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

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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)

    Being Ngāi Tahu means having an incredibly special connection to the people and whenua of Aotearoa that I am hugely proud of. Unfortunately it has also meant navigating a lot of whakamā over the years in terms of not neatly fitting into my own and others' ideas of what it means to be Māori. Luckily, I know I'm not alone on that journey - and kaupapa like Te Ara Whakatipu go a long way to reconnect whānau with our Ngāi Tahutanga. Below is a story I wrote about my experience of that hīkoi - an...

    Rachel Knight, Wellington Te Whanganui-a-Tara

    Kiri Moynihan, Otago Ōtākou

    Being Ngai Tahu to me means: - Doing things together as a whanau - Continuing our customary practices, including mahinga kai, titi and pounamu - Retaining our ancestral lands Aaron Leith, Murihiku

    Aaron Leith, Southland Murihiku

    To me, Ngāi Tahu means I can reconnect with my whakapapa. I can connect my son with his whakapapa. I can introduce my partner to the culture he is marrying into. I can rebuild the bonds with my wider whānau that have been lost in the past.

    Anonymous, Canterbury Waitaha

    Deishaan McNaught, Canterbury Waitaha

    Ramari , Bay of Plenty Te Moana-a-Toi

    I feel whole when I walk in the forest I feel calm when I look at the stars I feel happy when I walk barefoot in the sand and the incoming tide I feel a force pulling me South I feel my ancestors calling me home

    Gemma Stacey-Harvey, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

    Anonymous, Canterbury Waitaha

    Anonymous, Canterbury Waitaha

    The future. I have not yet had an opportunity to connect with the rohe or my Ngai Tahu whānau yet, but I know that I will in the future.

    Bobby Scully , Other

    Reclamation on behalf of tīpuna - we were raised from a place of whakama about being Māori, half of us too brown, the rest of us white enough to dismiss our whakapapa. Now as a registered member - which has meant so much to me - my children know their pepeha, they pronounce their reo with ease and they are proud of their ancestry. Being Kai Tahu is a huge source of pride for me and the next step is for me to step onto my ancestral land and reconnect properly.

    Anonymous, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

    Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, anga mai koe I hea, kei te mohio koe, kei te anga atu ki hea. If you know who you are and where you are from , then you’ll know where you are going.

    Kahurangi Tauwhare, Marlborough Te Tauihu-o-te-waka

    Alan Tane Solomon, Bay of Plenty Te Moana-a-Toi

    My parents were of the generation where the use of te reo was not allowed so my childhood lacked anything of Te Ao Maori. After leaving the RNZAF in 2007, I relocated to Rotorua and OMG, Maori-dom hit me right in the face. Our culture was everywhere, waiata and karakia openly sung and prayed, beautiful cravings everywhere, te reo being spoken in the streets, in cafes, also on road signs, in shop windows, street art and murals on buildings. It was amazing and oh so eye-opening, nothing like my...

    Alan Tane Solomon, Bay of Plenty Te Moana-a-Toi

    My Ngai Tahu links go back a long way on my mums side and I did not grow up with a real connection to the tribe. I decided to explore my Ngai Tahu connection as a young adult and have found it a very rewarding experience. Everyone has been welcoming and treated me as part of a great family. I am proud to be of Ngai Tahu and of what the tribe does for its people. It has inspired me to further embrace the culture and pass that on to my children. We live in Australia and the treatment of the ori...

    Kieran Condon, Taranaki

    Being part of a collective focused whanau. Belonging and understanding our taiao. The most connected future for my daughter under the guidance and protection of our tipuna.

    Angie Hopkinson, Southland Murihiku

    Laurelle Hopkinson, Southland Murihiku

    Sam Wixon, Canterbury Waitaha

    Matahana Karoraina Tikao Calman, Wellington Te Whanganui-a-Tara

    Ngai Tahu means belonging to something bigger than myself, a sense of being connected even if I don't know enough about my whakapapa to know which hapu I belong to. Something I'm keen to discover once I get over my whakama. I am proud to be Ngai Tahu.

    Soni Marsh, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau