December 13, 2017
Tasman clue sparks Tumatakokiri revival
Descendants of Ngati Tumatakokiri are heading for Mohua, where their ancestors encountered Dutch explorer Abel Tasman 367 years ago in a confrontation that left four crew members dead.
Spokesperson Dave Huria says about 40 descendants will be at Onetahua Marae in Golden Bay for the commemoration on Saturday.
It’s the first official visit by the iwi since it lost its dominance at the top of the South Island 200 years ago.
The tribe was subsumed into its neighbours but its story was laid out in a 2004 history of the region by John and Hillary Mitchell.
Mr Huria made the connection through his great grandfather’s obituary.
"He made sure he left his father's name there and that name was in the index of John and Hillary (Mitchell's) book and that put us where we are today where we of Ngati Tumatakokiri descent are going back to Onetahua with the mana whenua people’s blessing," he says.
A copy of Ngati Tumatakokiri’s history prepared for a family reunion will be presented to the mayor of Abel Tasman’s birthplace at Lutjegast in northern Holland, who will be at the commemoration.
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