Mā tātou, Mō tātou

Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri a muri ake nei

For us and our children after us

Nau mai haere mai

Almost 25 years on from Settlement our Ngāi Tahu whānau has grown from around 10,000 to over 74,000 registered members. As we look to review our journey so far and move towards 2050 and beyond, we need to engage with our whānau to build a better understanding of what being Ngāi Tahu means to you and your whānau in 2022. While we are linked by whakapapa our lived experiences are all very different, and we would love to hear yours. We encourage you to share your whakaaro, in words, visual artforms, waiata – whatever best reflects your own unique perspective. Karawhiua, e te whānau!


Get involved!

We want to hear from whānau about what being Ngāi Tahu means to you. You can upload one item per submission, but we welcome you to share as many submissions as you’d like.

It’s really easy...

  • Step 1Upload your thoughts
  • Step 2Tell us a bit about yourself (or choose to remain anonymous)
  • ViewDiscover what Ngāi Tahu means to others

Share a story or drawing, or upload an image, video or waiata by clicking on one of the icons below.


Share what Ngāi Tahu means to you through writing, a few words, a whakataukī, a poem or a story.


Create a drawing on our awesome drawing tool to express what Ngai Tahu means to you.

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Share a photo from your phone, tablet or computer. Do you think of any object, a place, a person or taonga when you think of Ngāi Tahu?

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Share a photo from your phone, tablet or computer. Do you think of any object, a place, a person or taonga when you think of Ngāi Tahu?

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Share an audio file from your phone, tablet or computer – record a waiata, a story, a kōrero between whānau, a memory.

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To complete your entry tell us about yourself.

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    What are others saying? Check out the stories, photos, videos and waiata from whānau below!

    Submission Type

    (Keep checking in as whānau continue to share)

    Michelle Nielsen, Australia

    Ngai Tahu represents part of my history. One I clung to as a child. Although not bought up immersed in the culture I still felt a massive pull to it. The music, the spirituality with our land, and the respect for all. I love telling people I am Ngai Tahu, and I proudly pass that onto my tamariki.

    Emma Wilson , Canterbury Waitaha

    For the last year I have been learning te mita o Kāi Tahu. I have enjoyed the sound and shape the tounge makes when kai te kōrero ahau i te mita o Kāi Tahu. I feel more connected to my tīpuna and more gounded in my sense of Kāi Tahutaka. I look forward to a time when this tohu of our identity from our past is embedded in our present and future. Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei.

    Anonymous, Otago Ōtākou

    Tarryn Ryan, Canterbury Waitaha

    To me, Ngai Tahu represents whanau and a sense of belonging ❤

    Anonymous, Canterbury Waitaha

    Ngāi Tahu to me is my whanau Aroha and whanau trust

    Anonymous, Bay of Plenty Te Moana-a-Toi

    Tia Barrett, Waikato

    Ereni Pūtere, Canterbury Waitaha

    Alvina Edwards, Waikato

    I  wander on the white beach of the Neck on Rakiura and hear the whispers of my tipuna rise to drown out the sound of the rising tide. They were Ngai Tahu I wander through the big Ngahere on the Neck and I hear birdsong, and smell the rich  earth peppered with salt and walk in the footsteps of those who went before. It is land that breathes. It is Ngai Tahu whenua I walk to the top of Kahuariki and draw in a breath and smell the katu of the titi .Then our whanau sit around a simple pot of...

    Tina Nixon, Wellington Te Whanganui-a-Tara

    Being of Ngai Tahu descent and in my mid 80's I feel proud of my heritage. I am unable to speak the language. Please never let inability to speak Te Reo be looked down on.

    Jill Gillies, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

    Kia ora, my Ngai Tahu-ness lights in me a beacon of curiosity, and guilt. Through my registration I have enjoyed learned about te iwi, te reo and long to know more. Receiving help with my pepeha was fabulous - now I can stand up and recite it, but really, I feel fraudulent - I haven't set foot on the whenua of my marae, haven't yet dipped my finger into the wai of my awa. Being raised in the north island with no whānau in Te Waipounamu it's hard to know where to start to make these approac...

    Anonymous, Waikato

    It all comes down to whakapapa. I try to live my life always acknowledging with dignity and respect the memory, teaching, values, principles, and guiding lights of my Ngā Tahu tupuna and the legacy and heritage that they have given me.

    John Broughton, Otago Ōtākou

    Tenaya Ataarangi, Other

    Jill Reid, Canterbury Waitaha

    I grew up knowing I was Ngāi Tahu but didn't know how I was Ngāi Tahu. Now with huge tautoko from whānau my knowledge of who my ancestors are and who I am has grown immensely - Learning whakapapa and making connections. I don't know where my journey will take me but I now know that I don't travel alone. Now being Ngāi Tahu means a sense of identity and belonging. Being proud of who I am and where I come from and that gives me grounding for today, and that's important.

    Jill Reid, Canterbury Waitaha

    Ngāi Tahu to me doesn’t just mean it’s my tribe. It means so much more, it means to me my tribe, my place and my heart. Being Ngāi Tahu is such a huge part of me, I am beyond proud to say this. I feel being Ngāi Tahu is a huge part of me being me. I love hearing stories from my elders mainly my Pāpā about my heritage, tribe and whanau and what we have been through to get to where we are today. I can proudly say that ever since the first Marae to Tuahiwi Marae I have felt connect, loved and gu...

    Te Aroha Paahi Goodman , Canterbury Waitaha

    Ngai Tahu is a sense of belonging and knowing where we come from.

    Anonymous, Northland Te Tai Tokerau

    Ngai Tahu means whanau, connection, pride to me - solidified through the sites and sounds of the beautiful South Island mountains, rivers, Stories and pounamu

    Temira Rissetto, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

    I have a tremendous sense of pride being Ngāi Tahu. I am currently on a journey of discovery which I want to share with my children and wider whanau. Having being born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, I am focused on connecting back to our whenua and to our wider whanau. As I learn about our history and the stories of our tupuna, I feel extremely proud to be apart of this whanau. Our tupuna were strong, resilient, and determined - all qualities that represent what Ngāi Tahu means to me. We are...

    Anonymous, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau