Topic: Matariki

Ngā Ringa Raupā- Toi Te Whirowhiro Katipa

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
  • Auckland

He's a caretaker, he's a cook, he's an educator.

On the paepae he leads the prayers and guides the orators, next minute he's taking out the trash and mows the lawns.  Our Matariki Unsung Hero today is the caretaker of Manurewa Marae, "Toi Te Whirowhiro Katipa" of Tainui.

"Manurewa Marae is me, I am Manurewa Marae," Katipa says.

"In our earlier years the colours of the Queen Te Aatairangikaahu flew here, now we hoist the flag of our King, "The Heart of the Country".

"I wear many hats, first of all I am a host to all visitors, that's handed down from our King, care for the people no matter who they are."

"I care for the community of Manurewa, secondly the schools, all the schools that come to our marae to learn.

To learn what? The history of our marae, the meeting house, the area and its people, Te Waiōhua, Te Akitai and Ngāti te Ata."

Katipa concludes by saying, "Why do I do all these things?  I don't really know, It's just me, it's who I am.

These are teachings that have been handed down to me by my elders, to look after people, therefore no matter which marae I go to, I work for, I tend to, I care for the people, that's what's important, the people."