McGuire, Margaret Akata (Margie) Interview

Today is 29th August 2016. I’m interviewing Margie McGuire of Whakatu on the life and times of her family, and on some of the history of the Kohupatiki Marae. Margie, would you like to tell us about your family – where it all started – and we’ll go from there.

Yes – kia ora. My name is Margaret Akata McGuire. I was born and bred in the house at 28 Buckingham Street. My parents were Hararutu Chadwick, and my father was Wiremu Teo Paipa, o Ngati Raukawa. Apparently my elder siblings, five of them – we were all born at home. No midwife, just the nannies around birthed us at home, so no big deal – all survived. I was raised in Whakatu, but on occasions in our young life we were taken to Kohupatiki Marae and stayed with Granny at the old homestead for several reasons. One was General Synod where the Maori clergy came to live at the Marae for a whole week, and it was my mother and her sisters’ duty to host and feed and look after the ministers who came from up the Coast – East Coast – whanau a Apanui, Rotorua, Dannevirke and so on. So we lived there for about two months.

What was Granny’s name?

Granny’s name was Erena Rapana Te Tuku Chadwick. She was widowed, but she was a staunch lady as far as Anglicans go. And so she lived next door to the Marae, and is one of those stalwarts who made sure that hosting such events or occasions was given the utmost attention. So it required a lot of manpower, and a lot of resources such as foraging, and providing food all year round for the larder, or the storehouse – that pátaka – that they would harvest at such times of the year, ensuring that this kind of event was well-catered for. So no rushing down to the supermarket and all that, it was all harvested and stored – long-keepers, preserves, pickles and so on. So the only commodities that I do recall my nana and mum and father going to get was cream and milk, butter and sugar. Everything else was in the pátaka.

So in that upbringing we learnt and met a lot of learned people, you might say – ministers of the Church, some of them very illustrious illuminis [alumni], and of course the Pihopa. The Pihopa in my day was Wiremu Panapa, and he lived at Kohupatiki so we were surrounded by an awful lot of talking about the Gospel, and what the Church should do for whanau, how we should cope, and how we should shape our lives to partake in the building of Aotearoa New Zealand, making us good citizens I guess.

How did you cross the river those days?

Oh, over the bridge – railway bridge. There was a pathway across.

So … and in those days I remember Dad didn’t have a vehicle, he had a bike, but we used to pack up our gears and carry them over … like a big canvas with all our blankets and so on, and clothes, mainly school clothes and clothes for working. And we’d all head over there and we’d stay there for a month. And if luck would have it one of our uncles who was a Vicar would bring us home, so we came home in style [chuckle] in a vehicle.

So which uncle was this?

This was Canon Rangiihu. He’d come back from – I think he was in Whakatohea, Takahiwai, and so he stayed around a little longer because he married … my mother Hararutu … her sister, Tahiti Myrtle. So we were blessed with an uncle with a vehicular … I do remember riding around, I was quite stylish. [Laugh]

Yes. Those days Kohupatiki was on the old Ngaruroro River, and there were fish in the river, weren’t there?

Yes absolutely, it was just teeming with fish. You wouldn’t go without – all seasons. There was a fish of every season in plentiful supply, and it’s ironic that today my husband and I and my sister – older sister Agnes – came home from America and went bananas at me for allowing the river to deteriorate. So she challenged us all, and here we are forming Operation Patiki and trying to get the river cleaned up.

How long has this been going?

Since 2008, we started. And we realise it’s a long process, the Council has rules, they have budgets, but we persist. So we’ve gone on board with the idea of planting riparian margins, which the Council now manages, so they take a strip of your land. So they’ve got the idea that rather than … turned it into a drain, they’re returning it back to a river – natural, with trees alongside. And we realised the greatest thing was – just having a ditch – that the endemic species could not survive when they’re exposed. Sunlight – ultraviolet rays – you know, can kill off the spawning beds and so on, and there’s no shelter.

So you went to school – Mangateretere?

I did indeed, yes. Started Mangateretere in 1952 … ‘53. Went to Mangateretere School, and then in those days we went to Standard 6, which was Form 2, and then onto Hastings Girls’ High School. My older sisters – two went to Napier Girls’ High – Agnes and Parehuia – and our oldest sister, Noreen – she was adopted … whangaied … by Canon Sam Rangiihu and our aunty, Myrtle Tahiti, and she had the privilege and honour of going to Hukarere because her dad was a Minister. So … God bless her, she made the whanau shine. She was gifted, she was talented, she was a good musician, good piano player, learnt music, clever, and spoke Te Reo, which unfortunately for us we were not taught, ‘cause we went to Girls’ High, Napier and Hastings, so the language wasn’t available to be taught at schools [?]. But our sister – we revered her, we looked up to her, and she was a beacon for how young Maori women should behave and be educated. Yep.

So when you were growing up did you play any sports?

Yes, we did, we played … I played hockey and softball. So – bit of an asthmatic, so … bronchial asthma … sort of prohibited a bit. But I liked swimming when I could go swimming … was a pretty good swimmer. My dad used to take us fishing down the river, so we liked that. And then – you know, he didn’t like us to get in the river but you know, we couldn’t resist it, we’d dive in further down. He’d get mad with us – “Get out of the river”, he’d say, so we gave that one up.

Those days the river was used for effluent from Whakatu Works and the woolscourer’s, but when you went across the bridge it didn’t look as if it was polluted, did it?

Well you see, only one side was polluted. It was only polluted when the chute was open, and because of the flow – the swift flow of the river – come weekend, the Works wasn’t working, and come the end of the season – I mean the river regenerated itself, cleaned itself out and was ready for the next season. But in saying that, the effluent that was discharged – it was actually food for the fish, because the eels and the herrings – there was just masses and masses of it. And you know, the blood and the meat cuts, the offcuts, you could see it, the frenzy going on. So we knew, like our dad said “we’ll go down after work and start hooking the herrings”, and come home and [chuckle] we’d have herrings for tea.

Well I used to fish down at Whakatu at the outfall for the sewer at East Clive, and of course it was the same effluent – it was when they piped it then. And we used to catch herrings, and then with the herrings we used to catch kahawai, and kingfish, all sorts of fish.


So when you were at high school, what did you plan? Did you plan on working?

Well, I took Commercial because I wanted to type. I was fascinated by typing. Commercial Practice was the course that I took, you know, because it was all about office practice I guess – systems like insurances and things like that. You learned those but of course you learned shorthand/typing, which was my forte – I loved it. So when I left school I got a job in the Post Office, and I thought ‘wow! I’ve landed me a job and I’m set for life’, which was … I suppose there wasn’t a care in the world. Everything was very kosher, you might say, or cosy. So to have a steady job – I think I earned £2 a fortnight, but of course having the commercial practice course I learned how to bank, budget, and life was really, really wonderful in the sixties … early seventies. It was a lot of fun, it was the time the Ranfurly Shield came to Hawke’s Bay – that was just phenomenal, the excitement that we had.

So at some stage then you met Tom?

I did, yes. How did I meet Tom? Tom came as a young man from a place called Tokomaru Bay … Ngati Porou … came with an uncle to badge. [Chuckle] He came from Ngati Porou anyway, and I met him at some football parties down at the Clive Football Club at the Clive Hotel, which was a favourite haunt for everybody – all the locals from Clive and Whakatu and Haumoana. We all went to school together, we all knew each other, we were always at the Rugby Club on a Saturday, so it was really a close-knit community, three townships. So … and most everybody from Clive and Haumoana worked at Whakatu.

I wonder now whether it’s time for Tom to come up and tell us something about where he came from?

Dad, d’you want to come and have a korero? Where you come from, who you are …

Would you like to give us a few words Tom, about your beginnings?

Yeah. Oh well, I’m Tom McGuire and I actually come from Ngati Porou. I was brought up in Hicks Bay, and my nana used to milk dairy cows up there. And then when the old fella died … my grandfather died … she sold up and moved down to Tokomaru Bay, so we went down to Tokomaru Bay at a little place called Mangahauini Valley. And I went to school there, primary school – I went to the Maori school there.

And then as I grew up I went to stay with my mum and my stepdad in Rotorua, and I had most of my schooling there, in Kawerau and Rotorua. And then I finished school and I ended up working in the bush for the Government, deer culling.

And then I ended up in Maungapohatu with my uncle – we built the stock yard there, and fencing – we fenced all Maungapohatu off.

This is the Pa?

Margie: Tuhoe.

Tom: This is at Tuhoe, the marae there. It’s Ruatahuna whenua there. And then when we finished the contracts in there building the sheep yards and stock yards, the uncle decided that we should move down to Hawke’s Bay. So we ended up here in Hawke’s Bay, and then we ended up working for … strange, it was Margie’s auntie, Auntie Liza, and Uncle Sonny’s cousin, which was Johnny … Auntie Liza’s husband …

Margie: Kingi.

Tom: Kingi. Johnny Kingi. Yeah, and I guess that was my first time I came to Kohupatiki. Actually, around that time Margie had her birthday at the Pa, and I wasn’t invited. It was just my uncle, [chuckle] so that was interesting – yeah, she turned twenty-one and my uncle was invited to go to her twenty-first birthday. [Chuckle]

Anyway, as the years went by I ended up working at the Works … Freezing Works … and I ended up building and – yeah, and then I ended up meeting her. Yeah, so … and it was really good exciting times, those times – they were good times mainly because there was plenty of work. We all had work, everybody that we mingled with and rugby’d with, and all sorts, so they all had money. There was plenty of money … plenty of money around.

Brothers and sisters?

My brothers and sisters – I have half-brothers and sisters ‘cause my mum married again, and I have two sisters … half-sisters … and one brother, and they live – the oldest sister lives here in Hawke’s Bay, and the other two live down in Palmerston or Bulls, or somewhere down there at the moment – yeah, they’ve been around a bit. Yeah.

And so obviously when the Works closed you started to do other work?

Yeah, I’ve always had contracts – I’ve been with the Catchment Board a long time. And then I ended up working for the Regional Council. At the same time I was working at the Freezing Works, doing the odd buildings around the place as well, and yeah … no, it was good then.

Yeah, when the Works closed that was … that was a big shock to Whakatu and all the people around, ‘cause there was two and a half thousand people working there. And it was on a Friday afternoon we finished the last chain … was at about nine o’clock that night we heard the place was closing down. I’ve never seen grown men cry … that was a real sad time.

The Assistant Works’ Manager …

Selwyn Cushing was the Manager, eh?

This chap was the Works’ Manager – he was in Europe at the time and he didn’t know that it was closing. So you know, you people had no more warning than … but it’s quite a story, isn’t it?


But the other thing is how Whakatu has changed as a result of that.


So did you play rugby, Tom?

I played rugby for the Works, yeah. I played rugby for them – touch rugby – and then … it actually was quite a sporting thing, the Whakatu Freezing Works, ‘cause it had an inter sport, and we’d go round the country playing you know, sport with different plants. Yeah – trap shooting, tug o’ war, you know … it was a really great place to work. It was the best place I’ve ever worked. I worked in other plants after, but … not the same. Just … the workmanship was just so high, you know, it was really good.

It was the biggest Works in the country …

Biggest Works in the country …

… the most modern Works.

Yes, that’s right.

And so then, you’ve always had a contract to do work with the Regional … and Catchment Board, and you are still doing that today?

Still doing that today. It’s many, many years – I can go back before I met her. Yeah, it was just before I met her – I was working for the Catchment Board then.

Was a chap Kyle working there those days?

Kyle …

He drove one of the draglines.

Yes, that’s right – he used to clean this river down here. Kyle – he used to stay down at Clive. Nice fella.

So your children – what are they doing these days?

Margie: Well, we’ve got four children, two boys, two girls. Dan … Dan is the Customs Manager … he’s the Port Manager at Napier and the East Coast, so he looks after the Gisborne Port, Taupo Airport, Ohakea and Palmerston North Airports as well, and this is his whole region, so he’s the Port Manager. He’s been there what … three years. And he was Chief Customs Officer down in Wellington … moved back to Napier.

Howard, he’s had a varied career. He attended School … Music, went to Wellington, had a music degree specialising in voice. And while he was there at varsity, he took a part-time job of catering at The Biscuit Tin. So he’s come home – he had a contract with two other ladies in Parliament, and of course everything … they thin out the people, and so his contract was lost so he decided to come home. And he just thought he’d go and get a job in one of the cafés, and he landed a job the next day, working away. And then he heard of a contract at the two golf clubs in Napier, so he sat his Work Manager’s Certificate or whatever you call it – Diploma. And he landed a contract with the Wellington City Council so when he came home he you know … brought all that experience with him back home. And so Waiohiki was trying to think up … drum up a new way to revitalise golfing, and so he got the contract. And so he’s now managing Maraenui.

And of course our youngest girl, Ani – she did a fine arts degree in Wellington, and she completed a raranga course – flax working, making baskets and korowais and stuff. But at the moment you know, she gets nice little contracts – people wanting you know, twenty baskets in a particular design, so she can work according to what people want and desire, and she can come up with the goods. But at the moment she’s one of the serving ladies at one of the golf courses.

Any grandchildren?

Yeah, we’ve got two grandchildren – Ryan, he’s twelve, and the father is keen on him – he’s aspiring to be a basketball player … he’s quite tall, rather tall. And so Dan has got him into sport. And our little darling Jade, she’s five … she’s just turned five … gone to school. She just amazed us – if the father said “Jade, what did you learn today?” “Nothing”. [Chuckle]

And Tom, do you play any sport now at all?

Tom: I don’t play any sport now. I used to play golf, and the last sport I had was tug o’ war. That was a great … all the other sports I had, tug o’ war was the greatest challenge I’ve ever been in. It’s just … ohh! You need to be in it to get the feel of the whole thing. Playing rugby was another thing, but this tug o’ war was … it’s awesome, yeah.

Margie: Okay. If I go back – a bit of timelining – 1864, Te Waka Kawatini announces the formation of Kohupatiki on the whenua Rotopounamu. Because he had no issue his nephew Paora Torotoro became his heir.

In 1874 we lost our land and because the Crown realised that we had no land at all, the Crown granted us land, so we chose the area along the river – Rotopounamu Block 1 and Block 2, and Pakowhai, where the majority of the hapu was able to reside. So that is in the Rotopounamu Number 1 Block, Paora Torotoro, Te Waka Kawatini, Tareha, Tamehana Pekapeka, and Ahere Te Koare.

So from there the next descendants come along around about 1874 … no actually, 1862 a grand nephew of Paora Torotoro, Raihania Kahui – he and his mother repatriated from the Waikato … from Port Waikato and Ngati Tipa. I was fascinated by this revelation that they had come back from Ngati Tipa. I used to ask my aunties and granny “why on earth did that happen?” And they couldn’t tell me, so when Treaty settlements came along in the last eight-nine years, I was privileged to look at some books … Maori Land Court records … and then I discovered that our great-great-grandmothers were victims of the musket wars in 1824 at the battle of Pakake Island at Ahuriri. And the Tainui, Ngati Raukawa, Te Arawa, bit of Tuhoe, Ngati Maniapoto – they came on a rampage to avenge Te Heuheu’s second son killed at Roto a Tara, down at Poukawa, and they came back to avenge after twelve years. And so the battle was fought at Pakake. And Te Pareihe from Te Whatu i Apiti warned the people that we should leave the area, and so some took that warning, but my tipuna decided to stay. And as a consequence the mum and dad were slaughtered, but the three little sisters … maybe three, four and five … were taken. Each was taken – one to Tuwharetoa, one to Maniopoto and the other to Tainui.

And this [?] I talk about Raihania Kahui – he was … the mother was taken to Port Waikato, Ngati Tipa. And Raihania Kahui was born in the Waikato in 1848, so Granny Ramarihi had been there for twenty-odd years, and then she gave birth to her son. By 1860 both of them, Raihania and Ramarihi, repatriate … they were allowed to come back, to Te Kahungunu. But in the meantime her younger brother, Ahere, who either went to Nukutaurua – to Mahia, under Te Wera Hauraki’s protection – they all come back to Te Heretaunga, and start a new beginning.

So when we get to Kohupatiki – by the time my granny and her son return the land has already been divvied up, so they go to the Land Court to petition, seeking that they had a right to some of the land, ‘cause they are of Ngati Hori. So that’s how we land back in Kohupatiki in the Karamu Reserve, and those are the only two spots where we could go ‘cause the rest of the land is all gone. So – there was Okake Karewa; Pahou at Petane, over that area; Papakura, which is Meeanee way; Waikahu down here at the mouth at Waitangi; Rotopone, Whunanga, Waikahu, so those areas where they were familiar to us in the Mangateretere West Block. That’s where our family and our relatives were … the tribe and hapu had mana over.

So anyway, we’re constricted down to a hundred or two hundred acres each which is a sizable amount when you look at it. Four sisters and a brother, and out of the four tipuna only one line remained, which happened to be our granny here, Ngamihi Te Kehu, this particular lady here. And she had married a pakeha chap called Charles Henry Chadwick. So that’s how Chadwicks come to be at Kohupatiki.

It’s interesting how little recorded history has been made available to the whole community.

So with our granny, this is another great story. When Ramarihi and Raihania repatriated back in 1860 there was no other family members around. Out of the four siblings they were the only two left here in Kahungunu, so there was none of the – you know, our family here. They repatriated back.

What fascinated me was, as Ramarihi would have been a little girl of between three and five, how would she know where she came from? And how would she know how to get back here? So I met a chap from DOC at the Rangitaiki pub … the Eden brothers from Moteo. They said “oh, we were out working for DOC and we were uncovering all these tramping tracks, and we’ve discovered all these big gouges in the ground, and they’re actually canoes being dragged along, and they’re a funny sort of V-shape”. And he said “we’re uncovering all these”, he says “gee, the whanau must have been dragging … go to one river, sail down and then get out and drag the canoe over to the next stream, and then jump in and sail down … next one …” They were finding all these gouges. And I said “how fascinating is that?” I got thinking, maybe we did … that’s how we did … we had to travel, you know, the river doesn’t just go from here to there. No other option, you know, so something that I’d never ever, ever given a second thought to. You know, you’ll just stick to the river, sail down it and get off and walk, but no – those guys were dragging their transport with them. And then I just you know, sort of put two and two together and said “well maybe that’s how we got around”.

But I still couldn’t fathom out how our granny got as far away as Ngati Tipa. So I thought ‘well, I know they came back in 1860. They made a petition to the Court for land – they had missed out initially … the divvying up of the land, and so they came back. And there was a few others that were petitioning because they had missed out, and they gave their evidence. And in that petition, lo and behold, I find that they were products of musket wars, that they had been taken away and then finally Ramarihi gets … she repatriates back to Kahungunu.

And here’s the other interesting bit – her elder … Ramarihi’s elder sister, Hoerakau, had been taken to Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manunui on the southern tip of the Lake Taupo, and Poukawa. And I thought ‘how on earth would they know that?’ You know, Ngati Tipa’s there … Tuwharetoa Manunui’s over there – ‘how on earth would they know that?’

And Raihania … he’s a tipuna of ours, and when he was growing up in Port Waikato in 1840, a Robert Maunsell came with the English version of the Treaty of Waitangi. And he brought that version to Tainui, but he had to set about, in a hurry, translating it from English to Maori. So he was a linguist; he was also a Minister, and so he had a school teaching young Maori boys – Christian as well as reading and writing, and translating. So our tipuna as a young boy, Raihania, went to that school, and he’s turned out as a proficient young man – gifted, and people begin to rely on him. So him [he] and his mother repatriate back here to Kahungunu. And then I discovered that he sent for our granny, Ngamihi Te Kehu, my great-great-grandma – sent for her in Taumarunui to return to Kahungunu ‘cause there was no more issue to carry on their mother’s legacy. I don’t have the letter, but there was a letter written by him, sent to Granny Ngamihi, imploring her to send her … if she had any daughters … send them to Hukarere Girls’ School.

So I got a gift from one of the Public Health nurses. She said “Margie, look, I’ve already got two of these beautiful books – I want you to have one”, which is the story of Hukarere, so I thought ‘oh, okay – interesting. I’ll have a look, see who attended’. So in 1886 I found Miriama Chadwick, and Marara Nukai Chadwick attended Hukarere in 1886-1887. I said “gosh!”

They were your aunties?

They were our great-grand-aunties, and they were our great-great-grandma’s children – Charles Chadwick and Ngamihi Te Kehu – they were their daughters. And there is a consequence – the other two … four daughters altogether … the other two come a little bit later. So I thought ‘how on earth did they know where they were when they were taken away as little babies?’ So I can only imagine that the bush telegraph was pumping.

You know, it’s probably that sixth sense … those days it must have been inbuilt.

I do believe that’s true, because Maori have a saying … they call a particular piece of land ‘taumatua’. ‘Matua’ is like your tipuna; ‘tau’ is new, and at Clive there is – before it was all drained out – there was a wetland. Colenso describes it as … was swampy, cutty grass and … but it was a place for landing of migrating birds. And then when I found some records I found that the name of the place at Waitangi is called Taumatua – a place where migratory birds come back, and they hone back into this particular spot. So I applied it to our granny … to our great-granny … that she was returning to the place of her birth.

Yes, she was a migratory …


… person coming home.

So there must have been something in it, not only for birds and fish and so on, whales and stuff … humans as well.

So Granny – it’s interesting, an auntie of mine, Myrtle Tahiti Rangiihu, she gave me a piece of paper. She said “take a look at this”, and it was Names; Dates of Births; Married To; Died and Place of Birth. And I thought ‘wow – this is fascinating’. The two oldest girls, the first-born, they were born at Opepe, which is on the Napier-Taupo … The next four were born at Tutira, and then the last two were born at Te Pohue. So I thought straight away, ‘our grandpa, Charles Chadwick, must have been working milling timber.’

So they were all born in that way, and then Raihania enticed them back to Kohupatiki, so round about 1880 they landed back here in Kohupatiki.

So with that Granny settles in. She’s a bit of an outcast because not being brought up here. She knew everybody, but there wasn’t that intermingling with you know – her cousins really, but nevertheless she was here. And so that’s how we come to be. And she had a wonderful legacy – she had four strapping, handsome young men … sons. Men were the manpower, so their land was put to good use because of the physical ability of the brothers. So not only did they tend to their own bits of land that they get in the splitting up of our land – the Crown grant – but they set to help the other nannies who were widowed and do not have children, ‘cause all of a sudden there’s a lack of children around. So the grannies and their sons set to and built Kohupatiki.

Te Paora Torotoro’s two daughters – they had been married, but … they had children but then, you know, died in infancy. Raihania – he comes back, he marries Paora Torotoro’s daughter, Warihia Ihukino. They had three children I think, but none of them survived. Their daughter was about nineteen, and she died, so they had no issue. So that’s how we get Uncle Harry Puna, and the Puna family there today at Kohupatiki.

But then those nannies – some of our nannies were taken to Maniapoto. They brought back whangais with them, and that’s how my grand uncle … great-grand uncle Ike Robin … he marries a daughter from Omahu. Her name was Mata Katoa and they had two issue, but they died. And so he gets married again, but while he’s there he’s looking after the two nannies, Warihia and Te Paea, and takes care of their landholdings and market gardens for them, and you know, they have a source of income. If they didn’t have the manpower …

Yes, the land was of no value.

The land was no value. So that’s how Kohupatiki begins to thrive, as did all the other maraes as well, because they had land. Gosh, Lord knows what they grew, but they grew everything. My mother tells me as a young girl, the only thing that they ever bought was butter and sugar and flour. They didn’t have to go and buy milk and cream ‘cause they had their own cows. They grew all their own eggs, they had their own meat, they had ducks, and fish, sheep, and grew paddocks of kumaras, pumpkins – whatever.

Granny told me this fabulous story – I think it was fabulous. During the war, Americans came and commandeered some paddocks to grow their cabbage, because it was for coleslaw. So I thought ‘who on earth knew about [chuckle] coleslaw in the forties?’ But it’s fascinating, and my nanny tells me the story – she’s fascinated, but she said “they bought Grandpa … there was the forty acre paddock and him [he] and his three brothers grew it by hand, and they came back and it was the wrong cabbage. So they ripped it all up and they replanted it – just like that. The Americans said ‘plough it in and let’s start again’”. So I think Grandpa and them – that was their lucky day.

Because all of that land around Kohupatiki was all silt, made by the old Ngaruroro River.

Fertile soil. Just perfect – perfect for growing. So – Raihania again, when he came back in ‘86 he was growing a lot of things. They had a go at growing wheat but it didn’t last long – the soil wasn’t conducive to … when it drains away it’s nice and … but it didn’t work, so they converted to other things, potatoes and … With that Kohupatiki comes alive because these people are industrious, and they’re thinking about their livelihood, their wellbeing, their future. And of course missionaries – the close relationship with the church – that they begin to see the value in education. They encourage the younger … next generation to do well at school.

And of course the biggest thing that happened to Kohupatiki, when the two nannies, Paea Teaho and Warihia Ihukino, invite Reverend Frederick Augustus Bennett to Kohupatiki, to stay at the whare that was built by Raihania and Warihia Ihukino and to come and occupy the house as a Reverend, ‘cause he was seconded to come here and spread the word amongst Maori more, and he was doing a very good job. And then – I write about it – then a Bishop from Dornakal in India pays a visit to New Zealand. And so Apirana Ngata and a few of the other men, they said “if you can have an Indian Bishop, why can’t you have a Maori Bishop?” [Chuckle] So they set about petitioning, and they were very successful, and I think it took about eight years, but they got there. So in that eight years Frederick Bennett, the Pihopa, stays in Kohupatiki, and he was there ‘til 1950 when he passed away.

Funny thing – when they took him back to Te Arawa to be buried at Ohinemutu, my dad was part of the entourage to take him back. And Dad said it was the most difficult journey he ever, ever had in a vehicle with the Pihopa’s body. In other words he’s saying the Bishop didn’t want to go. He wanted to stay in Kohupatiki. So it kind of gladdens my heart to think that – you know, to me that’s a … I treasure that moment, because obviously he was pleased with where he stayed. When I look back and you think of the history, and I think this is what drives me – that kind of moment in history that my father described – of how the people were, and the kind of thinking, and the passion they had for a man who enlightened them, and drove them to do other things.

And that he was able to sense that he didn’t want to go.

Yes. My dad felt that sense.

So that’s how I get my drive and energy, and to find out more. We are blessed in some ways that we look to the next generations to ensure they get educated. We all have our opportunities, and it’s up to us to make sure that they get there.

And of course a lot of great people have come from Kohupatiki. I don’t mean great, great, great – but as inspirational to whanau – that’s what I call greatness. To me it’s pivotal that the spirit keeps going, and always searching and looking and doing – no regrets. Maybe hold for a moment and choose another pathway, but never give up thinking and wanting to do things.

So I’m working with … I’m a member of He Toa Takitini, the Treaty Settlement group for Heretaunga-Tamatea, and privileged to be part of that team. And privileged to receive huge amounts of books on research, archival stuff, helping us to write historic claims and so on, and making a presentation to the Government – to the Crown – in order that we get you know, a fair recompense for land loss, to build a better future. So I see that moment now as our greatest opportunity.

Margie, a lot of this information is history – will it become available to the wider community?


Because this is the problem – the history’s been there, but it’s in books. And the learned people have turned the pages and then shut them again, and it’s lost. And how else do you portray history unless you share the history?

That’s right. Yes, the history is all in there, and it’s just a matter of one’s self going through and unravelling your tipunas … stand in this part of history, and my revelation was that they were born – taken away, Ngati Tipa because in 1824 the battle at Pakake Island, the young girls were taken away. And they were taken away for future women for the tribe. And so you know, we knew a bit about the genes – you know, if you start interbreeding … you know, something goes wrong. So I thought ‘how clever were they to realise that kind of stuff?’ [Laugh] You can’t keep marrying the same one, and marrying your daughter and your granddaughter …


… re-freshing. And I thought ‘wow, they’re blinkin’ clever as well’.

Tom: Yeah, that stops the fighting, as well, and war.

Margie: And they were used as – I wouldn’t say pawns, but used as bargaining tools to stop fights – that’s exactly what happened.

There was a method in their madness, and of course they had the odd feast as well.

Yeah, well you know, they usually took the Chief’s daughter, so that would guarantee there wouldn’t be a battle coming – nobody would come down and fight. But in the rangahau within the books here, that the historians come up with and they’re researching, is that when they married each other – you know, there was a guarantee of [?] [parakete] – prize – because of the source of the teeming streams full of fish … the sea full of kaimoana, birds – you know, it just was in abundant supply here. So it was strategic to form those kind of relationships.

Of course in 2013, our celebration for the marae – my biggest wonderment is when I learned that our granny – she landed back here in the 1880s and … like, her forest over in Taumarunui was being milled. And so the two nannies who were here – they were cash-strapped but they had plenty of land, and so what they’d obviously gone and done is that the two nannies gifted the land – that’s Paora Torotoro’s daughters, Te Paea and Warihia. And our granny, she fells timber at Taumarunui. And the railway track had been laid, so the timber was railed to Hastings, and a chap called Robert Holt – had the sawmill – milled the timber which built this place here.

Isn’t that a wonderful story?

That’s the original timber. When I was talking at the historical … Landmarks … yeah, they all chipped in and said “Robert Holts!” [Chuckle] Yeah, so to me that’s … even you know, the fact that the timber came from Taumarunui, and the re-joining. So in many ways I thought ‘well, what a great legacy that her grandmother was taken away, and she comes back, but with her she brings a part of Tuwharetoa to help solidify Ngati Kahungunu.

Taumarunui had more native timber … bigger bush … than anywhere else in New Zealand.

You know, the whare is as solid as a rock. And it’s all tongue and groove, the inside. The outside is … yeah, so we maintain it with vigilance, you know, we keep an eye on it. Yeah, it’s as solid as … [chuckle].

And then of course our granny – our Robin granny, Erena – married Te Hore Ngarangi. Our granny and Ike Robin and sister Ripeka, they built with a grant from Mangapoike in Wairoa … one of the big farm blocks. They had shares in there, and they were able to secure a sum of money to build the dining room … the Returned Servicemens’ Memorial, and so we would just … you know, secure some money for their fund-raising of course, and get the dining room going. So you know, all members of the family at Kohupatiki have contributed majorly. We’re not one of the big maraes, we really are a four-family marae.

So with the closure of Whakatu, and you know, the shuffling around of the woolscourer’s – there’s been some major changes there – has it had much affect on Kohupatiki as a marae? Has it weathered the storm?

I think it’s weathered the storm. I do believe it’s … we haven’t stopped doing what we’ve been doing for fifty-sixty years.

Well that’s wonderful, isn’t it?

We still host, we still invite people. You know, the marae’s just about booked out every weekend – you know, people wanting to use the place. I’m the Chairman of the marae, so you know, I make it my business …

You’re an important person.

… to chug along – yeah, yeah.

Are there any Chadwick … any land under the Chadwick name still?

Yes, there are. All the original blocks – we still maintain them – from the Crown grant, we still retain them.

Where do they lay relative to the Pa?

Right around the marae. The orchard on the left-hand side – that’s ours; go across to the railway, over the railway bridge, there’s a forty-acre paddock there for our orchard – that’s ours; there’s a twenty-two acre block at the back which touches the new Ngaruroro riverbank; and then there’s another block we just acquired three years ago … belonged to our granny’s grandfather, Te Poa Tuhaha. And we bought that block back just recently, three years ago.

Right. So they’re leased?

We lease them to Freshmax – Crasborn’s – yes. We’ve been with them … what, how many? Twenty-five … thirty years?

Tom: Thirty years.

Margie: We originally set out to run it ourselves because there was this huge downturn from $32 a box to $7. And the bank man … I think we’ve got about a hundred acres – there’s a hundred and twenty acres all in orchard, and of course the Karamu block as well … got land over there. So that land we retained as well as our land in Taumarunui that the Chadwick family retained there.

So we’ve got a sheep and beef farm; we’ve got a forestry; we did have a deer farm, but the deer farm – I don’t know, it just didn’t work out.

There’s lots of those that didn’t work out, yes. Well that’s fascinating actually, it’s a story that we all … over the years have heard the name Chadwicks and Robins – they’re all names that are synonymous with the community.

The next generation after Tom and I, my cousins – we’re enticing the next generation to become part of the Chadwick Trust, so we’re looking for not so much smart cookies, but cookies that help to maintain the legacy, but help make the Trust grow.

The fact that you’re bringing this history to the surface will make them better informed to deal with a lot of things.

They do come knocking at my door, “Auntie, we want to know more”, [chuckle]. And I went to Taumarunui, to my cousins and they were astounded at what I had said. And they said “are you sure?” And I said “yes, I’m sure”. And they said “well, the three senior members” – the uncle and two sisters who went back to Taumarunui to live and run that side – “never said a word at all to their children”. They just kept it to themselves.

But I mean, this was the old way – we never thought about history. But I think we’ve got to share these stories, they’re so important.

Now, is there anything else that you need to carry on with?

No …

We can come back, because there will be things you remember when I go.

Mmm. Look ages ago, I was just reading a bit of a thing, and I found this quote … and for the love of me I didn’t write it down. And I think it’s one historian, and it goes:

‘Due to the detriment of land loss, Hawke’s Bay Maori, Heretaunga Plains, continually fail to maintain economic and social position. Some of that cause in the past is attributed to some extent in  [to]  this Crown’s tactics in acquiring land, it’s efforts to limit Maori and holding us to failure to provide adequate access for Maori to the skills required to fairly compete in the development of Hawke’s Bay.’ It comes out of Wilson’s book. ‘Insufficient for education, access to credit, the lack of preparedness to participate in complex financial processes.’

So that was written quite a while ago, and slowly we’re getting there and breaking down such barriers. We see that in our Treaty of Waitangi things – we’ve just got a …

Tom: We’re just having a meeting – I belong to that committee that’s organising it all for the thirty years – closure, and we’ve done some hats and put thirty years on it.

We couldn’t believe when that Works closed – we used to drive past and say “how could that happen?”

Funny thing … when I was at high school, in Commercial Practice we talked about the ‘Great American Dream’ and the car manufacturing business, and then when the Japanese came along and started to compete there was a slight shift in things, and so they were starting to build more fancier cars … bigger cars and so on. But then it didn’t quite work. So they weren’t catering to everybody’s need, but said “here’s the biggest car – take it”.

And then the closure. And I thought ‘oh – twenty thousand people lost their jobs. I hope it never happens here in Hawke’s Bay’. [Coughing, deleted] But, you know, that’s the life cycle.

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Interviewer:  Frank Cooper


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