January 12, 2020
Game of Thrones on Owairaka
Game of Thrones comes to Ōwairaka.
That’s the narrative Pita Turei plans to share on one of his historical walks over the maunga this Thursday afternoon.
Walking about Te Wai o Rakataura is one of a series of oratory events organisers by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, rather than being a counter to the weekend wānanga on the mountain held by Pouroto Ngaropo from Ngāti Awa.
Mr Turei says he attended the start of the wānanga, organised by the Honour the Maunga protest group, to voice his support for the Tūpuna Maunga Authority’s vision of restoring the vegetation on the maunga to reflect the unique biodiversity of the isthmus.
“I wasn’t going to address the issue of Wairaka. I think the idea it was named for an ancestor of Ngāti Awa was a mistake by George Graham (author of Māori Place Names of Auckland) that was picked up by some in Ngāti Awa wanting a to give themselves status in Tāmaki Makaurau. I can find no evidence Wairaka was resident on that mountain ever. The notion that she was came from George Graham shortening the name Te Wai o Rakataura.”
His talk will focus on Rakataura, also known as Hape, an ancestor of Te Kawerau ā Maki, and Kawharu, who from Kawhia after a dispute over succession and who should inherit two significant taonga, the dogskin cloak Pīpītewai and the mere Karioi-mutu.
“It’s a Game of Thrones narrative with jealousy, sex, revenge. Once you colour the landscape with that, the Wairaka narrative has no place to belong,” he says.
He hopes members of Honour the Maunga will join the walk, along with other interested art lovers.
Walking about Te Ahi Kā a Rakataura starts at the carpark on Summit Drive at 7.30pm Thursday.
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