Te Pou Tuatoru: Tūwharetoa Te Iwi, Tūwharetoa Te Hapū
7.16 Traditionally, the forests of Ngāti Tūwharetoa were highly valued mahinga kai, plentiful with birds and plants. Pureora and the Hauhungaroa ranges in particular were renowned for their rich and delicious birdlife, and a source of tribal pride and fame. The forests provided totara, kahikatea, maire and other woods, which were materials for waka, whare and artistic and spiritual expression.
7.17 Ngāti Tūwharetoa tradition records that fish were created in Lake Taupo (Taupomoana) by Ngatoroirangi when he cast the shreds of his cloak into the waters. Those fish included koaro, inanga, kokopu and koura, all delicacies that Ngāti Tūwharetoa were famous for. As native fish species have declined, out of necessity Ngāti Tūwharetoa people have turned to trout as mahinga kai. Trout have therefore become a valued supplement to whanau and marae dining tables as well as a means to provide for manuhiri and to carry out traditional fishing practices.
7.18 Ngāti Tūwharetoa tradition records that the people of Ngāti Tūwharetoa roamed across all their lands, gathering forestry resources in the winter and moving to the lakes and rivers in the summer. This close association with the traditional rohe is reflected in the fact that Ngāti Tūwharetoa have mapped more than 2,500 wahi tūpuna and wahi tapu on lands that are currently managed by the Department for Conservation.
7.19 Ngāti Tūwharetoa express grief that the decline of native species and the lack of access to traditional places have affected the ability of Ngāti Tūwharetoa people to practise their traditions and pass their matauranga down to younger generations.
7.20 Ngāti Tūwharetoa seek the restoration of kaitiakitanga and mana over the taonga currently administered by the Department of Conservation. This includes decision- making according to Ngāti Tūwharetoa tikanga, so that Ngāti Tūwharetoa are able to protect wahi tūpuna, wahi tapu and taonga. It also includes the ability to visit traditional places and carry out traditional practices.
7.21 The Western Bay area of Lake Taupo (Taupomoana) is a wahi tūpuna of special significance to Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and the hapū who whakapapa to those lands. A large number of pa, wahi tūpuna and wahi tapu associated with early Ngāti Tūwharetoa tūpuna are situated on public conservation land in this area, including the land extending from the mouth of the Kuratau River around Western Bay to Kawakawa Bay and Whakaipo Bay. The hapū who consider themselves kaitiaki of these areas seek a holistic approach to managing this special cultural landscape