What is Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi?
Mana Whenua have gifted the name of Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi – The Soothing Waters of Te Awa Kairangi to the Alliance that will deliver RiverLink. The RiverLink project was planned, consulted on and consented between 2019-2021. Elements of the RiverLink programme being delivered by the Alliance will be delivered under the new name.
Mana Whenua Alliance partners Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira formally gifted the name and cultural narrative at a pōwhiri held at Te Tatau o te Pō Marae in Lower Hutt on 17 April 2023.
The narrative and name were given by Kura Moeahu, respected iwi leader of Te Āti Awa and Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika. The narrative acknowledges the story of the tupua Ngake and how the whipping and lashing of his tail created Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River. The river was created as Ngake broke free from the landlocked lake, where he lived with Whātaitai, to form Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
The name Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi for the project, refers to the many waterways that came together to soothe the scar that Ngake left on the land. These waterways feed the river and continue to shape the landscape of the Hutt Valley. The name is a reminder about the importance of caring for the environment.