the language I carry is from
NO TOKU KUIA
This is who I am. This is my pepeha,
the land, the river, the people that made me and shaped me.
My name is Riria .
Kororia ki taku Atua
Hikurangi toku maunga
Waiapu toku awa
Nukutaememeha toku waka
OHine Waiapu toku Marae
Ngāti Porou tōku Iwi
Whanau A Takimoana toku hapu
Aratia te urupa
No te whanau o nga
Kahaki, Wanoa, Reihana, Tipoki, Kaa
Te taha o toku mama
Honour to my God
Hikurangi Hill I look up to
Waiapu flows by me
Nukutaememeha is my ancient canoe
OHine Waiapu shelters me from the winds
Ngati Porou people I belong to
Whanau A Takimoana give me my strength
Aratia is where my ancestors rest
Kahaki, Wanoa, Tipoki,Reihana , Kaa make up my blood family
My mothers side
I was raised by my nanny Riria, whose name I carry, her first mokopuna, I was special and loved because Nanny had lost 10 of her babies and only 4 survived. I have 2 surviving Uncles, both have no children.
Life in Rangitukia was Heaven on Earth, huge vege gardens of acres of kumara and potatoes, and all varieties of corn. Harvest time was serious work. We had a wood range stove to cook on and kanga kopiro- rotten corn was the best dessert ever. Marae gatherings and Pa life was vibrant. Hosting was normal; from getting firewood and picking puha to setting out beds and tables, it was the norm for growing children at that time.
Waiata and impromptu skits and speeches by the best orators, and ongoing witty banter added to my unconscious learning. All my Kuia and Koroua were dynamic in every way on how they conducted themselves with mana and dignity.
Korero in the kauta , the back kitchen resounded with animated discussions from wild horses that was broken in by one of the locals to heated discussions about incompetent koretake individuals in the local Land Courts or in the Whare Paremata, Parliament.
I heard many a conversations daily within my Whanau A Takimoana and the Riu O Waiapu that displayed Te Reo in all its glory. Full of gusto, nuance, with body language to match depicting a people who represented a powerful rich oral history passed down from our tupuna .
All this has played an important part to making me who I am today. My calling is to pass on as much as I can to what crumbs I have to create a banquet for others.
I went to Rangitukia School and Ngata Memorial College. Later I went to Palmerston Teachers College, that went exceptionally well for me, although I did not complete my teacher training. I went home to look after nanny, only for her to live another 20 years.
The next 30 years were filled with promoting and developing Te Reo in various ways; from play centres, to Kohanga Reo, to Adult Education and currently to setting up this Service , Te Ha O Te Reo.
I am 57, married to my number one supporter from Waimana, Tuhoe Ken Haturini. I have 2 sons Anaru Kahaki and Te Uruwera Tawhara and a daughter, Ngapera Haturini. I currently live in Gisborne , and I will be returning to our Papakainga in Rangitukia in 2020.