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Retirement isn’t lonely for 91-year-old Danny Tumahai and 72-year-old Temepara Morehu.

They are part of a group of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei barelyātua (Elders) who live near the marae and are heavily involved in the activities of the hapa.

Temepara Morehu, right, and Danny Tumahai, left, are barelyātua from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and live on hapū land.

LAWRENCE SMITH / stuff

Temepara Morehu, right, and Danny Tumahai, left, are barelyātua from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and live on hapū land.

Kaumātua live within walking distance of each other in rākei, most of them in the specially built harbor Atareta street.

Morehu lives alone and does almost everything himself, even his laundry, which he brings down the street to the laundromat. Every now and then his family comes by to help with house-related matters, but the talented musician lives independently and prefers to be that way.

Tumahai lives on Kitemoana St, not far away, in a granny flat outside of his son’s house. He also prefers to do things himself, but gets help from his family with cleaning and cooking.

There is always something to do in the village. When not visiting each other for a cup of tea or a quick hello, Tumahai, Morehu, and other barelyatua are heavily involved in planned activities for the marae, such as kapa haka practices and pōwhiri.

Kaumātua live close together in Ōrākei and there is always something to do in the village.

Abigail Dougherty / stuff

Kaumātua live close together in Ōrākei and there is always something to do in the village.

It is the Māori way of life that focuses on a collective and supportive structure supported by Wakapapa and cultural values.

“They keep us busy, we have these meetings, there are always tasks for us to do. We have a lot to do on the marae, ”said Tumahai.

As Mana Whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei play an essential role in the development of the city, with an emphasis on guardianship – Protection and improvement of people, the environment and its resources.

Temepara Morehu lives alone and prefers his independent lifestyle, occasionally with the help of his family.

LAWRENCE SMITH / stuff

Temepara Morehu lives alone and prefers his independent lifestyle, occasionally with the help of his family.

Prior to the recent America’s Cup, the Kaumātua went out to bless the track before the race began.

In March they held a Māori welcome for the first international leader in New Zealand following the coronavirus pandemic, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown with a who and a welcome.

“That is ours country (Country), we have a duty here. We do this with love and care to ensure that in everything we do there is a lot of protection that is safe for everyone. “

Both barelyātua enjoy the experience of living on hapū land and there is nowhere else to retire to.

It’s because of the deep connection they have with the Whenua and the connection they share with one another through their story, where they came from and how they grew up.

Grew up on old Pā in Ōkahu, a settlement that was later razed to the ground by the Crown in 1951, every child was a child of the village – Lining (educated) by everyone.

The hardlyātua are very busy and involved in marae activities for the hapū.

LAWRENCE SMITH

The hardlyātua are very busy and involved in marae activities for the hapū.

It is the love that Morehu and Tumahai give to their children and Grandchildren it will also be experienced and passed on to the coming generations of Ngāti Whātua.

“I think if we didn’t have this connection, I wouldn’t be here today in Lucky Land. It is that Relationships (Kinship) that we have with each other, that we have carried on, that grows every day, ”said Tumahai.

“We were taught by our parents, our barelyatua, how important it is to hold on to one’s aroha, to hold on to ours blessing (Respect).”

Kaumātua living on tribal land is something special. Atareta St is the new homestead that attracts a cohort of seniors who long to return to their family’s land.

It is significant because it marks a time of restoration for the pain the iwi endured over the destruction of Ōkahu.

Ten more houses will be completed later this year and many more Kaumātua can finally return home.

“We go in and out of each other – a nice relationship we all have here in Ōrākei. You wouldn’t believe how nice it is for us to still be here, ”said Morehu.

“I’m about to burst into tears, the feeling is mutual when we meet here. It’s a huge thing. “