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Episode guide

Ep 1 Te Kaoreore
The story of the mere pounamu that has many namesakes. The name Kaoreore seems to have been a popular one throughout history.  Interviews with Mauriora Kingi, Rawiri Rangitauira and Napi Waaka help to explain the origins of two of the kaoreore mere that are prominent in Te Arawa history.

Ep 2 Iwi Rakau/Hinematioro
This episode looks at two particularly wonderful examples of the east coast carving style.  Through interviews with tribal historians Victor Walker and Selwyn Parata, we examine the character of the two ancestors depicted in these ancient artworks.
Features depictions of Iwirakau as a carver and Hinematioro portraits.

Ep 3 Hatitimatangi
Tells the story of a carving that once stood over the burial grounds of the Moriori people on the far flung isle of Rekohu or Chatham Island.  Tribal leader Maui Solomon explains their link to this taonga and what the figure means to them. Re-enactments show the story of how Thomas Ritchie acquired Hatitimatangi.

Ep 4 Hongi Hika- Breast Plate
Ngapuhi general Hongi Hika was the recipient of many gifts on his trip to England in 1820.  One of the things he brought with him was suits of armour which he wore into battle during the musket wars of the 19th century. We hear from Ngapuhi elder Hekenukumai Busby and Hika descendant Rawiri Rankin about this charismatic leader.

Ep 5 Rangitihi
Known as a great warrior, the name of the ancestor Rangitihi was given to a house built in his honor by his descendants on the shores of lake Rotoiti in the Rotorua district.  We look at the journey of this fascinating building from its creation to how it came to be in the Auckland museum.

Ep 6 Kataore
Maurice Grey of Ngai Tahu tells the story of the Greenstone Mere named Kataore.  The owner of the weapon Te Maiharanui was the target of an elaborate scheme to seize control of the Akaroa harbour and the valuable trade that was taking place there.

Ep 7 Te Kahu Kiwi a Tawhiao
Worn by King Tawhiao on his historic visit to England in 1884, this magnificent kiwi feather cloak is a fine example of Māori weaving.  Threaded into the tapestry of the cloak is the story of a king striving for the rights of his people.  Rahui Papa talks of the history surrounding the garment and the character of the man who was King Tawhiao.

Ep 8 Te Toki a Tapiri
This massive war canoe is touted as the last of the great war canoes and has a long list of owners which saw it move from one half of the North Island to the other.  From almost being destroyed during the Waikato wars to being fully restored and taking part in a royal welcome, the history of this waka makes for a fascinating story.

Ep 9 Te Puawai o Te Arawa/ Te Oha
Two storehouses of intricate design that originally stood in the same tribal region are now under the roof of the Auckland War Memorial museum.  In both cases the story behind the buildings is explored in interviews with descendants of those who built them. Raureti Hemana, Napi Waaka and Jim Schuster talk in depth about the structures and the expert carvers who crafted them.

Ep 10 Sir Peter Buck’s Sword
This renowned leader was accomplished in many fields and was a practicing medical doctor at the time WWI broke out.  Immediately signing up as a Medical Officer he was assigned the rank of Major and so began his military career.  The sword and scabbard that are the focus of this episode help to tell the story of a great Māori leader who was well ahead of his time.

Ep 11 Ngā pou Whakarae
Three carved poles represent the three tribes who have mana whenua in the Auckland region, namely Ngāti Whatua, Waikato and Ngāti Paoa. Each of the poles have their own story and these are explored in this episode.

Ep 12 Te Taiaha a Hone Heke
In this episode we focus on an historical figure that defied British authority and felled the flagstaff in Kororareka during the 18oo's.  The Taiaha attributed to Heke that is in the Auckland museum provides an opportunity to focus on a man who looms large in NZ history.

Ep 13 Tutauru
The story of Tutauru begins in far off Hawaii and is part of Te Arawa legend.   It is the adze mentioned in tribal song as crafted from the block of greenstone owned by the ancestor Ngahue and fashioned into an adze with which the Te Arawa canoe was crafted.  Long after it's arrival here in New Zealand this adze has continued to travel the world before finding it's resting place in the Auckland War Memorial Museum.