Our Identity

Ngā Tuakiri

Whakauae Research derives its name from Te Whakauae ā Tamatea or The Jawbone of Tamatea.

Tamatea Pōkai Whenua, an illustrious ancestor of Ngāti Hauiti, journeyed into the Rangitīkei district from Heretaunga. As he travelled, Tamatea named numerous places along the way and left behind several of his mōkai, or pets, including a pātiki (flounder) and kōura (freshwater crayfish).

One area of land named after him was the hill country range between Mangaweka and Taihape known as Te Whakauae ā Tamatea.

In te ao Māori, the jawbone signifies the passing of knowledge, specifically to the two strands of kauae-runga (the upper jaw – celestial knowledge) and kauae-raro (the lower jaw – terrestrial knowledge).

Knowledge such as this was held within the whare kura, (institution of higher learning), providing guidance to be used in all walks of life. Te Whakauae ā Tamatea thus provides Ngāti Hauiti with a physical and cultural link to ancestral knowledge and traditions.

As the Ngāti Hauiti centre for research and development and an active generator of knowledge, Whakauae embodies the true essence of Te Whakauae ā Tamatea.