sports, and has been taken on as a trainer with the Waikato Rugby Union Academy as well as working with Chief’s head-fitness trainer John Gillet.

“Johnny’s given me the opportunity to help with weight training sessions with the Chiefs and that’s been a great experience.”

Wally took up his appointment as Tainui kaiwhakahaere – He Oranga Poutama in January and is keen to share his enthusiasm and expertise.

“I want to get more of our people active because I’ve learnt in my studies that Maori do contribute to a lot of cardio-vascular disease and obesity is the number one killer in the country. Unfortunately, our people are over represented in those statistics,” Wally says.

“So hopefully I can pass on the knowledge that I’ve learnt because it’s about educating our people and basically getting them to play more often.”
Article published in "te hikoi" newsletter for Waikato-Tainui, Kohi-Tatea 2003 (Waikato Raupatu Trustee Company). Reproduced with permission from Wally Rifle.

Davis Apiti
I returned home to Aotea after living away for several years and I could see the effects of what was happening to our harbours so approached my kaumatua, [Uncle] John Apiti, for advice. He told me the story about the moana rahui of Aotea. I realised that something had to be done and from that Moana Rahui o Aotea was established. We are the conservation arm of Ngati te Wehi, Okapu Marae.

I love all sports and enjoy the outdoors. I fishing for my family and teaching my children about the uniqueness of Aotea. I aim to help keep Aotea Harbour in its natural form as much as possible for our children’s benefit and to educate them to appreciate those things which are around them. No matter how little or big these things are they all teach us something.

Thank you!

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