I nga wa o Mua translates as from the times of front but this phrase means the past.
The Maori world view is to look in front of us to the past for guidence as that is where we came from.
It was because of this philosohy that the Maori did not conveniently forget about the Treaty of Waitangi once it was signed, as we face the past and it has always been in front of us, hence the reason that it has never been forgotten.
When we recite our whakapapa, or genealogy, we start at the Waka (canoes) and come down to ourselves.
When we do our pepeha, again we start in the past and come down to ourselves.
Through facing the past we can learn from past mistakes and not repeat them.
This concept is totally reversed in other cultures, who try to encourage us to forget about the past and to put things behind us. They talk about looking forward to the future, but, apart from a limited few, who can see the future?