top of page

The Way of Waitaha

New Zealand has a hidden history that is now being revealed and revered.

My family of heart live in New Zealand the South Island -Tewaipounamu, or the rivers of greenstone.

Near Christchurch in the Governor's Bay area this community lives on a property called

Ohinetahi. In Maori this means Place of One Daughter, named by a Maori chief who was father to many sons and had one precious daughter.

The significance of this name continues to echo through this community. The spiritual heart of these dear ones living here revere the one feminine principle of the Cosmos realised in all feminine hearts.

The property is located in a valley also holding powerful energies of the feminine. When viewing the mountain range behind the home from a distance, one can see the silhouettes of seven women's faces, known as the seven sisters. During the Maori New Year called Matariki - 'Eyes of God' - each sisters peak comes into perfect alignment with the Pleiades star system. This happens on the 21st of June.

The sisters, representing the Feminine Principle, are aligned with the pyramid-shaped sacred mountain ‘Tamatea’ at Rapaki, which represents the Masculine Principle.

The ripples of significance continue with the home being in the valley of one daughter and the land being a masculine-feminine celestial alignment.

Since I have been journeying to New Zealand for retreats with the Community at Ohinetari I have been learning about the hidden ancient culture called the Waitaha.

Here is some background information from many sources that I have woven together to share with you about the Waitaha.

The commonly believed history line is that the Maori were the first people to occupy the land arriving 700 years ago from Polynesia. Hidden from sight were a peaceful loving people who lived in New Zealand long before the Maori. They have begun to reveal themselves and tell the story of the Waitaha.

The Nation of Waitaha, the water carriers, was founded - according to the stories of its people - by the men and women of one waka (boat) that came to the land 67 generations ago.

"We are Waitaha. We are the water containers of the Creator, therefore we have been imbued with the many forms of waters containing the many gifts of all that is in the Universe."

When the Waitaha Nation was broken by warriors who came from the Pacific, the elders decided to protect their ancestors from the violence and warfare. They did that the only way they knew how. Whole generations of their genealogy were erased so that no one might link directly back into their lineage. Their knowledge and learning was hidden; the very fact of their existence was shrouded in secrecy to protect their sacred truths.

For centuries afterwards the Waitaha passed their knowledge on secretly in song; a tiny number of people each generation were given the responsibility of learning the history and passing them on to the next generation, keeping their history oral until 1990 when they the elders proclaimed:

"Let the sacred kete (basket) be opened for the ancestors to speak again. Let the ancient Karakia and Waitaha be heard through out the land."

Historian Barry Breisford was chosen by the elders to bring the oral history into written history. He shares:

“It is an amazing story, a gathering of over 200 iwi or tribes managing to live in peace without weapons for over a thousand years. It is a story of healing, because the Waitaha were gardeners who believed that everyone of us had to be tended and nurtured and brought into fullness.

The Waitaha gardened the children, they gardened the sea, the land, the lakes and rivers, knowing that whatever you garden increases. That is Waitaha, that mutual trust and understanding of people and that wonderful relationship with the land. This is an old story but a story that we need today, perhaps more than anything else in the world. It sees the soul of things again.”

‘If we are not gentle with life the garden within us dies.’

"They were a mixed Nationality Nation, and there were three peoples aboard the founding waka.

One was called the Urukehu, the people whose skin was so white it was freckled. They had blonde hair and red hair and their eyes were blue or hazel. They were a small people. They were the Starwalkers, the navigators, and they had amazing skills in understanding the geometry of the stars. They could read the patterns in the stars to lead them to this land.

Alongside them were the tall, dark people who were giants. They were over six foot and we know they existed because their bones are still here in special places. They were supreme gardeners. In this land they harvested the kumara 1000 kilometres further south than it was grown, even in its homeland in South America. They had developed sophisticated gardening skills. These were the Moriori.

And the third people were called the Stone People, the Kirita. They were the stonewalkers, or stonecarriers, or stoneshapers. They were the people of the snows. They revelled in it, because that was their home. They came from the land of snow and cold.”

During the B Prior Retreat ( journeyed to the mountains as part of our time together. In the morning and the evening of this day we had satangs or teaching which held the space for a sacred openings to happen.

The stone formations of Te Kohanga or Castlehill are a nesting place or birthing place of Gods. Historian, Freddy Silver, suggests these boulders are carved by the Waitaha for ceremonial gatherings. They form a University of Learning to pass on the ancient knowledge.

Many of the boulders are magnificent shapes, buddhas, birthing women, whales, wedding arches, sacred lizards, turtles and calendar stones.

Even though I have visited these mountains and stone formations before, this time was a completely new experience.

We took a trail around the lower boulders and climbed to the highest point of the formations.

Our retreat group climbed to this summit together, including two injured women who were all supported to safely reach the top.

Here is some of my experiences from this day:

I was drawn entirely into a communion with this land and these boulders. I shed the eyes of Lea and I was seeing ancient ways. Barefoot I followed an irresistible invisible path up the mountain led by the eagles gliding above, with the energies of the land undulating pleasurably through the body. High Mountain orgasms... phew.

Tall Buddha spoke to me. Even though it appeared to be facing in one direction, I was seeing that it was facing all directions simultaneously. Buddha had a heart-shaded nook in his chest.

A large awl-shaped rock underneath the Buddha was a place dear ones stood and sat to call in the tribe. There were horns and flutes transmitting resonance across the valley to call in the tribe for the rituals.

From the summit I could see that the way to here was by boat in the days of the ancient ones. The now dry valleys snaked right up to the formations, delivering waka - canoes of Waitaha for celestial ceremonies. I saw formations that were the star guidance systems and time keeping calendar stones.

As I descended the steep mountain and I watched the shadow of my silhouette hobbling down the mountain I was an elder herbal woman collecting the herbs that only grow at altitude under the sacred stones. The herbs are only being collected at the right celestial line up of the stars and cosmos.

The wild rose bushes spoke to me and said smell my fragrance and we will ease your descent. The next rose bush said eat my petals, we are sacred medicine. I wasn't remembering a woman elder, I was her. Eternally, as she comes and goes to the mountain to tend the herbs.

The mountains evoked a timelessness, a deep time boundlessness. I was experiencing all timelines in one ever present moment. To say that I was experiencing a past life or a memory was not true. There was no past or memory. In the ever present moment on this mountain I was knowing myself crossing the bridges of time into timelessness. I have been here and will return here in deep spirit timelessness, at all the celestial line ups to uphold the way of the peace-loving Waitaha. I experienced a cognitive dissonance that couldn't make sense of the word history. I was in a reality where there was no history. The history that I had learnt of the Waitaha was brimming over into this eternal moment splashing into Lea, sharing pieces of herstory.

Photos include some of my own plus those of Gabriella, Greg, Natasha, Christiana and Deb.

bottom of page