Tēnā tātou katoa,

Tini whetū ki te raki, mau tonu, mau tonu. Whatu karokaro ai te tākata, karo noa, karo noa, ka oti atu. Nei te mihi ki a rātou kā manu pīrau a Tāne, kātahi anō ka riro i te rika kaha o aituā, nō reira koutou rā, moe mai rā, okioki mai rā kia kore rawa e warewaretia. Ka tāhuri te ihu o tōku waka ki a tātou kā konohi o rātou, tātou kua pae mai nei i te tae ao, tēnā koutou i ruka anō i ō koutou āhuataka maha.

Te wāhaka o te tupu hou he wā hai aro ki kā tikaka aratakitaka. Mā kā tohuka arataki e whakamārama he whāika mō kā akoka, me te tohu huarahi kia taea ai e rātou. Ka akohia kā mokopuna e ō rātou tūpuna ki kā mahi māra, kia mōhio ki te taru, kia mōhio ki te hua kai. Ko kā tohuka mātua hai arataki i kā kaiwhakahaere rakatahi ki kā kaupapa tuatahi mō te oraka o ō rātou kāika. Mauri ora ki a tātou.

Mauri ora ki a tātou

Hua kakī anau – swan eggs

It’s that time again when the kōwhai blooms and the inaka start entering the many rivers and lakes along the east coast during the day, while the glass eels enter at night. It is also the time to look for some hua kakī anau along Kaitōrete on the shore of Te Kete Ika o Rākaihautū, as the black swans will be nesting.

Rei Simon gathering some Swan eggs from a nest.

This is the fourth year that we have roamed the spit looking for these sumptuous offerings, under the tutelage of uncle Donald Brown.

In the past our people where prosecuted for taking swan eggs to feed their whānau, as it was illegal to take game bird eggs, which included black swans.

The Acclimatisation Society (which is now Fish and Game) used the Airforce towers so they could patrol the breeding grounds, which at the time was home to 70,000 black swans.

The society collected the eggs in their thousands and sold them mostly to the racing industry as horse feed. At times they just broke the eggs in their nests in the interests of controlling the population.

Swan eggs

Eventually it was the great Wahine storm of 1968 that permanently changed Te Kete o Rākaihautū, destroying the Lakeland ecosystem and, in doing so, reduced the swan population to a tenth of its former size.

Donald has driven the process with the North Canterbury branch of Fish and Game to allow the traditional Ngāi Tahu mahinga kai practice of egg gathering to be reinstated for the last four years.

Te Kaio with the Coaches Cup award for 2012.

He mihi – Te Kaio Cranwell

Congratulations to Te Kaio for being awarded the Coaches Cup for the 2012 season. Te Kaio played for the Under 7’s Blue Northern Bulldogs Rugby League team. Most of the team where playing league for the first time, and had a slow start to the season winning one game and drawing another by round six. As the season progressed the team started to play really well together, understand the fundamentals and play as a team to win nine of the next 11 games to finish the season in style. The boys are really looking forward to next season.

Te Kaio playing against Halswell Hornets.

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