18 November 2010

The Ngāi Tahu annual celebration, Hui-ā -Tau, commences this Friday afternoon with a Powhiri at 4pm at Karitane, on the coast just North of Dunedin.

Hui-ā-Tau 2010 is being hosted by Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki.

This beautiful location is rich in history. Kāti Hawea tūpuna lived in a pā, Te Pā Hawea, above the yellow cliffs at Puketeraki. Another notable site at the end of the Huriawa Peninsula is the pā Tūwatawata (fortified pā) of Te Wera. It was here that the great chief Te Wera was besieged by his cousin Tāoka for six long months.

Upoko David Ellison says the general excitement and festive atmosphere is building already in Karitane, It is the greatest event for over 100 years and quite an effort for a small community to host such a large gathering of whanau.”

David Ellison says Kotahitanga, which means together, will be a theme for this event. The wider community here have always been very supportive of us, as we have been of them, and so this event is also very much a celebration of how this community works together.”

Kaiwhakahaere for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Mark Solomon says the welcome powhiri for whānau on Friday afternoon will set the scene for the whanaungatanga and kōrero which personifies the wairua or spirit which is Hui-ā-Tau.

I am looking forward to a renewed focus on the creative arts as part of this hui, which seems appropriate given the creative endeavor that is a hallmark of the hapū and the region.”

Hui-ā-Tau is also an opportunity for whānau to receive reports on all the activities of the iwi, whether cultural or commercial. There is opportunity for input into planning and for members to ask questions.