We Are Ngai Tahu – Cultural Mapping Project

Ōtākou

Edward Ellison

Edward Ellison standing at Ōtakou. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Collection, Ngāi Tahu Archive, 2017-0271

Renowned for his diplomacy and a cool head, Edward Ellison played a key role as a treaty negotiator in Ngāi Tahu’s successful claim against the Crown for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Few people would have a broader understanding of Ngāi Tahu’s connection to the land, environment and resources of Te Waipounamu. Operating a sheep and beef farm overlooking Otago Harbour, Edward's primary focus has always been to look after the land passed down from his great-grandmother Nāni Weller, grand-daughter of Te Matenga Taiaroa.

He was drawn into Ngāi Tahu’s efforts to research its Treaty of Waitangi claim against the Crown in the 1980s. "It looked like it would be a very special opportunity so we started attending hui around the motu about the claim to get a sense of what was happening elsewhere around the island. The big change for me was identifying as Ngāi Tahu. Before then I identified as Ōtākou tūturu."

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<p>Edward Ellison, Paddy Gilroy and Joe Waaka at Ōnuku during the official Crown Apology to Ngāi Tahu, 29 November 1998. <em>Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Collection, Ngāi Tahu Archive, 2017-0261</em></p>

Edward Ellison

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