Auē taukuri e!
Tēnei te pō, tēnei te pō i tuituia ai te pō pēpeke. Kua takoto mai te kahurangi i te au o te mātao, kua riro ki a rātou, te huinga o te kahurangi. E moe, haere e koro e. Ko aua tangi pōrutu ki a rātou, ko aua tangi tīkapakapa ki a tātou ngā uri morehu. Koia tēnei te pānui ake ki a tātou, kua moe tētehi o ō mātou uru kahika i te moenga roa o rātou mā kua whetūrangitia. Nō reira kei taku whatukura, kei taku pouwhakakikiwa, kei taku matua Wīremu, ka pēwhea mātou te hunga kua mahue mai i tō hukanga waihoe e mutu ai tēnei rangikanetanga kua toko ake mōu. Māku tonu te kī atu, tē taea te kaupare, tē taea te paku aha tēnei pūkatokato e ngau kino ana nei, me te aha anō, e te pāpā moe mai rā i te moe whita, tē whakaarahia waiho mā te kāhui manu kōrero nei o āu tātatanga e whakatutuki, ka ora tonu ōu ōhāki i ā rātou Paimārire.
Kei aku whatukura, kei aku mareikura, i te rua o ngā rā o Hakihea i hinga ai tō mātou nei kaumātua o Enviroschools a Wīremu Karuwhā Tāwhai e mohiotia nei ko Bill. He kaiako ia i ngā whenua o Amerika me Piritana nui i mua i tana hokinga mai ki Aotearoa nei. Mō ngā tau 16 ko ia te tumuaki o Te Kura-a-rohe o Te Whānau-a-Apanui. He pūkenga i Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi, he kaitapere i ētehi wā, otirā, he mātanga, he tohunga anō ki te maramataka Māori me ngā tohu huarere hoki. He uri tēnei nō Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Te Whakatōhea me Ngāti Awa, ā, kei te urupā o Ōmahaki te tipua nei e takoto ana.
Neke atu i te rua o ngā tau ka noho tēnei teretere pūmahara i waenganui i a mātou hei kaumātua. Heoi anō, tēnei te mihi manahau o te poari matua o Enviroschools ki te whānau pani, ki a koutou katoa e ngā purapura tuawhiti o te kī, e ngā manawa o te mātauranga otiiā e ngā matāwaka huri noa i te motu, tēnā rā koutou katoa.
The Enviroschools Foundation
Wiremu Tawhai became Kaumatua of The Enviroschools Foundation in 2007. He played an active role in the Foundation’s Trust board and programmes, Enviroschools and Te Aho Tū Roa, right up until his death in December 2010.
Many will remember his sparkly presence at the Enviroschools events he attended, such as the Youth Jams in Rotorua and Te Aho Tū Roa - Kotuia! in Kawhia last year. Wiremu was a strong supporter of the young people and always made time to be at their gatherings. He also made a significant contribution to the resources for Te Aho Tu Roa, including the kete taiao ‘Ko Au Ko Koe, Ko Koe Ko Au’ and ‘Ngā Kumara’ DVD. He generously shared his knowledge and expertise of the natural world and also the traditional practice of kumara growing, harvesting and storing. These taonga remain and will benefit many, many people in schools, kura and communities.
Wiremu’s quite words of wisdom always captivated us. Through his korero he reminded us of the power of nature, and of the learning we could gain from silently observing the natural world. He would ask what the song of the bird was saying, or what the shape of the plume from Whakaari/ White Island was telling us about impending weather. We would smile as he asked his pointed questions, and our senses would become a little sharper.
Although he has gone from our world, the Kaumatua left us many stories. He also left us with the awareness that we can find our own knowledge through reconnection with the environment, that we each have the ability to watch and listen and re-learn what has been forgotten.
Mihi nui ki a koe e Wiremu. Thank you for your gifts to us, may we carry them in our hearts and find strength in them to help us create a healthy, peaceful more sustainable world.
The Enviroschools Foundation