KIA MAANU, KIA ORA
– literal meaning, :To stay afloat/drifting –to stay alive.
This last weekend 29th, 30th 31st July, we (the hunga kainga) attended a wananga/Educational course on Coast Guard Boating including topics related to the moana –
This was held on our marae.
Thanks to the initiative taken by Viki Heta, who contacted Boating Education initially, who referred her to one Rob Hewitt, an Educator in Water Saftey among many other roles. His brother is Norm Hewitt – however he told us they are quite different. Rob is a League man not Rugby, and he doesn’t dance!
Those present: Taumata – Robert Clarke, Richard Witehira, Russell Hook, Charlie Rewha, Titari Parkes, Rob McPherson, Iti Arama, Chanel Hepi, Hinemoa Nathan, Jax Rewha, Holly Rewha and son Charles, Renata Clendon, Bella Te Nana, Mina Kiwikiwi, Bruce Hall, BJ Black, Mayron Witehira, Rana & Viki Rewha, Maxwell King, Joseph Brown, Anya Hook, Fleur and Dennis Corbett (Guardians of BOI) and fellow co-worker Richard Robbins and myself.
We accorded him a powhiri on his arrival to the marae. He is of Ngati Kahungunu descent, Porangahau. Mayron and I enjoyed talking with him discussing our links to Whakaki Marae, Wairoa, Hawkes Bay.
You may all recall that this gentleman spent 75 hours in the sea in February, 2006, when he went diving off the Kapiti Coast with other diving companions, but got separated from his mates and without going into detail about his experience in the water/sea for that length of time, (3 days) he touched on different aspects of his experience.
It was so touching hearing it first-hand. He brought with him to the marae two books pertaining to his experience – “Back from the Edge” which includes extraordinary stories of human survival and a second book entitled “Treading Water” Rob Hewitt’s Survival Story. – both great reading. And much to my appreciation, he signed both of these books for me, so they will grace the shelves of my archival library, together with books by Robert Ellis and A Whakapapa of Tradition by Ngarino Ellis and other notable writers.
My only experience of near-drowning incident was the time that we from home here went to Orokawa to the nehu of my cousin Hilda Kaire/O’Malley and several of us slid into the water after the barge took on water over the ‘bow’(I know that word after the weekend and will stop calling it the sharp end of the boat.)
I did a report on that at the time and one of the things that sticks in my mind is the concern my daughter had (she was with me at the time) to see her cigarettes from her overcoat pocket floating away from her – that’s all she was worried about!! – never mind the situation we were in!!
You know, looking back over that incident and reading what Rob Hewitt had written, one of the things that sticks in my mind from his experience is his comment on how the karakia of everyone and his tuupuna being ‘there’ with him, did go a long way towards his mind’s survival and that helped heaps.
I sat in on the classes over the 2 days and so enjoyed the information about boats..as I said…I learnt the proper name of parts of the boat and they are no longer the sharp end and the flat end!!
The course was a Day Skippers and Radio Operators Course, and they all passed. Some of the roopu chose to do another course which is a pre-requisite for the next level of Boat Masters Course.
We were very lucky to have had a wonderful volunteer to cook our kai. Thank you Hinemoa Nathan for your kind offer to cook for the tauira.
Thanks to Rana Vicki and the Fire Brigade for supporting this kaupapa. We look forward to the next level. See you there.
No reira e te rangatira, (may I add – e te whanaunga!) he nui noatu nga mihi ki a koe mo o korero mai ki a matou e noho nei I te taha moana, te moana I hoea mai e o tatou tini maatua/tuupuna hoki I nga wa o mua.
Na te kuia nei o te marae o Te Rawhiti