Rahui Papa describes the river as a taonga that has been handed down to be looked after for present and future generations. Rahui has a wealth of knowledge in Waikato-Tainui history, kawa and tikanga.
Ko te whakaaro ki roto i a mātou o Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, ehake ehara i te mea he awa, he wai noa iho e rere nei. Ēngāri he taonga i tuku iho mai i ō tātou mātua, i ō tātou tūpuna, ā he taonga hoki i hōmai ai ē ā tātou mokopuna mā tātou hei tiaki mō rātou. Ka mutu, titiro whakamuri, titiro whakamua, kei te rite tonu. Me manaaki tonu, me tiaki tonu, me tautoko tonu i tō tātou tūpuna a Waikato. Ko ngā wai o Waikato, kei te mirimiri i ngā tauwhenua kia haumako ai. Kia riro anō mai he kai. Ko ngā wai o Waikato i aua wā ko te tuna, ko te kāeo, ko te aha, ko te aha. I riro mai hei kai mā ōku mātua, mā mātou hoki i aua wā rā, koia tērā. Ko te whakapūmau i te whakaaro, kia tupu mai ko te kōingo a o mātou tamāriki mokopuna ki tō rātou awa.
For Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, the river is not just water, it is a treasure handed down to us by our ancestors that we must care for, for the future generations. If we look to the past and the future, it is all about caring for our river. It’s more than a river, this is our ancestor. It gives sustenance to the land. In the past, the river sustained our people with food, tuna, kāeo and much more. The river sustained our people in those days. I hope this inspires the hearts of our future generations to embrace the importance of our river.
The Waikato Tainui College for Research and Development acknowledges the financial support given by the Waikato River Cleanup Trust Fund which is administered by the Waikato River Authority.
The Waikato River Cleanup Trust does not necessarily endorse or support the content of the publication in any way.