Matihetihe marae – Mitimiti

Written by Robyn Kamira
16 November 2009

The view from on top of Hione (the wahi tapu) looking down at Matihetihe marae

The view from on top of Hione (the wahi tapu) looking down at Matihetihe marae

Matihetihe marae is a coastal marae about 10 kilometres north of the Hokianga harbour, and a similar distance south of the Whangape harbour.  It is nestled beside the sand dunes.  Beyond is the great Moana Tapokopoko-a-Tawhaki (Tasman Sea).

It is reached via West Coast Rd, Mitimiti and the land it sits on is Tao Maui Reserve 1B2 and C2 (Parirau-a-Paparangi Trust).

The area is a typical wild west coast and in pristine condition.  It is surrounded by unspoiled or regenerating native bush and a marine environment that provides food to the local community.

The name Matihetihe refers to the tumbleweed (tihetihe) that grows abundantly in the sand dunes.

The marae is within the bounds of the Hokianga, an area rich in history and the returning place of Kupe via his re-adzed waka called Ngatokimatawhaorua which was commanded by Nukutawhiti.

Matihetihe is one of 23 marae that are part of Te Rarawa iwi (tribe). Its hapu (subtribe) Te Tao Maui and another hapu of note is Te Hokokeha.

Ko Tumoana te whare

Ko Tumoana te wharenui

The marae consists of a wharenui Tumoana; a wharekai, Nga Ringa Rau o Te Akau; the old wharekai, and an ablutions block. Next to the marae complex is Hato Hemi the catholic church building also owned by the marae.  Above on the hill is the wahi tapu (cemetery) called Hione (Zion, what was its original name?).

The wharenui you see here was built in 1953 and Takou Kamira was its first tangi. It had the help of men and women who rushed because at the time Takou was dying and they wanted it to be ready for him. It had no verandah originally.

The old wharenui was located across from this site further from the dunes but facing towards the sea. I’ve been told that it was blown over in a storm.

The old wooden building behind the large wharekai today, was originally located at the school opposite the flag pole. Children used to watch films there. It was also used as a store room for sport equipment and later, it became an art room. When the school could afford to get a bigger building it was donated to the marae and became the wharekai.

Once the large, new one was built around 1987/8, the old building became Te Akau Social Club with a bar, pool table and dart board, where people played … and fell to sleep on the train seats. It became the place to be on a thursday night.

Atama Paparangi, a Rangatira in the 1800s, embraced the catholic faith and demanded total allegiance from his whanau and everyone associated with Matihetihe marae. He placed a wooden plaque in the wharenui proclaiming his religious beliefs with “Kia aroha ki te ariki – Kia aroha hoki ki te whakaritenga” – advocating that people should love god and that which is set out by the church. This allegiance saw the catholic church agree that the church Hato Hemi could be erected.

Atama also ordered the exhumation of the remains of all pre-christian burials from the wahi tapu upon Hione to be transferred to Pipiro (now named Waihopai). It is said that Waihopai (leave it for good) was named following the transfer. During his lifetime, no non-catholics were allowed burial at Hione. This is not adhered to today.

In 2009, Matihetihe took part in a hapu planning exercise and many of the issues arise from a depleting population. In short, this effects the presence of kaumatua or kuia to perform more formal duties at the marae, workers to help with the upkeep and events at the marae, and people who can assist with environmental matters including the native bush, the dunes and the sea.

References

Matihetihe Hapu Plan Draft, August 2009 (Author Georgina Martin)

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45 Responses to Matihetihe marae – Mitimiti

  1. Rina Tau says:

    Ngā mihi o te tau hou kia koutou e ngā whanaunga o te kainga, ko Mitimiti, ko Pangaru ara taku papa kainga ko Pawarenga, te Uri o Tai te hapu.
    Oku mātua ko Pio Pirini i moe i a Rairu Hunia. Ngā uri o Te Oki raua ko Pire.
    A, Ani Pirini hei tuahine ki toku papa, a Pio Pirini. A Menzie he karanga tungane ki ahau.
    No reira tēna koutou katoa.
    I haere ahau ki te kura o Hato Hohepa me Neta Kanara. Pēna ona tau pea he whetu tekau pea ko maua ēna. Ka roa. Kia kaha, kia ū tātou ki o tātou whanaungatanga. Hoki mai ki te kainga. Ahakoa e noho atu ana ahau ki Matarāua, Kaikohe. Etahi taima e hokihoki ana ki te kainga. I tupu ake ahau me tēnei ingoa Noni, na haere ki ngā kura, reira ko Lena, i ēnei ra ka hoki ahau ki taku ingoa tūturu Rina.
    Ngā mihi aroha
    Naku na
    Rina

    Noho ora mai.

  2. Kaye Brotherton says:

    I am a descendant of Hauauru Te Hiwi Tupoto, she was my mother’s great great grandmother, prior to her we have trouble finding anything, she had a daughter Sarah Birch who married Charles Williams, Marion Williams married Ernest Chaffey, my mother is the daughter of George Chaffey born Okaihau and Annie Emaline Chaffey nee Forrester (Ngati Porou). Our whanau would love to have any information anybody has in relation to the Ngapuhi side or who we could contact direct would be great. I understand Mahuri is who we descend from.

  3. captaingrant says:

    Hi I am one of seven children of Koki (maiden name Reid ) ODonnell. My name is Grant. I have 5 sons and am very much wanting to pass on my whakapapa to my boys. I have lots of photos and information going back to Atama Paparangi and know I have whanau still in the north. My sisters as well are keen to learn of our past as Mum was always quite silent when as kids we quizzed her. She was of the generation that was punished for speaking or showing things Maori, therefore we missed out (and she did as well) on a world I have had a gut feeling I belonged in. I recently had a son get married and myself and my other sons did a haka for him. It was very emotional and came from deep within. It has stirred my passion for something that I always knew was there but never knew how to embrace. I am now 60 and feel its not to late but what a shame I haven’t taken this path before today. I want my sons to benefit so I write this as a beginning to what maybe a journey of learning and love. I hope through this I can connect and visit my marae in 2014 sometime. If anybody can add to what I write I would very much appreciate it. Thanks Grant.

    • Tom Allan says:

      Tena koe. You may be interested in a facebook page Nga Uri O Atama Paparangi raua ko Ewa Ngataiawa.

      Kia ora
      Tom Allan

    • Darryl Reid says:

      Hey Grant. I’m the grandson of Robbie Reid (my mother is Raewyn), and am in good contact with Simon Reid, son of Ted. I live in Auckland and Si’s still in Whangarei. If you’re heading north circa June/July this year, get hold of me at; darrylandkimreid at yahoo.co.nz and let’s all co-ordinate something – at the least; some hospitality and story-telling, at best; we may come with you. About time to discuss and share with pride.

      Kia Ora
      Darryl

  4. joanne baker says:

    Hello my grandmothers name was Tui Dysart her mothers name was Georgina who was a Kendall before she married my great grandfather Claude dysart, Georginas mothers name was Neta Kendall.

  5. Maude Fraser says:

    Kia ora whanau
    My name is Maude Fullerton Fraser (Mane) only birth child of Sarah Adelaid Kendall (Sadie) and grandchild of Maude Fullerton Dyshart looking to talk to someone about my whakapapa willing to travel to you also have a lot of old photos of people from Mitimiti who I don’t know can you help? Contact number is 02040164741 or 02108299683 if you cant get through text me I am in Utakura at the moment and reception is poor

    Thank you
    Maude

    • Jordan says:

      Kiaora

      My name is Jordan Viliami Jackson and I am a descended from Atama Paparangi. I am from the O’Donnell’s whom I believe descend from Neta one of Atama’s children. we descend from Maraea Kendall one of there children. I think that’s when James O’Donnell has kids with her and the name changes from Kendall to O’Donnell that’s when my great grandmother Koki O’Donnell is born she then has kids which is my Nana, Paulette O’Donnell whom then gets married into an English family called the Jacksons.

      • William Peri Chapman says:

        Hi Jordan, This Maraea Kendall who married Issac Robert Reid had 10 children 5 boys and 5 girls. Koki, Mrytle, Binnie, Moira, Iris the girls. Their parents lived on the Awaroa River. I am looking for living descendants to help with the publication for Jubilee celebration in March 2014 for the Reid family, Kia ora William

      • Grant ODonnell says:

        William, Just reading your response to my nephew Jordan. I am one of Koki’s sons Grant ODonnell. I am most interested in our whakapapa and would love to come up to Mitimiti in July 2014 and meet some of my whanau. I live and work in Milford Sound at present but would like to get information and be registered with my marae. I have photos and information from Mum going back to Atama and the Kendall’s etc. Mum had whanau land next to the Marae but unfortunately she was persuaded to sell it before I was old enough to be of good advice to her. Something that upsets me as that was and still is of great importance to us as a whanau and was a connection to our past. I would love to hear back from you. Kia Ora Grant.

  6. Rose Marama-Nepe says:

    Kia Ora / Kia Orana, I am a descendant of Riperata (Hiki) and Te Wano Tahana, my Grandfather was Wiremu Moa Tahana who married Anita (not sure if thats the correct name of my grandmother) Dunn, my Mothers name is Katarina Tahana known as (Tippy) her siblings Menzie, Scotty, Harry, John, Patrick all deceased, and Aunty Rose who is still here with us. I am Nz Maori and Cook Island maori, i would like to know more of my whanau and i would like to know the other siblings of uncle Menzie he was the only one I met from my Grandfathers 1st Marriage
    Kia Ora
    Rose

    • hazel says:

      hi im hazel lol my mums josephine and her dads menzie, well yeah hes my papa :)

    • hazel says:

      oh my mum is josephine tahana-taua, her father was menzie tahana, his mums name was Ani Ritete (pirini) from pawarenga. and yea

      • hazel says:

        My name is Josehine Tahana Taua daughter of Menehia Menzie Tahana. Our grandfather Moa Tahana had three wives: Ani Ritete (Pirini) from Pawarenga they had two children Menehia and a sister the 2nd wife was a Dunn uncle Scotty Harry, Aunty Rose An your mum. The 3rd wife was Akata Kamira.
        Will keep in touch, here’s my email address jtauamitz@gmail.com

    • Tom Allan says:

      Tena koe

      Moa’s first wife Ani Pirini was the daughter of Pirini Ritete. Ani died at a young age during the 1918 flue epidemic. She is burried at Hione, Matihetihe. She and Moa had four children. Ngawini (deceased) who married a Parkinson, Mane who died young, Menehia whom you mention and Raiha or Ewa. There are a lot of Parkinsons still around.
      Scotty’s son Billy lives in Kaitaia, John’s sons, Henry lives at Matihetihe, his brother John lives at Waipapakauri. Their sister Jane lives in Kaitaia. Feel free to contact me. Kia ora. Tom Allan.

      • Tom Allan says:

        Tena koe ano.

        I forgot, there was also a Georgina from Moa’s 1st marriage. She died with out issue.

        Kia ora

        Tom Allan.

    • Tom Allan says:

      Tena koe ano, I forgot, Moa Tahana also had Georgina from his 1st family, she passed away without issue. Kia ora.

      Tom Allan

  7. heraparo says:

    Can anyone help please. I am looking for my great grandmother Kehi Te Rau Kaimakariri.

  8. Dalia Body says:

    Kia ora I am wanting any information on my great grandmother Te Hara Kamira who married John Smith lived at Rahiri.
    Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

    • Barry Tau says:

      Kia ora Dalia,
      My grandmother Mary Tau, maiden name Henry (Henare) also known as Aunty Tia who is still alive at the age of 94 is the granddaughter of Hara Kamira and William John Smith. Both are buried at Rahiri Settlement, Okaihau, Northland, urupa Kura Te Ra. My dad and I were there on Saturday, labour weekend cleaning their headstones.

    • Trish Taipari-Smth says:

      Kia ora Dalia,
      My Great grandmother Te Hara Kamira married my Great grandfather William. My Grandfather, Wilkie smith, their son, married my Grandmother, Hanna butler, from Punguru. They had eight children, including two sets of twins. Their second eldest son was my father, Jack (John) Smith who married my mother Ngapeka Taipari. My Grandmother, Hanna, died young. My Grandfather Wilkie gave all his sons, including my father Jack, to my Great grandmother Hara to raise. My father shared many stories about Grt.grandmother Hara, they fondly referred to her as their “Granny”, she referred to them as her “boys”. She was a Kuia of great mana known throughout the Hokianga.

      Trish Taipari-Smith

  9. David Cook Boxer says:

    By hook or by chance, you would find today the Tupuna Whaea Te Oki, her off-spring will cover 90% of peoples from Pawarenga-Panguru-Rena, how about that, they do say, if you do not come from Te Oki your not from Panguru. The beauty of marriage of in and out … ties us together…. Kai mo Te hinengaro … Food for thought … Kia ora … Boxer

  10. Hori Topia says:

    Kia ora Koutou im just wanting to know if anyone can give me any Korero or Whakapapa on the Ancestor Pororewarewa would be much Appreciated
    Kia ora ra

  11. heraparo Rotana says:

    Please can anyone help me in finding out about my great grandmother Kehi Te Rau

  12. victor teahuahu says:

    kia ora
    im wondering if you can help me find my grandmothers whanau whom i believe came from mitimiti her name was ira cash and if there is any of the cash whanau still around or any information would be great .
    victor teahuahu.

    • Kaiwhakahaere | Administrator says:

      Tena koe Victor,

      Contact Tipo Cash at Mitimiti – he runs the holiday home and should be in the phone book :)

      Good luck,
      Rob

  13. heraparo Rotana says:

    Kia ora, I’m looking for my great grandmother Kehi Te Rau. She was the daughter of Te Rau Kaimakariri. I put these names in and found myself here. Please contact me if you have any information. Nga mihi nui hoki kia tatou Ariki ae Ihu Karati. Heraparo Rotana

  14. Laurene Williams says:

    Hi there,
    I’m a descendant of Neta and George Kendall (Hori Kenara). Were there only three children of Atama and Ewa? Am I correct in saying “Ko Tarakeha toku maunga, Ko Moetangi toku awa, Te rarawa te iwi, Ko tao Maui toku hapu” I haven’t been up to visit Mitimiti yet, but now that this information is easily accessible on the net I will try to come back.

    • Tom Allan says:

      Tena koe e Laurene.

      Atama and Ewa had, Hohaia, Neta and Hiki. Hohaia had no children but whangai’d several of the children of Neta Tahana and Ike Welsh. Hiki married Te Wano Tahana.

      Kia ora.
      Tom Allan.

      • Laurene says:

        Kia Ora Tom
        One day all the pieces will fit together! Awesome to see the marae on the news even though it was for the sad occasion of Hotere passing.

    • Patuaka Poutama says:

      Kia ora Laurene, Neta is my great grandmother, I’m after any info as well have not been to Mitimiti yet but am really looking forward to it, my grandmother Patricia is still alive and lives in Kamo she was raised pakeha so doesn’t have close ties to Mitimiti or the marae, although she recalls Atama coming to her house as a child and hiding because she was scared of his moko.

      • Laurene says:

        Kia Ora Patuaka,
        It is so sad that in one generation our family history can disappear. So Patricia must be Sarah’s sister. Sarah is my great great grandmother. Is your grandmother a Kendall?

  15. David Cook Boxer says:

    He korero maumahara kia Te Kaumatua, Menehia Tahana, mo ana mihimihi Marae.
    Tawhaki te moana = Tasman the sea
    Te Oneroa o Hokianga Te Akau = the long sands of Hokianga Te Akau
    Matihetihe te Marae = Matihetihe the Marae
    Tumoana te Wharenui = Tumoana the meeting house
    Nga Ringarau te Whare Kai = A Hundred Hands is the food house
    Hato Hemi te Whare Karakia = St. James the church house
    Hione te wahitapu = Hione the cemetery
    Tarakeha te maunga = Tarakeha the mountain
    Moetangi te awa = Moetangi the river
    Tao maui te hapu = Tao maui the people
    Paparangi te Rangatira = Paparangi the Leader
    Menehia te Tangata = Menehia the man
    Tihei mauri ora = I sneeze I live (In memory of Menzie Tahana)
    BOXER

  16. Irene Collins says:

    I am looking for information on our Maori descent that may come from that area. My great great grandmother Mere Werahiko married a man called Henry Smith I’m unsure if he is Maori or European. They had a son called Aperahama (Abraham ) Smith. Abraham was also known as Pera. Abraham smith was a master mariner around 1895 and took many ferry boats around Hokianga and the Kaipara harbour. I am hoping that someone may be able help with this query, thanks Irene

  17. Damian Williams says:

    KIA ORA : )

    my names Damian i just recently found my biological father around 4years ago i am now 29_I am the only person not on the family tree thats my marae in the pics on this site_matihetihe/nga ringa rau o te akau.I honestly dont know much at all about my whanau but one thing i am clear of my family is huge.im ment to be one of like 90+ first cousins thats crazy to think about but true.both my grandparents are buried at the top of the hione (wahi tapu) apart from what i have shared im clueless to most things about where im from and how my ancestors lived.if anyone can help who are my great grandparents and so on i would like to know.if it comes as any help my father timothy damian williams has alot of brothers and sisters.now names i have a uncle jack,uncle mark hes in a wheel chair,aunty alice her partners name is troy,aunty charlotte,aunty mere and theres more e.t.c just cant think of theres names at this point.anyway if you know who they are post me a message be good to hear from some other members of the whanau.

    • B says:

      Hey Damian,

      You dont mention too many other names so its kinda hard. But recently while looking at my parters herritige i notices Williams. I dont know if this will have anything to do with you, but have a look and see if this means anything to you. It doesnt actually name the Williams members.
      George Kendall married Neta Atama (Daughter of Chief Atama Paparangi)

      http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=DESC&db=ahoneybun&id=I1940

      Goodluck!

    • zac says:

      Kia Ora Damien,
      Yes you do have a lot of cuzzies and a few aunties and uncles to boot. You have correctly named some. Your Grandfather is Johnny Williams (he was the sheriff over Wihihi Ratana’s lands @ Moetangi!!!) Your Grandmother is Alice (nee Baker). Perhaps now there may be others who can guide you on your journey.”cool runnin’s”

  18. Tom Allan says:

    Tena koe

    Dame? E kata kata ana ahau. Kahore. He tane tuturu ahau puta mai te Kaipara. E kore whanaunga no Taheke ra. Nga mihi ki a koe, ara ki to whanau ki te tawahi. Na, ki Melbourne, e noho ana ai etahi tamariki o Te Wano Tahana, ara ko Scottie Tahana. Kati ra.

    Kia ora
    Tom Allan

  19. Tom Allan says:

    Tena koe e Freda.

    There are a lot of your cousins in and around Kaitaia that descend fron Neta. A lot that descend from Neta’s brother Moa Tahana as well. We are having two unveilings and a birthday at Matihetihe on the 24th of this month. Come out and meet your whangaunga. Feel free to email me.

    Kia ora. Tom Allan

    • Georgia Dijkstra says:

      Kiaora
      My name is Georgia Dijkstra Grandchild of Veronica Marshall who’s mother is Patricia Irene Welsh and I am doing a project for school retracing my family history and we have come to a stop as we cannot find any information about Neta Tahana Grandchild of Atama Paparangi and child of Hiki Tahana and also Hohaia Paparangi we cannot find anything on him. Much appreciated for any additional information :)

      • Tom says:

        Tena e Georgia. I know your grandmother well. What do you need to know? Neta, Hiki and Hohaia are brother and sisters. Children of Atama Paparangi. Hohaia married Roharima Tahana and for whakapapa reasons too lengthy to go into in this forum they had no children.

        Hoihaia and Roharima whangai’d your Gt Grandmothers brothers. Uncle Syd and others. If you need more information on your Welsh side or the Tahana side, just let me know. Kia ora.

      • Tom says:

        Aroha mai. Hiki had a daughter Neta as well who married Ike Welsh. This is your line. One of Hiki’s sons, Moa Tahana also had a wife named Neta. It can get a bit confusing at times.
        Kia ora.

  20. Freda King says:

    Hi Whanau
    My name is Freda King nee Welsh Daughter of Sonny & Sarah Welsh. My Grandmother is Neta Tahana (Mokopuna of Atama Paparangi) she married Isaac Welsh from Waimamaku. He was the son of Irishman John Welsh and Kararaina Hohaia. I would dearly like to make contact with someone back home. My Husband and I have moved up to Whatuwhiwhi after many many years in Auckland and would like to find my roots back home. Oops my mum comes from Panguru. She was the daughter of Pita & Huhana Te Wake so yeah I’m definitely Hokianga Ite…

    • Freda King says:

      Tana Koe e Tom. I notice your name is Tom Allen. Are you the dame Tom Allen from Taheke??? If you are I think you might be related to my tane who is the son of Artur/Atarea/Pero King from Taheke. Thanks very much for you invitation Tom. I would dearly love to come but unfortunately I fly out to Melbourne on the 25th Nov to attend my daughters wedding but never mind I will definitely organis my whanau to take a whanau trip over to Matihetihe and hopefully catch up with you all. I will notify you when we are organised.
      Thank you once again. It is wonderful to finally make contact with someone from home.

      Kia ora
      Freda King

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