Otago Polytechnic

It might be brand-new, but Te Pā Tauira-Otago Polytechnic Student Village has connections that reach back through generations.

The names for each level of Te Pā Tauira – Hawea, Rapuwai, Waitaha, Māmoe and Tahu – were inspired by a diary extract written by Hori Kerei (“H.K.”) Taiaroa.

Born in the 1830s, H.K. was the son of Te Matenga Taiaroa, an important chief at Ōtākou whose name has been enshrined in the Otago Peninsula place name, Taiaroa Heads.   

In one of his more personal diary extracts, written in Māori, H.K detailed looking at a midden as he was walking along the beach at Taumutu.

He described each layer of the midden, starting with the old embers of a fire in the earth and then dog bones, fish bones and cockleshells.

He stated that the reason he knew the midden was from the two tribes that preceded Kāi Tahu – namely Waitaha and Kāti Māmoe – was because of the depth of the layered materials.

Reflecting H.K.’s thoughts, each level of Te Pā Tauira, which opened on 11 February, has been named as if the building were a midden.

Hawea, the name of the ground floor, refers to the oldest tribe in the southern Ngāi Tahu rohe (area). Moving up through each level offers a chronological reference to the subsequent tribal inhabitants: Rapuwai, Waitaha, Māmoe and Tahu. 

Read more about Te Pā Tauira

Published on 25 Feb 2018

Orderdate: 25 Feb 2018
Expiry: 31 Mar 2019