Monday, February 18, 2013

キウイ農園テ・アワヌイ・フカ・パック、マワウ山 Kiwi orchards at Te Awanui Huka Pack and Mt. Mauau

Checking the health of kiwi vines
English translation below
  2月18日は、テ・アワヌイ・フカ・パック(Te Awanui Hoka Pak)というマオリが経営するキウイ農園とパック工場を訪問見学、タウランガ地方の神聖な山マワウ(Mauau)散策、そしてこの日私たちをホストして下さる予定のタフファカティキ・マラエへ行きました。


On February 18, we visited the Maori-run kiwi fruit orchards and kiwi packing factory.  Afterwards, we took a stroll around sacred Mt. Mauau and headed to Tahuwhakatiki marae.

Te Awanui Huka Pack produces 5% of all the kiwi made in New Zealand. We toured the packing faciities, and CEO Hemi Rollerston shared information about the history of the company and its ties with Japan to us. During his presentation, he stressed the importance of Maori running the kiwi farm in the region.

Being managed 100% by Maori, from growing to processing to selling, , the company has close ties to the marae, Kohanga Reo (Maori-immersion schools, and other Maori cultural groups in the area. Hemi explained how the orchards are the guardians of the next generation and how the company values maintaining intergenerational connections. But most importantly, he emphasized inseparable connection between Maori culture and the business and how Te Awanui Huka Pack always brings its culture with them wherever they go around the world. When going to another land, they always leave a taonga, or treasure, in the land they visited to provide a connection to Maori land. This was an extremely important visit where the we learned about the potential for business to raise status and strengthen sense of identity for indigenous people.
Entering the processing plant


 Apu and Kura, who live in nearby in Tauranga, walked with us around the foot of Mt. Mauau, sharing the sacred stories surrounding the mountain. Afterwards, we headed to the marae. This would be the last marae that we would stay at during our time in Aotearoa. At Tawhuwhakatiki marae, we gave a carved tray that Maki Sekine’s older brother made as part of the koha to the marae.


 Approaching the final stage of our journey, we had the chance to hear the stories of a Maori waka navigator who was invited to the marae the elders there. Then each and everyone of us introduced ourselves. From the kiwi orchards visit to the talks on navigation, we were made to realize anew the strength of the Maori people, why gaining new hints for our future work in our Ainu communities.

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