Ngāti Waewae opens new whare tipuna

Nov 24, 2014


A huge crowd of Ngāi Tahu iwi and guests gathered for the opening of the new Ngāti Waewae whare tipuna, Tūhuru on Friday 21 November, despite torrential rain and cold conditions.

The $5.5 million, state-of-the-art complex has been under construction for five years and is the first dedicated marae at Arahura in 145 years. The day began with a dawn ceremony, followed by a pōwhiri and formal welcome. This included a group of women doing mau rākau, a tradition not commonly seen today.

The whare tipuna is the last building to be completed in a modern complex that overlooks the Arahura River. It includes offices, a whare kai and kitchen, a meeting room and a central courtyard and outdoor fireplace. The complex was designed by MAP Architects, Christchurch and carving was supervised by Ngāi Tahu carver, Fayne Robinson. The tukutuku panels were managed by Rititia Tainui.

With opening formalities completed, Tūhuru was ‘open for business’ on Saturday, 22 November, hosting Ngāi Tahu Hui-ā-Tau 2014.