Aotearoa should be filled with the names of tīpuna awa, whenua, and maunga that reflect intrinsic connections strengthened over centuries. The mana whenua at Kohupātiki Marae have a plan to make that happen.
The awa that flows around Kohupātiki Marae was known as Ngaruroro.
Ngaruroro comes from Ngaruroro Moko-tū-ā-raro-ki-Rangatira, which refers to the ripples (ngaru) created by endemic fish (upokororo) when they were disturbed as Māhu traversed the awa with his dog. The name was decreed by Ruawharo, tohunga / high priest of te waka Takitimu.
Then, in 1975, the name was usurped to Clive River, named after a colonial British soldier.
Join our call asking Ngā Pou Taumata o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Geographic Board, to change the name of the Clive River to Ngaruroro Moko-tū-ā-raro-ki-Rangatira and to ensure mana whenua are appropriately consulted on the name that would be correct for everyday use.
Mana whenua have established Operation Pātiki Charitable Trust to lead this work and its vision is:
"To restore the mauri of our awa, enhance the well-being of our people and restore the plentiful supply of our endemic fish tāonga, through the return of the name decreed by Ruawharo, tohunga/high priest of te waka Takitimu, for the good of all.”
Names are powerful. They define the landscape around us and how we see the world. Restoring the name of the awa to Ngaruroro Moko-tū-ā-raro-ki-Rangatira keeps alive and celebrates the intrinsic connection of mana whenua to tīpuna awa. Restoring the name of the awa is one way of letting go of a colonial legacy that treats natural resources as commodities to be exploited. Signing this petition is a great starting point to restoring mauri and to enhancing the wellbeing of people.