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He Mihi

Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira is an Incorporated Society established to give Featherston a Māori voice on the South Wairarapa Māori Standing Committee and to support Mana Whenua. Since our official establishment in July 2018, Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira Incorporated Society has had two representatives on the South Wairarapa Māori standing committee and is also registered with the Charitable Services Trust.

Origins of the name ‘Pae Tū Mōkai o Tauira’.

Pae tū Mōkai o Tauira is the original name given to the area now known as Featherston. One translation of the name is - the ridge where my pet named Tauira stands, referring to the famous Polynesian navigator, Kupe. On appreciating the beauty of the area, told his pet dog (named Tauira) to watch over the takiwā (area).

Another version talks about the rohe being known amongst local hapu as a taupahi or a place for seasonal gathering of food because the kai was so abundant. The bird life seemed so tame that they could have been someone’s pet – hence the term ‘mokai’. Another pūrakau pays homage to the name of Hine Tauira who was the sister of Te Rerewa, a Rangitāne chief. She was also the mother of Te Rangitawhanga (Nga Kahungunu) who moved to Lake Onoke and established peace with Rangitāne.

Te Rangitawhanga offered to give his uncle Te Rerewa various gifts in exchange for land, but Te Rerewa asked instead for four waka to be built so that his hapu could migrate to Te Waipounamu (South Island). This was agreed and Te Rangitawhanga was able to live peacefully in Wairarapa. It is said that one of the waka given to Te Rerewa was named Otauira; along with the other waka named Te Ara-o-Tawhaki, Potaka, Kiriwai and Kahutara.

Our Kaupapa

Toitū te whenua, toitū te moana, toitū te tangata.

‘Heal the land, heal the lake, heal the people’


Our Mission

To provide a strong Māori voice committed to bringing mana to our lives and to the communities that we walk in.

To stand for the revitalisation and sustained kaitiakitanga of Wairarapa Moana and the surrounding natural environment (Te Taiao).

To enable cultural and environmental change through knowledge sharing (wānanga) and collaboration (whakawhanaungatanga).

To share and develop principles (Tikanga) and values (Kawa) that Te Ao Māori bring to our communities.

Ngā Iti Kahurangi | Core Values


Creating strong relationships with entities focused on positive environmental kaupapa and bringing

mana to our community.


Acknowledging the value of open and respectful communications between committee members, whanau, hapu, iwi and community stakeholders.


Initiatives undertaken by Pae Tu Mōkai o Tauira are woven together through aroha.
Aroha for our natural
environment (te taiao).
Aroha for people (tangata) and our community (hapu).
Aaroha for our principles (kanga) and values (Kawa).

E mahi ana te mahi

Inspiring others by ‘walking the talk’, credibility through action, leading by example, encouraging and enabling.

Ka muri, ka mua

Moving forward while always acknowledging the past. Being innovative and collaborative towards a

positive future for Te Taiao and our community.


Knowledge Sharing

Our Tamariki and Mokopuna are the future Kaitiaki of our natural world (Te Taiao) which is why we encourage environmental education and connection as an essential part of our Kaupapa.


Connecting with local schools, universities and other like-minded groups, Pae Tu Mokai ō Tauira hold regular Wānanga with Greater Wellington Regional Council, Mountains to Sea, schools, local Hapu and Iwi to engage with Tamariki and Rangatahi to value Te Taiao and the importance of balance in our biodiversity. Events are held at ‘Te Whare’ and guest speakers regularly invited to Kōrero about Māramataka, Matariki, Te Taiao, Para Kore, Organics (Maara Kai), Hauora and more.

We also acknowledge the value of local Pūrakau (historical stories) passed down through generations, so that future generations will know about Whakapapa and historical accounts. 


Pae Tū Mōkai o Tauira

Local Wairarapa historian and environmental consultant Ra Smith (Ngāti Muretu) talks about the origins of the names ‘Wairarapa’ and 'Pae Tū Mōkai o Tauira’.

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