EPISODE SUMMARY: On this episode of Indigenous Urbanism, we continue our haerenga across the Hawke’s Bay to visit a new five house papakāinga development, on the hills of beautiful Waimārama, which for the Renata whānau has been an opportunity to get back to their tūrangawaewae, and to reconnect with their marae and each other.
GUESTS: Paora Sheeran, Eru Smith, Brenda Tatere
Jade Kake: Picturesque Waimārama. A beautiful seaside community, a place of halcyon summer days, hot chips and ice cream. But it’s not just a lovely holiday destination, it’s also the home of the Ngāti Hikatoa, Ngāti Kurukuru, Ngāti Urakiterangi, and Ngāti Whakaiti hapū of Kahungungu.
In the 1860s the original Waimārama Block, some 35,000 acres, was leased to two European farmers. The promotion and development of Waimārama as a beach lifestyle area started in the early 1900s, when the large farming stations were broken up to create a beach settlement area. Today, the parts of the original Waimārama block that have been retained in Māori ownership are mostly leased out to Pākehā farmers.
For the Renata whānau, the development of papakāinga on their ancestral land is an opportunity to get back to their tūrangawaewae, and to connect with their marae and wider whānau.
Paora Sheeran: If we look over to the right over here, we’ve got a homeowner who moved over from Dannevirke - and I don't know if you remember on the opening day here back in March 2017, and our kaumātua got up and spoke and said that we've been able to return home, you know, so after about I think it was three generations ago, it might have even been four, they had to move away for farming reasons, and now one of the great-great-mokopuna has come back to Waimārama. And not only for her, with that brings back the other whānau.
JK: That's huge.
PS: Yeah, and that's what can happen in papakāinga. There's the hard items, like the houses, the infrastructure, and then there's also the add-on cultural, social benefits.
JK: Tēnā koutou katoa
Nau mai haere mai ki te Indigenous Urbanism, Aotearoa Edition, Episode 15.
I’m your host Jade Kake and this is Indigenous Urbanism, stories about the spaces we inhabit, and the community drivers and practitioners who are shaping those environments and decolonising through design.
On this episode of Indigenous Urbanism: We travel to Heretaunga to visit a new five house papakāinga development, on the hills of beautiful Waimārama. We spoke with Paora Sheeran, a key driver of papakāinga activity in the Hawke’s Bay.
PS: He mihi poto tenei kia a koutou, ko taimai ki Kahungungu nei, otira nō ki Waimārama te whenua nei, tenei whenua o te papakāinga o te whānau Renata, koira te tino tīpuna Renata. Nā reira nau mai. Nau mai haere mai, nau mai hoki mai. Ko wai tenei? Ko Takitimu te waka, ko Ngāti Kahungunu me Ngāti Pahauwera ngā iwi. Ko Rakau Tatahi me Te Rongo a Tahu ngā marae. Ko Ruahine te pai maunga. Ko Te Rangi Tapu Owhata te taumata. Ko Whatumā te waiu. Nā reira, titahi whakatau ki o tou matou nei rohe. Ko Puara kei runga, ko Whatumā kei raro. Tihei, mauri ora. Ko Paul Sheeran tōku ingoa. So we’re in Waimārama, which is in Hawke's Bay, Kahungunu. As you can see it's coastal, we're right on the beach there. This is the Waimārama 3A1C2 Incorporation, and this is their papakāinga.
JK: So we’re up on the hill, overlooking the Ocean. Is that their marae down there?
PS: Yes, we've got the marae in the background there. So that was part of the reason why this was such a great site, because the incorporation actually owns a number of lands. And so with the marae just across the road, papakāinga, I think there's a kohanga reo over at the marae as well. So it just, you know, the infrastructure works.
JK: And how many acres or hectares?
PS: Probably looking at 7 hectares for this block.
JK: So the incorporation owns this block as well?
PS: Correct. And then they have a number of other blocks they lease out as well.
JK: Awesome. What are the kind of business things they've got?
PS: Mainly leasing for grazing. As with a lot of Māori freehold land, quite often they’re uneconomic parcels. So, unless you can pull together whānau land around you, or work it a bit more intensely, then you're really just leasing out to the local farmer.
But they chose this site because of the location with the marae, with the Waimārama township as well. Cause of the contours as well. You know, it's got a lot of character, this whenua. When the houses were designed, every kitchen window looks out at Motu-o-kura, which is their maunga, you know, their motu. So that was one of the design features that was sort of incorporated in the house design. So then when all the tamariki are doing the dishes they can talk about their motu. It was a good site. They’ve actually got resource consent to build 20 homes up here, and down on the flats, down below. So this is stage one, and stage one included five houses, so infrastructure for five houses, of which it's a mixed model, ownership. So we've got two home ownership here, and three affordable rentals under the incorporation. And the reason why they started off with five is because when they go back through their whakapapa, there's really five whānau lines. So although they've got a resource consent for 20, they started off with the five so then they could offer each line a house back on their whenua Māori.
PS: So Eru, Eru Smith is the chairperson of the incorporation, he's a kaumātua, well respected kaumātua out here, a man who is well known for getting things done. It's that generation, you know. The phone goes on a Sunday evening, very few words. Kia ora - is this Paul Sheeran? Yes, kia ora. Eru Smith, I hear you do papakāinga. Yes. Good - we want you to help us.
JK: Māori Television’s Te Kaea interviewed Eru Smith at the opening of the papakāinga in March 2017
Eru Smith: It feels great, I feel very proud I suppose. But ah, yeah I'm lucky that I live here too, and my family's from here. But yeah I do, I feel real proud. Out here you could pay anywhere up to $350 a week. So, you know, it's pretty reasonable for living here. And the if you go into the holiday makers they pay up to $1500 a night.
Being back home and being back where you belong I think is one of the main things, but, also that we can support our marae. By being here, so you know, it’s easier to go down and help when help is needed.
JK: And now back to Paora
PS: And so that was in early 2016, we were able to secure feasibility study funding from TPK. As most Māori land is, rural, off-the grid, the only bit of infrastructure that is out here is the water pipe that runs from the reservoir up on the hill out to the beachfront community, the million dollar houses. Not a lot of whānau Māori in those houses. So, we have on site sewerage, we upgraded the power, telecom, a lot of earthworks had to happen here. But yeah, through the TPK grant, it was all possible.
So you’ll notice on the rental properties, so there's two home ownership, three rentals. So we were able to secure some funding to instal the solar panels on the rental properties. It is tied to the grid, so i.e. when you're producing and you're using, that's one for one, that's the savings. But if you're not, if you're producing more than you're using then the excess gets exported back to the grid.
JK: Is it a microgrid at a papakāinga scale, or is it just on the individual?
PS: Individual. So, individual, because each whānau have different levels of power consciousness, if you know what I mean. And so, one whānau might be, they might set all their appliances to go during the day, so that when the sun's at its best and its producing then they're really making the savings. That's something that we try and do on handover, when the whānau takeover, is that we get the solar guy in, and just sort of talk about ways of maximising the savings.
JK: But changing behaviours can be challenging if whānau have never lived in a solar powered home before, for example.
PS: Exactly. And even with living off the grid, like on a water supply, you know, so, you've got to really be conscious of, it's not like in town where you can just turn the tap on and there's water, you know we've got three 25,000 litre tanks here. Goes through a UV filtration system pumped into the houses. But you've still got to be conscious of, in saving water. But you know, you live rural, you just got to be aware of all that.
JK: Yeah actually where I grew up, it was, we were totally off-grid, so we had solar power, and composting toilet, and drew our own rainwater. But it's amazing how those behaviours can be so ingrained, but then the moment you move into town, your behaviour changes a lot.
PS: We're doing another project, on a coastal block of land, and that's been a big part of the conversation throughout the process, is that the whānau coming out, because there are beach units there already, and they always run out of water. So, you imagine taking a whānau from in town out there, used to the constant water flow. So there's got to be a mind change. First home ownership, this house behind us, just gives people the opportunity to move back onto their whenua, close to their marae, in a whanau environment. You'll see down here the communal area that they're sort of slowly developing, which is sort of like the epicentre of most papakāinga, you know, where everyone congregates. But I'd imagine that a lot happens up on these types of levels too.
JK: And are there many kids in this papakāinga?
PS: Yeah. Yeah, there are actually, yeah. So down here, this whānau here moved back from Auckland. You know, house costs up there, rental and the ownership, so they've moved back home. So they've got three lovely little children over here. We've got two boys, young boys probably sort of 12, 13, that live over here. So, Brenda provide an at-home childcare service. So that's great, so she’s able to live on her papakāinga and also get an income from it.
JK: We spoke with Brenda Tatere, a whānau member who has moved home to her papakāinga.
JK: How how long have you been living here on the papakāinga?
Brenda Tatere: I moved here in May 2017. I'm a single mum with two boys. I don't know how many years ago my koro was whangai-ed out. My koro's from here. And he was whangai-ed out of the whānau down to the Wairarapa, and I'm probably the first one to move back since then.
JK: Oh wow, in all that time.
BT: Yeah, so I was raised in Dannevirke. We were fortunate enough that our koro's siblings or whoever took care of his shares in the lands kept them in his name. Yeah that's how we got to be here. And this idea of the papakāinga came up, and I put up my hand to build our family one. So, the five houses here represent the five whānau, under the Renata name. My koro was Richard Renata. Yeah, and that's why I'm back here, is to find out who I am. I know my whangai-ed side, but I don't know our blood line. And I brought my two sons back here for them to learn who they are.
JK: What's it been like, getting to know your family?
BT: It's been awesome. Funnily enough with these two brothers here, in that house and that house, I actually met their father, many years ago. I worked for Māori Affairs in Hastings, and I had no idea that we were related.
JK: Oh, you didn't know that was your whānau?
BT: No, I met their father, he suddenly passed. I went to his tangi, I still had no idea.
JK: Even though you are very closely related? You just didn't know?
BT: Like I said, no-one had come back since our koro had been taken away, no-one had ever been back. So, my dad slowly started coming back, being on different committees. Yeah, and then I joined the committee that's connected with this papakāinga, and yeah, that's how I came to be, really.
JK: So the five whānau lines, are they at your grandfather's level? Or the next one up?
BT: No, grandfather. So it's my grandfather and his four siblings.
JK: Ah, okay. And was he the only one that was whangai?
JK: Oh, right. Oh wow.
BT: He was whangai-ed out, yeah.
JK: And so amongst your aunties and uncles and siblings, did you go through a process of saying, well, this is coming up, who wants to, or, how did you decide who was going to be in this home?
BT: Yeah we had our meeting, and we decided we were going to build the five homes, related to the five siblings, and my koro, his offspring was only my dad, and his sister. He only had the two children, cause he died quite early. And no-one else sort of showed an interest. My first idea was for us, both families, to build a beach bach, that we could come and go. And then nobody wanted to do that.
JK: So here you are resuming the ahi kā
BT: Yeah, so I sold my house I had down home, and I got a mortgage on this.
JK: Actually, I had a similar story with my own self, because my grandfather is from Whangarei, but he was the one that moved away. And I'm the first one in my line to move home. And actually, I'm the only one in the country. The rest are in Australia. BT: Oh wow. JK: But I hope that, because I'm there, more of them might be able to come and connect. Because I was fortunate that my grandfather took me home. So his older sister, and the matriarch of our family. So thankfully, he made it that I had that connection with her too. But not all my cousin's and things have that. So It’s a big thing to be the one person who's holding that space.
BT: In all honesty, between the two families, I'm the baby.
JK: Oh wow
BT: In house number 5, my cousin, Doc Emery, which is my dad's sister's son, he's only just moved back from Singapore.
JK: Wow, so it's bringing everyone in from the four winds, back home to Waimārama.
BT: Yeah, so we're the same line, so yeah from our koro back, yeah. I mean, he was born here, and then automatically, or pretty much straight away, given to the whānau that needed him.
JK: Was the youngest or is he somewhere in the middle?
BT: I don't know.
JK: Cause a lot of families it'll be the youngest, but sometimes it's just one at a random point and for whatever reason.
BT: It used the be the eldest too.
JK: Well that too. Give it up to the nannies or something.
BT: I think, I've actually got a funny feeling koro was two. Number two. So the first one could have been a girl. Yeah, so he was the first born boy, given to a family down in, like I said, in the Wairarapa, at Hamoa.
JK: And your marae just down there, isn't that great?
BT: It is. Apparently I've been informed we have the first Monday of the month is kapa haka.
JK: If you live too close to the marae, they just tell you when you're coming.
BT: Nobody told me last Monday. No and it's good, it's going to be even better, like doing things like that, because there's still a lot more whānau that I don't know about.
JK: So for those bigger gatherings, or bigger things, each time you just get to know more, and figure out how you fit in. Beautiful. Now Paora was saying before that you run daycare or childcare at home?
BT: I do home-based childcare, and I also am a caregiver for Oranga Tamariki. So yeah, I get kept busy.
JK: And the cool thing is that you can do all this and stay on your papakāinga. And good environment for kids.
BT: It is, yeah. I believe so. Fresh air.
JK: Now, you’ve got two boys. How old are they?
BT: 14, and 11.
JK: Wow, and so how was the move for them?
BT: It was good, because they were still young enough to be excited. So, yeah, like my youngest spent last year at Waimārama School, and thought it was great. Absolutely loved it, and he's just started at Havelock Intermediate this year. Another new lot of children to meet sort of thing, and he's really excited.
JK: He gets to grow up around his cousins.
BT: Yeah, it's quite funny, because they like calling different ones uncle, and now he goes, but is he my real uncle? I'll go, yes.
JK: How are we related?
BT: Yes honey. Well how are we related? Well he's my cousin, so yeah he's like your uncle. And yeah, it's quite good that he's, being 11, is interested in wanting to know who he is. Is that one a real Uncle or not, or cousin or yeah, and how?
JK: Maybe at the age where you start to become really aware of yourself and where you fit in and wanting to understand. Oh beautiful, it's so wonderful that you're able to provide that for them.
BT: Yeah, it's really fortunate that I'm able to. And I’m grateful that we can do this, that I could do this, real grateful.
Indigenous Urbanism Aotearoa Edition is a production of Te Matapihi. Sandy Wakefield does our sound recording, editing, and mixing. Our theme was composed by Thomas Burton. I’m Jade Kake, your host and Executive Producer.
For more information about today’s show and other episodes of Indigenous Urbanism go to indigenousurbanism.net. You can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you like what you’re hearing, please give us a review or rating on iTunes.
Coming up next on Indigenous Urbanism, we visit Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga to learn more about their emergency housing programmes, and their innovative partnership with Emerge Aotearoa.
James Lyver: It’s really about Huakina te tatou o te whare, opening the door to the house, opening the door to a warm, dry and safe home, but really about opening the door to a better opportunity for whānau. And we’ve been given a chance to help whānau at a really vulnerable time in their life, to get ahead, and that's the exciting part I think.