|About TeWhanau Whanui
Tena koutou te Whanau Whanui.
My name is Sharon Cooper and this site is for the whanau of ASHLEY RUTENE KIWARA COOPER AND
PUAO TE ATATU aka DAWN COOPER nee TURIPA and our extended whanau.
PLEASE SIGN THE GUEST BOOK WHEN YOU VISIT THE SITE - KIA ORA TE WHANAU WHANUI
Much of the information on this site has been sourced from the whakapapa book written by
TeWhaioranga Rongopopoia IRAIA aka NAWAKA and Rangiwhakanewa IRAIA aka NAWAKA (our grandmother
and her brother), Te Whakapapa o Kuramihirangi GILBERT nee TURIPA, nga pukapuka whakapapa a
tera o matou koroua a Tiare TAOHO, Mum, Aunty Naomi, Aunty Lucy TAKUTA and from other whanau;
On our fathers side of the family information has come from Dad, Aunty Polly WIHONE, Uncle
Bully COOPER, Aunty Mei TIPOKI, memoirs of Uncle Wi RANGIUAIA aka William COOPER and varous
whanau members. I have acknowledged all those people who have contributed to 'filling in the
gaps' or 'connecting the dots' in SOURCES though I would like to mention them here also as
without their input our whakapapa would be sadly lacking. Cousins Judith BROOKING, Nicola BRADY
and Bryce KIRINIHI, Ora SHERIDAN, Emma BENSON, Karon GUTSELL-TURIPA, Anthony GILBERT, Maria
TUAPAWA-MARTIN, Peter COOK, Jo GURNICK, Tom HOLLIS, Myrtle KEIL, Aronwy EDWARDS, Matthew
WALKER and Chris O'SULLIVAN.
Research is ongoing to verify information.
Inside of every whanau there are stories that dont quite jell but become a part of the fabric
of that family and we are no different.
When my dad was laying in state at our home in Frasertown Rd in 1987 a kuia and her party came
to tangi for him. A few months later I heard Whina Cooper had come to his tangi as she was our
relation through her husband. We are NOT related to Whina or her husband and NO she did not
come to Dads tangi. Whinas husband was William Turakiuta COOPER originally from the Rakaipaka
Muriwai area.The kuia who came to tangi to my father was in fact my nanny Niwa, an aunt of my
It is imperative that these discrepancies are cleared up in order for us all to move on and not
be weighed down by inaccurate korero.
A week or two before he died my dads brother Bully called in at my house in Wairoa. He had been
visiting all his mauiui whanau around the North Island and I assumed I was only on his list as
my dad hadnt finished work at the time uncle reached Wairoa. Anyway, long story short he gave
me a whakapapa to look after. I wasnt all that fussed about this at the age I was then and put
the whakapapa to the side referring to it only when I wanted some info from it. In about 2009
(the need to know me and where I fit in the greater scheme of things had been growing within me
for a few years by now) I came apon a genealogy website and got chatting with a man who I soon
learned was the husband of my cousin about several times removed. His name was Bryce KIRINIHI
and his wife was Nicole Brady the gt gtgranddaughter of Wi Maki CAMPBELL. He queried the
whakapapa I had from Uncle Bully and after swapping information it became obvious the whakapapa
I had been given was faulty.The information did not match the evidence. Thank you Bryce and
I am not saying that those who have and adhere to the whakapapa they have, must change, but
what I am saying is that I have to follow the evidence and therefore the whakapapa that is
supported by that evidence. Kia Ora.
Another family story that has no factual base is the one that says we are related to royalty.
As far as the research I have carried out this has no basis though there may be a link to
the gentry through the ASHLEY COOPER whanau but research is ongoing to verify or negate info.
The following is from the CHRISTIAN side of our whanau where there has been a long held belief
that we descend from Fletcher CHRITIAN of Mutiny on the Bounty fame. After much research by
cousin Emma BENSON the bottom line is NO we are not related. The dates and timelines do not
fit. Once again I am not asking anyone to change long held beliefs but I follow the evidence
and make decisions based on that evidence.
The whakapapa on this site belongs to us all and thanks to those of our whanau who add their
info to the site.
Thank you all
Kia Ora koutou Te Whanau Whanui mo o koutou mahi tino nunui.
Sadly we have lost touch with a lot of our whanau, but no matter how distant our ties seem,
when you actually see it down on paper, its only a blink of an eye - we all have our common
tipuna. We can all work together to bring us back together (even if only in this forum in many
cases) and Im sure our kuia and koroua will be buzzing.
To many people whakapapa/geneology is just alot of names, and in a way it is but those names
belong/ed to people....the people whose genes have contributed to making us all the unique
individuals we are today. Just remember, one day we too, will only be a name but our genes will
go on in our children and mokopuna, on into eternity.
To know where we are going, we must know where we have been and who we are - we've all heard
that before I am sure. Our whakapapa is an integral part of that journey.
He aha te mea nui o te ao - HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA.
*If you have a story to tell about yourself or some one in the whanau, go to the STORIES menu
and tell your story. Stories become a big part of the whanau history and can be passed on to
the future. I have put some stories up and they are especially for our mokopuna who will never
know our whanau the way we knew them but every day we live our life, stories are happening
around usand history is being made. Not huge stuff but important whanau stuff, so get them down
on the site. It may be the only way we can ever know one another.