Here I share the history and ancient lore of the Pacific peoples and recent archaeological research. Placing the latest scientific studies alongside the histories of the ancestors is an exciting experience. Here I attempt to answer some of the questions that others pursue.

When the elders asked me to bring the ancient lore of the Maori/Polynesian people into the world, I had no idea that might mean. It brought an astounding library of over 3,000 chants into play in a powerful way. Some lasted for hours and some for days. They encapsulated an ethos for a life lived in a good way, philosophies and principles based on a remarkable understanding of people and the world we live in.

Few understand that the Pacific World knew peace for over 2,500 years. The old histories that cover those years speak of the days without conflict, say to take the life of another is to destroy your own. Archaeological excavations find no weapons of war in the sites of those times. Warfare in the Pacific is a tragic development born of natural devastating events that tore apart their world soon after 1200 AD.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Who were the Waitaha?

The history of the Nation of Waitaha was first shared in Song of Waitaha, a book published in 1994. The release of this knowledge was authorised by Te Pani Manawatu, the Ariki or chief of Tuahuriri Ngai Tahu, a senior Runanga of that tribe.

The source of all that is written in Song of Waitaha is Te Whare Wananga o Kahukura, an ancient School of Learning. The elders in the photographs below are the ancestors who carried those teachings into today. [Photos of Elders in Song of Waitaha]

Early in 1990 the representatives of 143 iwi, remnants of some 200 tribes that had been the Nation of Waitaha, gathered for a Hui at the marae in Whangarei to decide how much knowledge would be shared with the world. Some 400 people discussed this for five days then those who carried the power to stand in the name of their people rose one by one to say — ‘Tautoko — unto the death’, meaning we agree to the opening of all the baskets of knowledge; we hold nothing back; we release the sacred lore that is the very life of us.

What was shared became Song of Waitaha: the Histories of a Nation. Every word written was placed under strict tapu until read and approved by the leading kaumatua of the Waitaha realm.

The Waitaha of the Histories

They were the children of Te Kupenga Te Ao and Kiwa and the children of other ancestors that brought other colours into the weave that became a nation. They were Polynesians who are directly related to the tribes that migrated to Aotearoa/New Zealand after 1200AD. Waitaha eventually settled all of Aotearoa and have a place in the genealogies of many of the leading iwi of today.

The homelands from which they voyaged to settle Aotearoa were in Eastern Polynesia and Easter Island was their final place of departure. However, there were distant homelands behind those homelands. In simple terms they were Polynesians who were eventually given the name Maori. Their language is Maori and is understood by the indigenous people of Easter Island (Rapanui), the Cook Islands, Hawaii and other Polynesians.

Waitaha carry the Polynesian gene that has been traced back some 14,000 years to the islands of Eastern Indonesia. However, they also carry other genes because their remarkable voyaging produced a strong, dynamic gene pool..’

There are unsolved mysteries within the old histories of Waitaha. Issues that await further research that may be resolved with the aid of DNA analysis and other tools becoming available to science. One of these is the inclusion of three bloodlines in the whakapapa, the genealogies in the old lore — Maoriori — Urukehu — Kiritea.

It is clear that most Waitaha iwi were East Polynesian through and through and were Maoriori, but into that vast weave the Whare Wananga adds two slender threads. First The Urukehu, a pale-skinned, blue-eyed fair or red haired people, who had freckles and were the descendants of Kiwa. Secondly, the Kiritea of the golden skin, black-shining hair and dark, almond-shaped eyes with a double fold in the eyelid.

The Urukehu are said to have arrived out of the west. The Kiritea are said to have an Asian connection. In that regard Waitaha assert a relationship to Tibet.

When did Waitaha reach Aotearoa?

The Wananga records that Te Kupenga o Te Ao, who was born 77 generations ago, sailed from Easter Island to Aotearoa and then returned to that homeland. Such a long voyage would be made along a chain of islands with Rarotonga in the Cook Islands as the shore of final departure. If 25 years is allowed for each generation that means she reached Aotearoa some 1925 years ago. That predates the established history of settlement by some 1200 years. To add to the issue she records that there were already people here. Those earlier settlers are named and recorded in the old lore. 


  1. This is always amazing to read Barry...
    After arly 20 years the storis never cease to amaze me...

  2. You stole their story from them to make profit and changed so it sold better to the new age market. I have written confirmation from these people - you thief.

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  4. I don't think the "market" is so much 'New Age' ... as simply facing possibilities (and asking relevant non-PC questions). No?

  5. What's not considered is the magic of the people and that reality as known today was then very different. Also the advanced extraordinary and phenomenal capabilities of the energy and consciousness awareness of the peoples. I am urukehu. Warrior of the dreamtime. Nga miki koutou katoa