Ngāti Pikiao hapū secure funding to extend urupā

By Regan Paranihi

The Transpower CommunityCare Fund has granted Ngāti Tamateatutahi and Ngāti Kawiti $36,000 to expand their Wahanui urupā near Lake Rotoehu.

The expansion of the urupā has been a longtime goal for the two Ngāti Pikiao hapū as they want to ensure whānau members have the option to be buried close to their tūpuna.

Transpower Stakeholder Engagement Manager Geoff Wishart says, “Transpower's network is all about sustaining connections, so I'm delighted we were able to facilitate that connection for ngā hapū of Ngāti Pikiao with this grant."

The $36,000 from Transpower's CommunityCare Fund will help fund new concrete beams and berms to support new burial plots at Wahanui urupā.

Trustee of the Urupā Trust Davey Gardiner says, "Our sites of cultural significance were shaped by our tūpuna and as kaitiaki we have a duty to preserve these taonga tuku iho (cultural treasures).”

Gardiner also says cultural heritage is important and that it defines who they are as a hapū.

"The urupā is of particular significance as the resting place for many of our tūpuna and has been for several generations now.  They might no longer be with us in a physical sense, but spiritually they are always here- we welcome them with every powhiri."

Since 2007, the Transpower CommunityCare Fund has granted nearly $10mil to over 450 community projects all around New Zealand and Wishart says he’s glad they are able to give back to the hapū.

“Our transmission lines are literally just over the road from the urupā, and Ngāti Pikiao have been very