Dr Wayne Ngata shares some of the story of Te Rawheoro Whare Wananga and what it means for Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti.
Blessed to still have access to fragments of the teachings and knowledge of Te Rawheoro since it was established by Hinangaroa, such as in the impressive ‘Lament of Rangiuia’, Wayne Ngata and others have contemplated over several decades what the knowledge and lessons passed down to them from the Whare Wananga of Te Rawheoro mean for Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti.
With famous early students such as Apanui Ringamutu and Iwirakau at the beginning of a wide-ranging and long-standing influence by the Whare Wananga, and with Hinangaroa himself being a tohunga of carving and fashioning waka, a major kaupapa of Te Rawheoro was whakairo — yet not only ‘whakairo’ of the material and tangible but whakairo of the mind.
One of the lines of the ‘Lament of Rangiuia’ – ‘ka tipu te whaihanga, e hika, ki Uawa’ – has challenged Wayne and others of Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti to intentionally nurture, with an intergenerational vision, creativity and innovation amongst the inheritors of the learnings of Te Rawheoro.
In turn, this pursuit of knowledge cannot only be for the benefit of the individual. Rather, as Wayne avers, ‘Ki te kore e whai hua etahi atu i to whai matauranga, moumou te whai’ (If others don’t benefit from your pursuit of knowledge, then it’s wasted).