Ko Hikurangi te maunga (mountain)
Ko Tawapuku te awa (river)
Ko Te Huruhi te marae (meeting house)
Ko Mataatua te waka (canoe)
Ko Ngati Mahia te hapu (sub-tribe)
Ko Ngapuhi te iwi (tribe)
Dan Kirwan also has connections to Tainui, Ngati Toarangatira and to Galway, Ireland through the ancient Milesian tribe 4th invaders of Ireland.
“My homelands are in the far north, and I have bases in Whangaroa, Awarua, Ahipara and Auckland. I carve in the old northern style but appreciate and perform other styles. I was taught by my uncle Steve Andrews who is of Maori, Fijian, Samoan, and Pakeha decent.
I never planned to be a Whakairo practitioner, but did my first carving when I was twelve. It seems I would have become a fisherman or a surfer with my preference for the sea. At one stage I was learning Rongoa, but when I was very young the forest, Tane Mahuta and all its glory was planted in my heart by my father.
Eventually I returned to the bush and learnt many of its secrets to become a Whakairo practitioner. I carve to survive in a mixed up confused modern world, but more to uphold the Mana of my great great grandfather Taraunuhia Waho Neho a Tohunga of the northern Whare Wananga Marino Kato.”