Ko Boeing 747 taku waka
Ko Mauao taku maunga
Ko Uretara taku awa
Ko Ngāi Te Rangi o te iwi whāngai
Ko Ōtāwhiwhi taku marae
Ko Kelston Boy's High School taku kura tuarua
Although I was raised in, and now live in Tāmaki Makaurau, I escaped for a while and lived in Te Moana-a-Toi for a few years during the late 1990's. While living there I became friends with a son of the late Kemureti Taikato (tohunga), who unofficially adopted (whāngai'ed) me into his whānau. I spent a lot of time at Ōtāwhiwhi Marae while I lived in Katikati, Waihi, and Waihi Beach. I was a groomsman at a wedding, and attended some ngā tangi at the marae while I was living in the Bay of Plenty. I knew many of the younger mokopuna at Ōtāwhiwhi as well, as I taught them at Sunday School.
Although I don't have even a drop of Māori blood in me, I would truly call Ōtāwhiwhi my "home marae", and I felt very accepted and included there. My knowledge of te reo and te Ao Māori is limited, but I'm proud of my dual cultural identity as a Kiwi, which I bring to Te Mātāpunenga Wātea as a "Kiwipedian".