Apr 12, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

English beer takes Maori name – Whakatu

5 min read

If you happen to be in Leicestershire, England over the next few weeks and happen to see a Maori name and what looks to be a Maori face staring back at you, that whanau, is called ‘Whakatu Beer’ and looks to be borrowing Maori elements to sell its local ale.

A reader who happened to be traveling saw this site and sent it thru to us:

Tag yourself and win with Whakatu

Were offering customers the tastes of New Zealand across our pubs this summer with the launch of a new seasonal beer, Whakatu and it gets better as you can be in with a chance of winning a Tiger Best Bitter t-shirt and a Whakatu pump clip, SImply tag yourself in our Facebook profile picture and 10 lucky winners will be picked at random on July 15th. So clickhereto join Everards on Facebook and get tagging

The new beer is the latest addition to our innovative seasonal ale range and customers will be able to identify Whakatu on the bar, by its unique Maori mask themed pump clip.

A light golden ale, Whakatu (pronounced fakatu), has a crisp, dry bitter taste. The name Whakatu derives from the Maori name for Nelson where the Nelson Sauvin hops used in the beer originate.

Graham Giblett, Everards Head Brewer said: Whakatu is a great example of combining the expertise of our sales and brewing teams in order to give customers a kiwi inspired beer with a punch. Its quite different to previous seasonal beers, offering hints of grapefruit and kiwi, Whakatu is full of zest and crisp fruit flavours.

Whakatu (3.7%ABV) joins a long list of Everards ales, including another summer favourite, Sunchaser Blonde. The beer is available in participating Everards pubs and national stockists.


Now whanau, we’re not sure who this company spoke to about the name Whakatu, as it does have a whakapapa.

Whakatu Marae is situated in the leeward breezes of Taitapu Bay on the northern entrance into Whakatu, Nelson.

Whakatu Marae development in the 1960s from an disused land to a beautiful site that houses the Whare Tupuna-Kaakati, a Wharekai-Mauriora, 6 Whare Kaumatua, Kopuawai Te Kohanga Reo, a Kokiri Centre that services Health and Social Services, an equipment shed and ablution block. The land area is 10 hectares.

The kawa that is followed at Whakatu Marae is Tu Atu Tu Mai. This marae umbrellas 6 mana Whenua Iwi namely, Ngati Koata, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama and Te Ati Awa.

Ko Maungatapu te Maunga
Ko Maitahi te Awa
Ko Kaakati te Whare Tupuna
Ko Whakatu te Marae
Ko Ngati Koata
Ngati Toa Rangatira
Ngati Rarua
Ngati Kuia
Ngati Tama
Te Atiawa

The common ancestor claimed by these Iwi ancestory is Kaakati who is seven generations from Hoturoa Captain of the Tainui Waka and is the name of the Whare Tupuna.Whakatu Marae Inc is constituted under the Incorporated Societies Act of 1908. This status was registered on 21st December 1977.The Maori Community of Nelson identified a need for a culturally appropriate venue that would allow us to practice our Tikanga and cultural values in an appropriate manner. This emphasised the need for a place to learn Tikanga Maori and Marae Protocol.

Since these early beginnings, Kaumatua Whare opened in 1991.Development continued on1st April 1995, Kaakati our Whare Tupuna was opened. On 22nd October 2005 we opened the Wharekai Mauriora.

If you recall, last year an American company tried to call its range ‘Maori Beer’. After a striong online campaign, they issued this statement:

To whom it may concern,

Im Gordon Schuck, brewer and co-owner of Funkwerks, and Im the one that named Maori King. Let me tell a little about Funkwerks, the origin of the beer, and ultimately why I chose that name. Im hoping this will clear-up the misinformation that is out there and shed light on my intentions.

First of all, Funkwerks is a small brewery, really small. When I came up with the recipe for Maori King last November the total amount of beer sold for the year was maybe 10 hectoliters, we only had two employees, and our beer was distributed no further than 5 kilometers. We are not some big, arrogant company as some articles seem to imply.

We opened our tasting room at the brewery last year and wanted to make an extra special version of our Saison, thats when the idea for an Imperial Saison was floated around. We have always used organic ingredients in our beers and I wanted to try an organic New Zealand hop I had read about called Rakau. Well, in short, the beer turned out wonderful. The unique character of the beer is directly the result of these New Zealand hops so I wanted a name that tied in with that. So I did what most people do, I went to Google. I learned about the Maori people. I learned about the New Zealand hop growers using Maori words to name new varieties of hops. I learned about the Maori King movement. My first thought was to name the beer Kingitanga. As much as I like obscure hard to pronounce words, I knew we needed a name that was easy to pronounce. So I chose Maori King. What could be more New Zealand than the native people of New Zealand? What could be more imperial than king?

There is a saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Maori King name was meant as homage to the Maori people and their fight to have their own leaders. I dont know the entire history of the Maori people but if its anything like the Native Americans, Im sure theyve gotten the short end of the stick. Im very sympathetic to native people. My fianc is part Native American. I never meant this name to be construed as an insult and for that I am deeply sorry.

We get a quite a few people visiting our brewery and asking Whats Maori? At that point they get a brief explanation about the Maori people being the native people of New Zealand. I hope that the Maori people will realize that in a small corner of Colorado there are a few more people that know more about the Maori people. At the very least that is a good thing.


Gordon Schuck

We’ll be asking questionsaroundthis whanau so let us hope this is not another case of hi-jacked identity. Korero more soon whanau.


















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