Post continued: 18 March 2013
Wanganui Chronicle Article by Laurel Stowell titled "Team Challenges Make for Fun Day"
The Top Town-style games, organised by Alan Turia, were hilarious and great fun at the Apa Rising cultural festival.
It was the first such festival for Ngāti Apa/Ngā Wairiki, tribe kaihono Gaylene Nepia said, and was held in hot weather in the Whangaehu School grounds on Saturday.
The main focus was a series of team challenges on a big field below the school. Mr Turia had to make some of the necessary equipment.
He had teams of four walking in tandem on rubber skis, stilt walking, sliding down a hill into a pool of water, and trying to hit a ball with a hammer swinging on a string attached to their belts.
The competitors had to work together, and to make things even more interesting there were helpers standing by to throw buckets of water over them. Shrieks and shouts of "Cheat" ensued, but most people were just having a go.
They took turns in age groups, with supporters on the hillside to cheer them on and laugh when they fell over.
There were no winners and losers, Mrs Nepia said.
"We thought having a point system would take the focus away from enjoying the day."
The activities were so much fun that they will be done again.
"We plan on having the festival every two years, so we are definitely going to be using them again and (Alan) has already come up with some other games."
Other activities on the day were painting, bouncy castles and ki-o-rahi for the children, and mini golf for elders. Each of the Rangītikei tribe's hapū collectives had a tent with a barbecue to cook lunch. The 550-meal hangi tea arrived on a trailer and was a fundraiser for Te Reanga Morehu o Ratana, the Ratana kapa haka group.
The day began with a parade of the tribe's four hapū collectives - Whangaehu, Kauangaroa, Tini Waitara and Parewanui - and ended about 8pm, after stage performances from each of the hapū groups.
Post continued: 15 March 2013
Wanganui Chronicle Article by Laurel Stowell titled "Hill Slide Just Part of the Iwi Fun Day"
Tomorrow Ngāti Apa adults will be sliding down a hill at Whangaehu School, landing in a pit of foam, searching for a puzzle piece and running back up the hill to add it to a picture.
The Rangītikei iwi (tribe) is holding its first cultural festival for Ngāti Apa/Ngā Wairiki people at the school.
Organiser Gaylene Nepia said the hill in the grounds gave the venue extra appeal. She's the iwi's kaihono, and organising events is one of her roles.
About 550 iwi members have registered for the festival, called Apa Rising. The whole event will be free for them - including lunch and a hangi tea in the evening. It will be held outdoors at the school, with a stage, stalls, marquees and tents.
It begins at 8.30am, with a parade of the four hapū collectives, each wearing uniforms provided by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apa. After that comes a group exercise session.
The various age groups then take their turns to run through an inflatable obstacle course, starting with the babies to 7-year-old age group, then the 8- to 12-year-olds, 13- to 17-year-olds after lunch and finally adults starting at 3pm.
Meanwhile there will be other activities, including games of ki o rahi for children tired of watching the obstacle race. Kaumatua (elders) will have a tent for their own activities, including mini golf, and each hapū will have a tent as well.
Visitors and unregistered iwi members can watch the activities and buy food from stalls.
The entire event is smokefree.
The iwi's health provider, Te Kotuku Hauora, will have a promotional stall and a group of young people want to educate about safe use of alcohol.
St John and Māori wardens will also be on site.
After the hangi each hapū will have a chance to get up on stage and entertain for up to half an hour - with song, kapa haka or skits.
Finally the day will feature presentations, with people heading home as dark descends.
It's the first cultural festival the iwi has had.
"It's an opportunity for us to celebrate being Ngāti Apa. The focus is on our tamariki [children] and rangatahi [youth]," Mrs Nepia said.
Yesterday about 60 volunteers started setting up the site. .
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Apa is on the move in other avenues as well. Its governance, charitable and commercial arms recently moved their office from Marton to Bridge St in Bulls.
Staff members held an office warming for local people and dignitaries there last week. Ngati Apa's health service, Te Kotuku Hauora, is still based in Marton.
On the 26th of September 2011, Ngāti Apa Developments Ltd Directors and Management met with the management team for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa based in Whakatane.
The purpose of this visit was to learn from Ngāti Awa experiences.
Ngāti Awa settled their Treaty Claims in 2005.
The team from Ngāti Apa met with the Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa CEO, Jeremy Gardiner, the General Manager of Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Ltd, Tiaki Hunia and the Chief Finance Officer Murray Haines.
They took most of their day out to walk the Ngāti Apa team of Toko Kapea, Tony Gray and Grant Huwyler through their settlement, their structure, their strategy and their investments. The experiences that they shared were invaluable.
Whilst the focus of the visit was essentially commercial, the trip culminated in a visit to the newly opened Mataatua Wharenui and the Kaputerangi pa site.
This latter pa site belonged to Toitehuatahi, the principal ancestor of Ngāti Awa, and the grandfather of Whatonga, a common ancestor for Ngāti Apa, Rangitāne and Muaupoko.