Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tahuri Whenua hui-a-rohe: Ruatoki, 6th-8th March, 2009

Te whanau Tahuri Whenua enjoyed a fantastic three days at Tauarau marae, Ruatoki, from the 6th to the 8th of March. An excellent turn out, with over 80 people listening to presentations on Nick's trip to Peru, Eddie's Olive grove and Sid Clark on the manuka venture up Ngati Porou way.

Our first stop was just down the road from tauarau, Ngakahi Trust, where Nesi Bryce showed us the gardens that included a native plant nursery, kumara seedbeds, two types of store houses, and a puipui weaving operation.

Aroha checking out a pataka built by staff and workers at a hapu venture, Ruatoki Valley

Hanui (Hastings) and Fraser (Tikitiki) check out the kumara seed bed

We also took in a guided tour of Eddie Smith's olive grove, a dream he had nurtured for many years, aided by several seasons picking olives in Afghanistan, Iran, Greece, and France. His advice for Maori entrepreneurs? Be blind, deaf and dumb! Because if you thought too much about it, you'd never do it!! His daughter, Miriama Smith, is the gorgeous judge on tv's 'Got Talent' show...just thought I'd mention it.

Eddie's Olive label...Hinu (fat or oil; takawiriwiri, spiral)

We visited several other places, including Molly Turnbell's place where we enjoyed a few beers. Later that evening, more beers were had in a tin shed on which the rain pounded and lightning flashed! All this by candle light as there was an extensive powercut that night. Two ukeleles and a guitar, a dozen good voices and some old crooning songs! Oh and Johnny Walker popped in, downed by the cap in a style reminiscent of the islands. Auae, a good night was had by all!

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