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Te Ahi Kaa

RNZ New Zealand

The philosophy of Te Ahi Kaa is to reflect the diversity of Māori in the past, present and future. While bilingual in delivery, the programme incorporates Māori practices and values in its content, format and presentation.

The philosophy of Te Ahi Kaa is to reflect the diversity of Māori in the past, present and future. While bilingual in delivery, the programme incorporates Māori practices and values in its content, format and presentation.
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Wellington, New Zealand


The philosophy of Te Ahi Kaa is to reflect the diversity of Māori in the past, present and future. While bilingual in delivery, the programme incorporates Māori practices and values in its content, format and presentation.




123 The Terrace Wellington, New Zealand


The use of rongoā Maori (traditional Maori remedies) in battle

Rongoā Practitioner David Kukutai Jones researched the use of native plants to heal wounds suffered on the battlefield both in the NZ Land Wars and inter tribal warfare. David says the plants contained numbing agents, and poultices were packed onto the wounds. Te Ahi Kaa features highlights of Davids presentation. as part of a NZ Land Wars symposium - Te Putake o te Riri.


Descendants honour kuia painted in the 1970s at Auckland exhibition

Artist Harry Sangl immigrated to New Zealand in 1971 and soon set off in his caravan to the rural Tuhoe Valley to ask kuia – elderly Māori women – if he could paint their portraits. Sangl was met with suspicion but after over four years of building up their trust, 34 kuia agreed. An exhibtion of these portraits is currently running in Auckland.


Te Ahi Kaa for 3 March 2019

Te Matatini is a bi-annual event where the best of the best in Kapahaka - Māori performing arts compete over three days, but the flipside to that is that it's a great platform to showcase small Māori business, Justine was there and talks to fashion designers, greenstone business Ngai Tahu Pounamu, and a young designer that has spotted a niche market for homeware design.


A passion for haka: composer Reweti Elliott and performer Tomika Whiu

Reweti Elliott choreographed the poi for top nine finalist kapahaka group Te Iti Kahurangi and Tauranga based Tutara Kauika ki Rangataua at this years Te Matatini festival. The ex-performer talks about his own unique style of choreography and Te Ahi Kaa is with Tomika Whiu has performed who has been a part of Auckland based group Te Waka Huia for twenty five years, in that time he's witnessed the vast changes. Tomika talks about his experiences in this weeks show.


The evolution of haka

The national kapa haka festival Te Matatini takes place in Wellington this week. Performer Ngairo Eruera and judge Te Atarangi Whiu share their experiences of performing on stage alongside their respective kapahaka groups, and their perspectives about the vast changes in haka performances in the last two decades.


Ocean Voyaging

In honour of Sir Hekenukumai Busby and his knighthood ceremony this week, Te Ahi Kaa features interviews with Hekenukumai where he talks about his work to revive the artform of waka building and ocean voyaing. In 1992, Haare Williams is in the Far North as crew members prepare for the Maiden Voyage of waka hourua (double hulled) canoe Te Aurere to Rarotonga, and he explains how to read a Star Compass when figuring out the horizons that determine sailing directions.


Rob Ruha and Ria Hall on the discipline, stamina and focus they learnt from kapahaka

Musicians Ria Hall and Rob Ruha both agree that kapahaka taught them discipline, voice projection and the confidence to pursue full time music careers. Both artists started at top level kapahaka, Ria with Te Manu Huia and Te Waka Huia and Rob is set to hit the stage after a five year break, with his hometown group Te Whanau a Apanui, at this years Te Matatini in February. On the show they discuss their early forays into the performing arts and the important lessons they learned along the way.


Nga kōrero o te tau: Te Ahi Kaa highlights of 2018 - part two

In the final show of the year, Te Ahi Kaa features highlights from 2018. Kaiora Honey is a thriving whanau business lead by Blanche Morragh, she discusses the hard yards and ongoing work of running Kaiora Honey from their home at Awanui. In the continuing series, Behind the Blazers, Hamuera Ratana band drum bass player JJ Lewis describes his instrument it as the "heartbeat of the reo", he has been with Te Reo o Hamuera since 1996 and says its his way of giving back to his community and...


Nga kōrero o te tau: Te Ahi Kaa highlights of 2018 - part one

We revisit conversations with Geoff Milner from Northland's Ngati Hine Health Trust, artist Marilynn Webb and police officer turned secondhand clothing entrepreneur Ra Mead.


Dr Taiarahia Black on whakataukī (Māori proverbial sayings)

Dr Taiarahia Black is a PhD Supervisor at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. He offers up his interpretation of some whakataukī (Māori proverbial sayings) at the Te Kōputu Kōrero a Hirini Moko Mead library space.


Māori broadcaster Kingi Biddle on the pursuit of happiness

Kingi Biddle talks to Justine Murray about his definition of "rich" what he's learned about safe spaces, and how he deals with moments of depression.


In conversation with Māori artists Marilynn Webb and Isaac James Te Reina Cleland

Every year, Creative New Zealand pays tribute to Māori artists at the Te Waka Toi Awards. Justine Murray meets two of this year's winners – internationally renowned printmaker Marilynn Webb and emerging filmmaker Isaac James Te Reina Cleland.


The history of Te Reo o te Ratana Te Tuatoru

Inside the band room at Maungatapu Marae, a mix of adults gather for the brass band Te Reo o Te Rātana te Tuatoru's weekly practice. The whanau occasion brings together a mix of adults who are passionate about their Rātana faith and music. Te Reo o Te Rātana te Tuatoru is one of seven Rātana bands around New Zealand – each with their own distinctive blazer colour – which are collectively known as Ngā Reo. This week, Justine Murray finds out more about Te Reo o Te Rātana te Tuatoru in the...


The history of Te Reo o Hamuera

Thousands of Morehu (Rātana followers) descended upon Rātana Pa on November 8th, to commemorate one hundred years of the Maramatanga – when, in 1918, Tahupotiki Wiremu Rātana received the divine message from the Wairua Tapu (Holy Spirit) and the Rātana faith was born. Te Ahi Kaa looks at one aspect of the faith, the church's famous Nga Reo Rātana brass bands.


Dr Rachel Buchanan: 'The shame of Parihaka is so great it can never end'

One hundred and thirty-seven years ago, on 5 November 1881, a Māori settlement in the small Taranaki township of Parihaka was ransacked by colonial troops. Dr Rachel Buchanan says the writing of her book Ko Taranaki te Maunga was a cathartic process after she lost her father Leo Buchanan to cancer. We also hear an archival recording of the late Te Miringa Hohaia talking about Taranaki leader Titokowaru and the impact that legislation had on the people of Parihaka.


Te Ahi Kaa features a presentation from Sir Wira Gardiner

To mark the National Day of the 19th century New Zealand Wars Te Ahi Kaa features a keynote presentation from Sir Wira Gardiner who talks about the impact, scale and price of War. (This first featured at the 2017 symposium Te Putake o te Riri)


Dr Patu Hohepa and Edna Pahewa

This week Te Ahi Kaa talks about the past present and future of the Maori language with linguist Dr Patu Hohepa, and Edna Pahewa talks about the work of her mum, renowned weaver Emily Schuster and her work to ensure the sustainability of harakeke in the region.


Foraging with Chef Charles Royal

Chef Charles Royal began as a cook in the army, which lead to four years as a Gourmet Chef with Air New Zealand, a restaurant owner in Paraparaumu and Rotorua, and today as the owner of Kinaki, a business that specialises in native plants and herbs. Justine Murray takes a tiki tour with Charles and goes foraging at Matawhaura forest on the outskirts of Rotorua.


The science project using indigenous Māori knowledge to increase NZ's resilience to natural hazards

How can we as a nation better respond to natural hazards like tsunamis and floods? New Zealand scientists and researchers are exploring Matauranga Māori (Māori indigenous knowledge) for the Resilience Challenge – an ambitious nationwide project exploring New Zealand's resilience to such hazards. Justine Murray meets three people involved – social scientist Dr Wendy Saunders who's been working with iwi and hapū in the Bay of Plenty, Māori social scientist Lucy Carter who's teaching disaster...


Dr Dan Hikuroa and Kristie-Lee Thomas on science and Mātauranga Māori

Dr Dan Hikuroa is an Earth systems scientist and believes the world of science is interconnected with Mātauranga Māori (customary knowledge systems) he shares his recent work alongside iwi and hapu. In 1868 a tsunami hit the Chatham Islands in the early hours of the morning on August 15. Kristie-Lee Thomas inspired to pursue a career in science, and given she and her family lived there, she based research on the disaster and shares some of her findings.