I went on holiday and found out about my tīpuna …
Come with me to Poutini ki te Toka.
When I came to my marae at Maitahi I found out that my tīpuna were awesome explorers and mountaineers.
They used trails to travel all over Te Waipounamu. Even through the snowy mountains.
When the pākehā came, my tīpuna helped guide them them through the mountain passes.
They helped to build tracks that are still used by trampers and mountaineers today.
I am at Karangarua, at the beginning of Noti Hinetamatea – our tipuna who first discovered the mountain pass from the west coast to the east coast.
A very, very long time ago Hinetamatea and her whānau would come here in summer to camp and gather kai.
One day they noticed tūī flying up this valley towards the mountains.
So they decided to follow the birds up the valley.
They followed the river and, believe it or not, the tracks that the kākāpō made through the bush.
This is Pōpātea.
Hinetamatea and her whānau must have been pleased to arrive here!
These pools are hot!
I reckon they probably stayed at Pōpātea for a while.
Hinetamatea and her whānau went higher into the mountains.
Rainbows guided them.
Taipo tried to stop them.
They found the pass that took them across the mountains and into the lands beyond.
Hinetamatea died on the journey. They buried her under Aoraki.
The land on the east side of the mountains was full of kai.
They lived on the plains for many years and and continued to travel between Aoraki and Poutini ki te Toka.
These days people from all over Aotearoa and the world come to walk Hinetamatea’s track …
Following the trails our tīpuna have used for nearly a thousand years.
This is a Kāi Tahu kōrero from Poutini ki te Toka.