Tuahiwi

The name of our marae is Tuahiwi. Tuahiwi takes its name from the ridge that runs from Kaiapoi to Rangiora and is where Tuahiwi road is now. Our people have traditionally built upon that ridge rather than the lower lying areas that were prone to flood.

The land the marae is on, was gifted to the people of Ngāi Tū-āhu-riri by three ancestors: Aperehama Te Aika, Taare Te Ihoka and Pene Parekuku to whom the Solomon whānau succeeded. Ownership of the land has remained with the whānau who act as Trustees.

The modern history of Tuahiwi starts in 1848 when the Crown set aside the Kaiapoi Māori Reserve (1873) as a ‘kāinga nohoanga’ for our people to live on.

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The first whare was Tū-te-kawa and although we do not know the date it was built, our people were meeting as a rūnanga as early as 1859 to determine individual ownership and title of the Kaiapoi Māori Reserve.

Tū-te-kawa suffered from a serous fire in 1872. Our elders managed to save the whare, although many of the poupou were charred or burnt. The pou-toko-manawa, Tū-te-kawa now stands in the Canterbury Museum with the remains of the other carvings held in storage. Despite the fire, our people continued to use the whare until the 1879 Royal Commission where H.K. Taiaroa opened the hui that was to investigate the Ngāi Tahu Claim.

A new whare called Tū-āhu-riri was built as an adjoining whare to Tū-te-kawa in early June 1880. This whare was opened by, the Ūpoko Rūnanga, Taare Te Ihoka and the former M.P., Hone Paratene, with the Rev Canon Stack of St Stephens Church blessing the building.

However on 20 August 1880, only two months after it opened a storm struck and Tū-āhu-riri was lifted off its foundations. The hall was replaced with a new and larger building that measured 80ft x 25ft with a braced roof and new stage. Two chandeliers with kerosene lamps provided lighting. That building retained the name Tū-āhu-riri.

Tū-āhu-riri remained as the local meetinghouse until a new whare our elders named Maahunui Whio was opened on 3 August 1922. Te Hau Tapanui o Tū Korako was
 the Ūpoko Rūnanga of the time and he presided over the day. Hone Taare Tikao led the whaikōrero for Tuahiwi welcoming members of parliament the Hon. J.G. Coates, (Native Minister), Hon H.W. Uru MP for Southern Maori and the Hon. John Topi Patuki. Arch Bishop Churchill Julius blessed the new whare.

This information has been sourced from the Ngāi Tūāhuriri: Tuahiwi and Takiwā booklet produced by the Ngāi Tūāhuriri Education Committee, 2014 and the Christchurch City Libraries website.