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Yesterday, today and tomorrow: Ngā Ara Tipuna brings to life the stories of Tamatea

Matariki Dawn Service 6

Learnings from the past, appreciation of the present, and hope for the future; all these are evoked by Ngā Ara Tipuna, a history trail sharing the stories of the people of Tamatea – Central Hawke’s Bay. 

Today saw the Completion of Phase One Ceremony and Celebration of this significant cultural heritage project developed by hapū in the rohe of Tamatea with Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. 

Invited guests including Hon Stuart Nash, Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Mayor Alex Walker of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, and local and regional iwi and hapū representatives gathered at the key site, Pukekaihau Pā in Waipukurau. 

“Ngā Ara Tipuna is a unique cultural heritage and community project for us all to celebrate and experience. Our Government is pleased to have contributed $2.9 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help to make this vision a reality,” says Minister for Economic and Regional Development Stuart Nash. “I congratulate everyone who has been involved in designing, creating and enabling this storytelling journey of Central Hawke’s Bay, which will bring great value for visitors and residents of the region.” 

 Ngā Ara Tipuna combines traditional design elements with contemporary materials and technology, digital storytelling and displays at sites of cultural and natural significance in and around Waipukurau and Takapau, Central Hawke’s Bay.  

A self-guided driving tour, virtual tour and smartphone app share the stories unique to the people of Tamatea and their relationship with the land going back centuries. Artwork and historical reconstructions amidst the region’s stunning views bring seven historic pā sites to life, reinstating the place of mana whenua on the landscape. 

Brian Morris, Ngāti Mārau, Ngāi Te Rangitotohu, Cultural Lead for Ngā Ara Tipuna says: “We are very pleased to finally celebrate the completion of this phase of Ngā Ara Tipuna. It is a model of what can be achieved when mana whenua and local authorities work together from inception through to completion.” 

Mayor Alex Walker of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says: “Storytelling is incredibly powerful for shaping our shared understanding about the place we live in. Ngā Ara Tipuna brings into focus the central place of mana whenua in our landscape yesterday, today, and in the future. This partnership project for the people is an outstanding example of the unique way we work together with mana whenua and Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea.” 

There is no charge to take this cultural journey. Find out more or take a virtual tour at  

1 July 2022

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