Arahura Marae opening!
Ngati Waewae waited 150 years for today's opening of their new marae, and what a proud moment it was for our sister hapu of Poutini Ngai Tahu! The pride and joy at finally realising the dream was palpable on the face of every Poutini Ngai Tahu there today - not only Waewae but Makaawhio also!
The whare Tuhuru is a work of art, and like every wharetipuna so much more. The whakapapa within its walls tells the history of Te Tai o Poutini and connects each and every one of us with this place, this whare. It is a stunning tribute to our tipuna, with the entire south-facing wall devoted to ancestors from South Westland!
|Tuhuru, wearing pounamu earrings, with the tekoteko above carved out of solid pounamu!|
Today was Ngati Waewae's day after such a long, long wait for a proper marae, yet they shared it with Ngati Mahaki in a most generous way by including so many of our tipuna in their whare - Te Koeti Turanga, Tutoko, Taetae, Piro, Karera, Kawaipatiere, Tikina, Te Kou, Wharekai, Maaka ...
We were also honoured to be invited on to the paepae, with upoko Richard Wallace doing us so proud, and also a proud moment to have our son Te Ahu take part in the wero so capably, alongside other Mahaki whanau including Caleb Robinson and Jerry Pu, who also trained the kaiwero. Te Ahu and Jerry also both did the wero at the opening of Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae, Bruce Bay, in 1995.
|Te Ahu, third from left in front during the spectacular wero.|
It was therefore our honour as Mahaki to live up to our name today and manaaki Ngati Waewae and the many manuhiri, helping as workers to make the day work so efficiently - despite the best efforts of the rain - and to present the hau kainga with our koha of three giant canvases of historic photos of the old Arahura Runanga Hall, Tairea.
Nei ra, tenei te mihi ki a koutou o Ngati Waewae i o koutou ra whakahirahira, a, te whakatuwheratanga o to koutou wharetipuna. Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi!