Last night Tuesday April 15th, it was 221 years to the day since Tuki Tahua and Ngahuruhuru sailed into Port Jackson (Poihakena), how appropriate it was then for Melinda Loe and Hohepa Ruhe to launch Poihakena Tours at the Rocks to share the history of Maori in Sydney from that time.
The smoking ceremony from Uncle Max Euilo, warm welcome to country from Uncle Alan Madden, karakia from Laurie Sarich and waiata from our very own Te Raranga Whanui set the respectful tone for the evenings celebrations.
The research behind the tour comes from Jo Kamira; respected author, lecturer, business owner, noted also for being the first female Maori Police officer in Australia and research that Hohepa and Melinda have uncovered from their vast experience in tourism, indigenous involvement and museums on both sides of the Tasman.
Did you know that many of the Sydney store owners were fully conversant in te reo in order to trade with the many Maori traders that were entering Sydney? During the launch Hohepa shared a glimpse of the stories, I’m absolutely intrigued and have already booked my family for the first Sydney tour.
Kia ora mo tena Melinda me Hohepa. Ka kite ano