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Partnerships & Declarations


The ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium has established three cultural partnerships in Aotearoa to honor the shared Polynesian ancestry of Kānaka Maoli and Māori, celebrate the voyaging legacy and impact of Hōkūleʻa, and create ongoing cultural-educational collaborations among Hawaiian and Māori learning communities.

This 5-minute video tells the story of the history and vision of the Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia. It features a December 2019 declaration signing ceremony at Te Tii Marae, as well as multiple interactions with officials from Waitangi National Trust Board and Treaty Grounds, educators and students from Paihia School and Taipā Area School, and leaders of the Hekenukumai Busby Trust.

THE FOLLOWING ARE LINKS to three ʻAha Moananuiākea declarations with Aotearoa. They reflect the special role of traditional voyaging in contemporary times, a commitment to bringing honor to the Tai Tokerau community, and a dedication to perpetuating the proud heritage of the Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia.

Declaration of Kinship: Te Tii Marae – Ngāti Ruawāhia / ʻAha Moananuiākea

Signed by leaders and elders of Te Tii Marae to affirm our relationship as an extended family, commit to strengthening our respective languages and cultures, and promote a sense of responsibility for the care of our Pacific global environment.

December 11, 2019, Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, Aotearoa

[Downloadable pdf]

Declaration Honoring Waitangi Treaty Grounds as a Ngāti Ruawāhia Heritage Site

The declaration below was initially envisioned as a formal agreement requiring signatures between ʻAha Moananuiākea Pacific Consortium and the Waitangi National Trust. After meeting with Trust officials, Consortium organizers determined that the set of declarative statements were not truly “agreements” requiring signatures, but were instead historical accounts that simply acknowledged the Waitangi Treaty Grounds as a setting of special significance to the Hawaiian tribe, Ngāti Ruawāhia, and to the whole of Aotearoa. Therefore, ʻAha Moananuiākea in its own right has ratified the declaration below establishing the Waitangi Treaty Grounds as a Ngāti Ruawāhia Heritage Site.

December 9, 2019, Paihia, Aotearoa

[Downloadable pdf]

Declaration of Kinship: Kupe Waka Centre

The Kupe Waka Centre at Aurere, a place of learning dedicated to traditional navigation, voyaging and canoe-building, was the dream of revered elder, the late Sir Hekenukumai Busby. Throughout 2018, months before the New Zealand Parliament granted funding for construction, Kamehameha Schools representatives of Ngāti Ruawāhia traveled to Aurere on multiple occasions to clean the interior and exterior of the unfinished whare wānanga (learning space). Ngāti Ruawāhia was invited to conduct ceremonies to open the facility on December 6th. Sir Hector named the house Whetū Mārama, and signed a Declaration of Kinship which forms the basis for support of cultural-educational collaborations, the refurbishing of the voyaging canoe Te Aurere, and plans for modest accommodations on land at Aurere which Sir Hector envisioned for Ngāti Ruawāhia members visiting the Kupe Waka Centre.

This partnership positions the Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center at Kamehameha Schools – where Sir Hector was honored in special ceremonies – as a “sister center” to the Kupe Waka Centre upon its completion.

[Downloadable pdf]

Kupe Waka Centre Whare Wānanga Blessing and Declaration Signing Ceremony

Enjoy this 2.5-minute video featuring highlights of the blessing and dedication of the Kupe Waka Centre whare wānanga, and the declaration signing ceremony held at Aurere on December 6, 2018.

Kupe Waka Centre Updates


The Kupe Waka Centre at Aurere is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Periodic updates will be provided below as we track the exciting development of the “sister center” of Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center.


• KWC Presentation for Ngāti Ruawāhia – December 2019

[Downloadable pdf]

• KWC Presentation Notes – December 2019

[Downloadable pdf]

• KWC Newsletter 1 – September 2019

[Downloadable pdf]

• KWC Newsletter 2 – June 2020

[Downloadable pdf]



  • 1-hector-busby-2-(1)
    The Late Sir Hekenukumai Ngāiwi Busby, Māori master navigator and canoe-builder, and founder of Kupe Waka Centre (under construction).
  • 2-hector,-nainoa,-randie
    Sir Hector with Ngāti Ruawāhia tribal leaders Nainoa Thompson and Randie K. Fong at Te Tii Marae, 2018.
  • 3-waitangi-day-1990-ks
    Kamehameha Schools represents Ngāti Ruawāhia at a pōwhiri for HRM Queen Elizabeth at the 150th commemoration of the Signing of the Waitangi Treaty in 1990.
  • 4-1992 mauipamamao1
    Māuipāmamao, the ancestral post of Ngāti Ruawāhia was erected in 1992 at Te Tii Marae by Hector Busby, Kamehameha Schools, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
  • 5-1992 mauipamamao2
    The Hawaiian post carved by Willliam Puou of ʻŌpihihale, Kona, was the first physical manifestation of the Hawaiian tribe.
  • 6-mauipamamao,-hawaiian-ancestral-carving,-te-tii
    Today, Māuipāmamao continues to stand proudly alongside carved Māori ancestors of the Tai Tokerau region, and marks Te Tii Marae and Waitangi as a Ngāti Ruawāhia Heritage Site.
  • 7-te-tii-marae-community-in-the-whare-kai
    The Te Tii Marae whānau (family) welcomes Ngāti Ruawāhia to a meal in the very place where Pinky Thompson in 1985 first dreamt about founding what became the Kaʻiwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center in 2012.
  • 8-waitangi-national-trust-dinner-presentation
    Waitangi National Trust Board and Treaty Grounds officials Pita Tipene and Greg McManus receive Hawaiian flag and other gifts from Ngāti Ruawāhia as a token of kinship and gratitude.
  • 9-maui-iki-at-whetu-marama
    Māuipāmamao Iki, a replica of the large poupou at Waitangi, was carved by Kumulāʻau Sing and Jared Pere, and gifted to Sir Hector Busby on the opening of Whetū Mārama in 2018.
  • 10-gina- -michael,-r- -j-
    Mike and Gina Harding gift a large kauri log in memory of Sir Hector for the carving of a new Māuipāmamao to replace the aging poupou at Waitangi.
  • 11-kauri-log-gift-with-randie
    Randie Fong visits Aurere and inspects the kauri log gifted by Sir Hector’s family for the carving of a new ancestral post in Waitangi to commemorate 35 years of Ngāti Ruawāhia.
  • 12-whetu-marama,-kupe-waka-centre,-aurere-(1)
    Members of the local community gather for formal ceremonies by Hector Busby and Ngāti Ruawāhia to open Whetū Mārama on December 7, 2018.