Ngaati Whanaunga welcomes you to participate in the delivery of this educational resource. We developed this resource so we may share our language, history and cultural heritage with our local schools and communities. More importantly, this resource was designed to provide an insight into some of the challenges that we as Ngaati Whanaunga have faced i.e. to maintain our status as an iwi (tribe), to exercise our rangatiratanga ( rights to leadership) and continue our obligations of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) over our tribal lands and possessions.
Kei Whea Te Aute is a paatere (chant) that acknowledges the lives of our tuupuna (ancestors) and how they faced the many challenges and changes brought about by the modern world. It pays homage to our maunga (mountains), whenua (lands), awa (rivers) and moana (sea) where our tuupuna lived and utilised special areas to cultivate their main food sources. This paatere also names and locates our historical landmarks that are based from Mahurangi to Tamaki to the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel Peninsula.
Kei Whea Te Aute, expressed as ‘Where is the Leader?’ symbolises the importance for us as Ngaati Whanaunga to take heed of the legacies passed down by our tuupuna, to retain our cultural, heritage, language and identity, and to remain steadfast through difficult and challenging times. It signifies the importance for us to teach our younger generations the traditional beliefs and customs of our tuupuna so they may fulfil their roles as leaders and guardians thus stand with pride and confidence.
We proudly present our paatere Kei Whea Te Aute to other whanau, hapuu, and iwi to take heed of legacies passed down by their tuupuna, to retain their cultural heritage, language and identity and exercise the confidence and self-determination needed to face the difficult and challenging times.
We as Ngaati Whanaunga are very excited to have you with us and we look forward to working with you.