HAPPINESS WAS A RIVER VALLEY AND A TANIWHA
The school I went to for Form One has an incredible mural that depicts the story of Kopuwai of the Mata-au. The Mata-au (Clutha River) is my Awa (river). I have a strong connection with Central Otago that still tugs strongly on my heart. Learning the Maori Language in Form One was a rather unique opportunity in the late 1980s. At the time I was singing with Te Roopu O Kawarau culture group, I never really connected the power of story to what I was doing with the culture group, however, heading to High School and learning both some language and the local myth of Kopuwai was an enriching process for me. I remember the story to this day and appreciate the intense connection with a place that gives you your sense of “home”.
This image is taken at the Matukituki Valley in Central Otago - a place where we would go freedom camping. We would head up in the PA Vauxhall, reading each other Trivial Pursuit questions as we crossed fords, drove through herds of sheep and cattle before we set up camp next to the glacier-fed Matukituki River.
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