Ngamotu me Kihitu nga whenua, Ngamotu me Kihitu nga turangawaewae : "Aue Te Ariki aue", kei whea ra nga tangata o te hau kainga nei? : a personal journey : where have all the people gone? : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of requirement[s] for the degree of Masters of Philosophy, a major in Social Work, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Enclosed to the north and west by hills, edged by the Pacific Ocean and the Wairoa Hopupu-Hongenge Matangirau River, it seemed to me as a six year old that Ngamotu, Kihitu and Wairoa were the only places that existed in the world. It was then, and will always be, the ‘centre of my Universe’. NGAMOTU TE WHENUA, NGAMOTU TE TURANGAWAEWAE "AUE TE ARIKI AUE", KEI WHEA RA NGA TANGATA O TE HAU KAINGA NEI? The purpose of this research was to explore why the whenua of Ngamotu, and additionally Kihitu, are almost deserted of her people, and why there is so little use of her agriculturally or horticulturally. The inclusion of Kihitu within this thesis is because it is a 15 acres block of land located in the centre of Ngamotu. Whatever happens to either ‘block’ must surely impact on the other in some way. The use of tikanga and kaupapa Maori as the ‘pou’ of this research is what determines the mauri (well being) of nga whenua o Ngamotu and Kihitu, and their people. These are used because they are the most appropriate techniques and tools to use to explore and ascertain the mauri (well being) of Ngamotu and Kihitu, and her people. The study is an oral and recorded history, as told by seven purposively chosen mokopuna, who willingly shared their experiences and their knowledge of Ngamotu and Kihitu. In their own words, they shared their stories about Ngamotu and Kihitu, their history, their current status, and the influences that they have had on them, and what if any, are their moemoea (dreams) for Ngamotu and Kihitu. By naming Ngamotu and Kihitu as our turangawaewae acknowledges and provides a ‘chiefly’ place for us all to stand, which contributes to the importance and the ‘mauri ora’ (wellbeing) of Ngamotu and Kihitu as a whenua, which then enables us as mana-whenua (people of the land) to determine, define and strengthen our world views about and around Ngamotu and Kihitu, which in turn reflects the concept of being Maori and being a mokopuna of Ngamotu and Kihitu.
Kihitu, Ngamotu, Wairoa District, New Zealand, Maori, History, Social life and customs, Kōrero nehe, Whenua