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31 May 2024, 9am, Omahu Marae


  • A Hui Taumata was held in Ngāti Kahungunu on 31 May 2024 hosted by Omāhu Marae, to identify solutions for Māori Unity - Kotahitanga.

  • We saw the gathering of minds, the convergence of aspirations, and the celebration of progress at the Hui Taumata held at Omahu Marae, a village undergoing a rapid transformation following Cyclone Gabrielle, of which floods hit the community badly in February 2023. This gathering served as a testament to the power of collective action and shared vision in working together for a common purpose – Kotahitanga.

  • An estimated 2,500 people from around the motu started arriving as early as the night before for this national hui. The whole Omahu village turned into an 'event complex' with parking under the Bridge near the stopbank of the Ngaruroro awa and a secure walk way up to the marae or the option to be shuttled by the kaiawhina from Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, Te Whare Takiura o Kahungunu (EIT) and the Māori Warden staff. A safe and well thought out 'Traffic Management Plan' saw everyone arrive safely. Kiingi Tūheitia arrived moments before a moving pōhiri executed, led by Te Piringa Hapū and Kahungunu Kai Wero and Kai Karanga. Omahu Kaumātua Joseph Te Rito led the paepae speeches followed by Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Chairman, Bayden Barber, followed by Takuta Ferris Jnr. The response from kaumātua represnting their hapū and iwi was passionate and helped to set the scene for the day as they expressed their purpose for arriving to this hui.   

  • After the pōhiri, a quick reset by Hastings Boys High School young men and a number of supporters, transformed the marae atea into an event conference centre. Two very large marquees seated almost 2,000 people while others lingered around in areas where they could hear and listen to the kōrero. A great number of people watched from the comfort of their homes as the livestream allowed them to be right there at the hui.  

  • Weeks leading into the hui, Māori Thought :Leaders was invited to submit models for change or discussion papers and to register to speak to their submissions if they so wish. These models and discssion papers were viewable from this website to give participants the opportunity to view them before and during the hui. We heard from a number of people  who shared their ideas on how Māori can be most effective in our united approach to dealing with the Coalition government’s intentions to rewrite Te Tiriti o Waitangi among many other policy changes that are detrimental to Māori.

  • Speakers ranged from iwi leaders to representatives from Te Kohanga Reo, Māori Women’s Welfare League, Māori Activists, renowned leaders and politicians also had the opportunity to speak. It was a treat to hear from Ngai Tahu leader, Tā Tipene O’Regan and to be graced with a wonderful down to earth speech from our beloved Kiingi Tūheitia.  

  • Kiingi Tuheitia spoke about Mana Motuhake and shared an experience about his last visit to Omahu during the time of Cyclone Gabrielle, when a child from the Omahu Village stopped their car to offer him some smoked Eel. Kingi Tūheitia shared that this child, even through his trial with the devastation of Omahu, felt the need to give smoked Eel to him, is the attitude of Kotahitanga, Mana Motuhake, the very thing we are here to discuss. “Kotahitanga is the key to enabling Māori to achieve the Rangatiratanga and Mana Māori Motuhake we aspire to”.- Kingi Tuheitia. 

A full transcription of the speeches can be downloaded from this website. The livestream is accessible through the Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Facebook page.

See below the full length video of the Hui Taumata that took place on 31 May 2024 at Omahu Marae. Notes of the hui can be viewed from the Repository page of this website.  

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