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Story Time With Sir Howard Morrison


Story Time With Sir Howard Morrison

The pride of Te Arawa, Sir Howard Morrison, opens up the story books and secrets of his beloved tribe on the documentary MY KAINGA MY CASTLE, screening on Maori Television Sunday June 5 at 8.00 PM.

Produced by Greenstone Pictures and written and directed by Paul Gittins, this fascinating lead through the chivalrous, adventurous and romantic antics of the ancestors of the Rotorua District is both well-researched and entertaining.

“When I was a boy, I loved the myths of King Arthur and the knights of shining armour. Well, I’ve got a castle and I’ve got some good stories too. This is my kainga – Ohinemutu Pa. Welcome to my kainga, welcome to my castle,” says the celebrated entertainer as he launches into an hour of ancestral exploits.

A narrative-driven documentary, MY KAINGA MY CASTLE indulges viewers in the legends that have cemented Rotorua and its surrounds as one of New Zealand’s most visited bastions of Maori culture. Starting with an introduction to Sir Howard’s marae – Tama-te-Kapua – the documentary sets the evolution of the Te Arawa tribe with Potakatawhiti, the pet dog of the ancestor chief whose antics began the migration from Hawaiiki to Aotearoa.

Landing at Maketu in the Bay of Plenty, the Te Arawa people have since gone on to infiltrate the areas inland and the central lakes district in generations since. Says Sir Howard : “Te Arawa katoa mai I Maketu ki Tongariro – The bow of Te Arawa rests at Maketu and the stern at Tongariro.”

Through witty dialogue and accurate dramatic re-enactments, Sir Howard pays tribute to his lusty and brave ancestors. One of the early Te Arawa explorers, Ihenga, was attributed to the discovery and naming of Te Rotoiti e kite ai e Ihenga, or Lake Rotoiti. He also poignantly named Ohinemutu Pa, translated to mean ‘The end of the girl’ and dubbed as such when he discovered his wife murdered and draped over a stake during his adventures.

MY KAINGA MY CASTLE also features the story of legendary warrior Te Awaawa who escaped an outnumbered warring party from Tuwharetoa and the story of how sulphuric activity came to Rotorua through the great Te Arawa waka navigator Turoirangi.

While there are many stories written in the walls of Tama-te-Kapua, some favourite tales have been written down, like the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. In the heart of Lake Rotorua sits the historically significant Mokoia Island, where the most famous Maori love story of all time took place when Hinemoa swam to her lover Tutanekai, guided by his flute-playing. The said flute has now been returned to the people of Te Arawa from the Auckland War Memorial Museum and sits in state at the Rotorua Museum to remind us that love conquers all.

“Ohinemutu Pa has seen a few changes over the years. Dirt tracks have now given way to tar-sealed roads with wooden houses and mod cons. And one of those houses is where I live, so now you know where my home, my kainga, is. Amongst my ancestors,” says Sir Howard.

Join him in a heart-warming reflection on his roots on MY KAINGA MY CASTLE, on Maori Television Sunday June 5 at 8.00 PM.


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