Memories – E MAHARA ANA


Hello there, I can’t remember who sent me this link but I can see Owairaka is rocking at Nau Mai Place! My name is Waitangi, the eldest daughter of David Huio Heta & Lillian (nee Henare). I’m also the eldest (I hope!) grandchild of Nancy (nee Turner – god bless my Nana!) & Brownie (Opins) Heta (-: I have 1 sister Hine & brother David John.  I have a lot of memories of the pa … staying overnight with Nana & Opins and playing out late with all the cousins. Sitting out the back next to the fire with dad & all the rebel uncles (they were to me). At bedtime, I loved to listen to the elders having a yarn late into the night.  Eating with everyone & really enjoying the watercress, doughboys & potatoes with Maori bread or Fried bread (yummy!). I couldn’t get enough of it! I don’t know how many times I was chucked in the river – jeans, jersey, jandals – the lot!  Dodging uncle Tabs incase he said something mad like…’where’s your bleep bleep father…’ Hehe. He was bigger than life. A bit like my Nana. I always felt a bit special (ha ha) when I was with her at the pa.  God bless all. (-:
Kia ora whanau, I am one ov Myra and Gus mokoPuna, my dadz name is Victor Marshall, he is well known in the marae…hahar dont know about now though.  So yeah I have heaps of childhood  memories at the pa. One being the funniest when Me and nan was sleeping in the famous little house, when bo came along and put his wallet in the ceiling =P realising that in the morning the possums had kame and eaten his wallet along with all his money…Hahar everyone was laughing but not him… hahar I remember it Like it was yesterday.Me, nAn and my sister use to always go down there for kapahaka practice to perform at the pa wars (I karnt remeber what its called, but the games that are held in ngaruawahia every year) and mahn our grooup  was mean…haharsz…but yeh I remeber playing bull rush with all the kuzziez down there … Thankz aLot whanau
Our marae has changed in appearance over the years, but still remains the place where I have very many happy memories with whanau …. and some sad ones too.
Kaore e taea e te kupu te whakahua i taku aroha mutunga kore mo to tatou Pa Kainga … Many days were spent at the Pa, swimming in the Puniu, lambstails on the fire, boil upz! Bull rush with the cuzzies, old stories from the nannies & Koros, a place where time seems to stand still.
Massive place to be as a kid, had some great times. Still love it now!!!!
I have some awesome memories of the Pa and our whanau. I remember Mum & all the Aunties making us work constantly in the kitchen. Whenever the kai was ready someone rang the bell with a spoon or a knife. I remember feeling real important dresssing up in our black ‘n’ white clothes to waitress for the Maori Queen (God Bless Her Soul) on Poukai but I absolutely hated the work. All the cuzzies use to take off down the river when it came to washing the dishes & I’d go as well but I remember feeling really guilty! Good Job! At night times the old’s would party hard in Maikukutara, a couple of us would be making a cuppa tea for the nanny’s in Takihiku & the rest of us kids would be racing one another in running races out the front of Maikukutara, playing ozzies or getting up to no good somewhere around the Pa! I remember another secret hide out was the hay barn at the back of the Pa. That was a cool hangout! I remember someone burning our gorse cubbie houses at the bottom of the hill and the two stumps at the back where all the eels use to hang. Talk about fly city! I remember all the Uncles hanging out in the shed at the back boiling water or cooking boil ups or whatever & cracking up laughing amongst each other, drunk as, sitting on their crates of beer.. Uncle Len in particular!
I spent many holidays at nanas with all my cousins, eating slimey porridge (ha!ha!) and spending hours & hours down at the river.
Man, my memories at the pa are far and wide – all character building.  I canreflect on those games of bullrush in the dark, getting blazed down da river,gettn a kick up da a** for dodging the work?  It will always be somewhere I can return to, where ever I am, and the memories of our tupuna that have passed will remain engraved in my headspace for ever.
I remember the sawdust on the floors in the old wharekai and sometimes finding money in it (20cents was a big deal back then), also the small pokey prep area our nannies were able to rustle up an awesome kai in… the massive gala days we had and the great fun from watching our whanau playing netball and rugby and seeing our nannies making the konae flax baskets to have our hangi in at the end of the day ..  the old styles wharepaku, you know the ones, no flush with flies buzzing around all the time and a bit of a hike (when you’re 5yrs old) from Takihiku; they were separated and sectioned off with corrugated iron – they both had pictures done in black paint on the iron too, I think the tâne had a top hat and the wâhine a nice face with flowing hair … the mattresses; every generation jumps on these and in our time they were heavy as! I recall many times annoying our cousin Shirley Heta (sorry cuz) so that her dog Blackie would chase us and of course we would sprint into Takihiku and straight to the top of the mattresses… the river; our place of refuge from all the chores we were escaping. The trees we made Tarzan swings from or just naturally jumped off cause there were so many and the wooden dinghy our uncle Puha helped relocate from the section of Puniu up by our nanny & koro’s homestead to down by the bridge, which I reckon Thomas and Freeman wrecked!

My mum grew up here right next to the marae. Her name is Parekura (Polly) Heta, now Ratema. My kuia Matengaro Heta is burried on the marae just next to Takihiku and I am blessed with her name too. I have very fond memories of the pa and the whanau as a child. Even though, those visits were far and too few between. Playing bull rush at night time with the cuzzies Donna and Richard, playing hide n go seek in the old house (possums included) while the olds were partying hard in the wharekai.  Or taking off down to the river to expore.  Aunty Nancy I miss the most, she always had a kind smile for me even when I was being a haututu.  I remember twisting my ankle really badly one visit… (while yes being a haututu) and she healed it within seconds just by placing her hands around my mamae.  I was too young to know back then that she was a healer…kia tau te rangimarie Aunt.  And yes Tabs is another.  His booming voice and huge stature, to me he always looked like a wooly giant. The pa sure has changed alot since I last came home. The trees have all growen taller, the new whare moe is ‘meke and Maikukutara looks real ataahua.

HEREDITARY O RAUKAWA KI WHAREPUHUNGA …The river is not the same without the trees.
Playing bullrush and hand games with cuzzies, running from the possums that used to stay on top of the little house, climbing the big tree trunks out the back, late nights down at the bridge singing, swimming in the river, playing in the haybarn even though we got in trouble, walks to the homestead, and taking bottles of wine when there was a power cut, and they had to stick a 20 cent in to make it come back on. Also 1998, when we practised Kapahaka for Tainui/Waenganui Games. Awesome Awesome Awesome. Memories Keep Rolling!!!!!!!
MEAN MAORI MEAN memo of late night eeling, nana’s plum jam, bees by the meeting house, 20cent power boxes.  WHANAU HARD!
You know…its funny….you go to the pa, have a party, drink the same drinks, sing the same songs, see the same faces yet we have a PRIMO TIME!!  And we never seem to get bored.  Much love to the cuzzies xoxox
Love all my whanau. Very pleasant place to be.

Riding our horses in front of the Marae, racing with all the cuzzies, Puha, Terence, Marcy, Hau, and Dougie Heke, and because my horse had such a hard mouth I couldn’t stop, so I ran straight into uncle Browny Heta’s house and got a bloody good kicking up the a**!

I remember the opening of our toilets when we had a big rage.  Me and the cuzzies were manning the taps (mini tanker). It went … 1 for the olds and 1 for us and we had a disco in Maikukutara. Met my cuzzies’ … GIRL and Petera when we were playing bullrush, and then we would tell ghost stories outside Takuhiku.  The possums in the little house was why I didn’t wanna sleep in there!  I also remember staying up all night drinking, keeping the fire going so that when dad (Gus) got up he could cook breakfast and I would go to sleep.  I haven’t slept in the new Wharemoe yet, but it looks cool.  Went back a couple of years ago to Anette’s 21st birthday and they told me that I talk funny.

Love from all the WHĀNAU throughout NZ puta noa i te Ao … XXX

Got a memory or some photos?  Tēna … tukua mai!