Tania Ratana

Updated: Apr 3



I te taha o tāku Māmā

Te maunga teitei ko Pirongia

Te awa whakatere taniwha ko Waipa

E hoe nei ana te waka ko TaInui

Ko Purekireki te takahanga o te iwi ō Maniapoto, te nohoanga ō Apakura

Ko Rawinia Roa tōku Karani


Ko ia te wāhine whakamutunga ki te moko kauae i roto i to mātau whānau.

Kia a tae ra anō!

Ko Tania Ratana āhau.

Ko āhau te tīmatatanga o te whakatipuranga hou e whakahoki ake ana i o mātau uri!

Mauri ora!


I believe my Moko Kauae chose me.

For some time now i have been reflecting on my life to this date and am so appreciative of my journey so far.

Do not get me wrong it has not been all flowers and rainbows!

I also understand that the trials, and I am sure I have had my full share of them, have taught me lessons and taught me to be thankful for what I already have.

I live in hope that I have now re-opened the door way for my daughters’,my mokopuna and future generations to own their moko kauae in years to come. My heart is overwhelmed when my mokopuna, Kaya-Jade, sits with me and rubs my Moko Kauae and says

“Nana when i become a big girl I am going to have a moko like yours too!”

Yes you are moko, Nana cannot wait to see it!

I was 49 years old when I got my Moko Kauae, in-fact it was 21 days prior to my 50th birthday. Considering I did not get my first Tā moko until I was 2 months from my 40th birthday, I thInk as my second Tā moko this was a big piece.

I knew I wanted to adorn this taonga on my kiri for about a year or two.

I also knew that Tyler-Jade (Native Studio, Onehunga) was the Kaitā Moko that I wanted to bring this taonga from my inside to my outside.

I believe we share a vibe, she is part of my tribe!

Tyler-Jade shared this proud moment with me and my two Mums, my Dad, my daughters, their friend and an Aunty. Surrounded by love for this very special and important time in my life!

As stated in my pepeha, the last wahine in my whānau to wear a Moko Kauae was my Great, great Grandmother Rawinia Roa (nee: Grant). I believe that I am the beginning of a new generation who are reclaiming our heritage, our taonga.


I personally believe that there is “no qualifications” required to wear Moko Kauae, this whakaaro is a very westernise or colonised viewpoint.

I believe that a wahine will know when her time is right for her to adorn, on the outside, what she already wears in her heart. My personal belief is that we should be at peace with who we are and our journey to the day we get our Moko kauae Done.

For me it is a constant reminder of my decision and the reasons why i chose to wear this on the outside.


I am me, a daughter of a strong, wahine, my Mum – Maureen Clark - who helped me find out where my whenua and hāpu are. Showed me what love, loyalty and passion is! Taught me how to stand proud and strong in both my cultures. My Mum gave me tools to get through hard times and showered me with love when I fell!


I have raised my children to the best of mine and their fathers’ ability and we hope that they have the tools required to be the remarkable people we know they are!

I am a loving, caring Nana to my many moko and hope that this journey for me will be the new “normal” for them now!

Through my whakapapa I discovered our taonga (Nanny Rawinia’s moko kauae) and the rest they say “is history!”


Who am I?

I am Tania Ratana

A 51 year old daughter, sister, grand-daugther, mum, nana, partner and friend!

I hail from Ngāti Maniapoto and Te Rarawa,

I am descended from a line of strong, beautiful, warrior wahine!


No reira,

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa!


Tania Ratana | Kaitā: Tyler Jade Hokimate Whatarangi

© 2019, Twisted Treaty Portraits

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