It rained of course. But that didn’t dampen the opening of Tūhuru, the new Ngāti Waewae whare tipuna at Arahura. The whare was blessed in the early morning drizzle and then a fierce haka pōwhiri welcomed manuhuriri mid morning. It featured women doing mau rākau, a tradition last seen on the marae a long time ago.
Francois Tumahai, chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, said the day signified a new chapter for Ngāti Waewae rangatahi.
“There’ s still a lot of stuff to do in terms of the rangatahi. There’s a lot of work to do. This gives them a good base and it was obvious today. We’re only going to get stronger and stronger.”
Ngāti Waewae manaakitanga and whanaungatanga were overwhelming, said Deputy Kaiwhakahaere and Ngāti Waewae tribal council representative Lisa Tumahai.
“It’s the first time we have all come together for something so significant. It’s been a long journey to get here and to finally be here is amazing, to have all our whānau together, from all over New Zealand and Australia, we’ve never experienced anything like this, the togetherness.
“The standout was how well we had prepared ourselves culturally – our kaikaranga, our waiata, our wero, our speakers on the paepae, we have worked hard to get here. We’ve got a young population and today it was quite evident how they are culturally strong, they are risk takers, and today will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
The first point of business was the Ngāi Tahu Hui-ā-Tau the following day.
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