Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Huia
Manu Bernard Carkeek was born in Ōtaki in 1952. As a teenager in the 1960s, he would accompany his aunties to fish the Ōtaki river. When the tide turned, his aunties would command Manu to cut and gather harakeke.
‘tapahia nga harakeke mo te mahi kete’
Watching his aunties weave the harakeke into kete, Manu analysed techniques and strategies for peeling the whenu by hand. This time spent at the river inspired Manu to eventually join his aunties in weaving.
At first, Manu found weaving difficult. Over time, however, he persevered, watching and following their actions, entertained by their humorous stories.
Today, Manu is very appreciative and thankful for these times with his whānau.