Joseph Manoa Heather, Godfrey Heather and Joseph Heather, the newly invested Tamakeu Mataiapo. SUPPLIED 24020855
Joseph Heather was invested as the new Tamakeu Mataiapo of Teimurimotia, a traditional title also held by his late mother Puretu a Tangiiau Api Heather, in a ceremony attended by hundreds and marked by cultural significance.
Around 300 attended his unchallenged investiture that
was conducted on Te Are Ra marae located inland of Tikioki in Titikaveka, on
Wednesday, January 31.
Before the investiture got underway, a specially
carved rock for Are Ra marae was unveiled and blessed by Reverend Panu Rouru.
Tamakeu Mataiapo confirmed his six Rangatira: Koia
Rangatira – Joe Manuel Karika, Atata Rangatira – Moari Fortes-Ngamata who was
represented by her daughter Taimata Allsworth, Ngavaka Rangatira – John Tumutoa
who was represented by his son Apii Tumutoa, Ioane Rangatira – Aru Tereakama a
Ioane, Turuariki Rangatira – Anthony Brown, and Api Rangatira - Parau
The Rangatira all played a part in clothing Tamakeu
Mataiapo with his traditional garments of tamaka rakei, tatua (cloak), ruru
(belt) and the korona (crown), beautifully crafted by Georgina “Gina” Keenan
Williams. Tavake bird feathers were used to adorn the crown.
Atata Rangatira represented by Taimata Allsworth presented
the “puka tapu” (Bible) to Tamakeu Mataiapo.
Pa Marie Ariki placed the crown on his head followed
by the biting of the pig’s ear to confirm Tamakeu’s investiture.
The 59-year-old businessman Heather said he is well aware
of the responsibilities and intricacies of the title he has taken on and is
looking forward to strengthening the Ngati Tamakeu tribe.
In the initial meeting for the next Tamakeu Mataiapo, Heather
said he had articulated to his family about his current responsibilities in looking
after 86 employees and their families for many years.
“86 employees are a heavy load and I’ve got to get
bread and butter on their table every week, pay out weekly and you have to find
work for them or how are they going to survive. So, this (Mataiapo title) too would
be another responsibility,” said Heather.
“I knew it’s going to be a heavy load but it can be
Heather, not a big talker himself, is known as a man
who gets things done. Before his investiture, he had noted some disconnection
within the tribe.
“We want to move forward and bring everyone together,”
he said. “I knew it was going to be a bit of weight to carry but I wanted to do
this for my mother.”
Later that evening, Heather and his siblings also
unveiled the headstone of their late beloved mother.
He acknowledged the previous Kauono, Turuariki
Rangatira Anthony Brown, for all the work he had done, the Rangatira, and all
the Ngati Tamakeu families for their support.
In particular, he noted the great help from his
Arorangi tribe for preparing food for his investiture and his mother’s
Heather was also pleased to see students from the
schools of Titikaveka College, Te Uki Ou, and Papaaroa College, whom he had
invited to give the kids the opportunity to witness a traditional title
Api Rangatira, Parau Enjoy Williams, was also invested
with her title on the day and the role of Kauono for Tamakeu Mataiapo.
“I’m blessed, humbled and honoured to be Api Rangatira
and the Kauono of Tamakeu Mataiapo, titles that were held by my late mother,”
“Despite of the challenges in every family, you expect
the indifferences, that’s the reality.
“It was a joyous occasion and the same time we
remembered and reflected on our ancestors who were the pillars and strength of
the Ngati Tamakeu tribe and who have made it possible for us and the
generations to come.
“I will do my best to ensure their legacy lives
amongst the Ngati Tamakeu tribe.”
Makea Karika George Ariki, Makea Vakatini Phillip
Ariki, Tou Travel Ariki, Tinomana Tokerau Ariki and Pa Marie Ariki attended the
George Ngapare – Kauono o Puati Mataiapo conducted the
Koperepere and the master of ceremonies was Titikaveka MP Sonny Williams.