Ka Pai Te Mua wānanga at Whakatū Marae
Another Ka Pai Ki Mua wānanga was facilitated by Uncle Barney Thomas at Whakatū marae last weekend.
We were fortunate to have Aunty Mel McGregor share some of the history of the marae, which began after World War II.
What followed was a 50-year process to establish the marae facilities, including the kōkiri, kōhanga reo, wharenui, whare kaumātua, and wharekai.
She talked about the events that were held to fundraise – including a concert featuring Howard Morrison in the 1960s. There were bake sales and all sorts of different kaupapa that brought the people together with a shared dream to build a marae.
Many of those who began the process didn’t get to see it to fruition, but hearing about their mahi was one of the highlights of the weekend.
In the early 90s, whānau from Whakatū marae travelled to Ngāruawāhia in Waikato where Uncle Rore Stafford asked permission from the Māori Queen – Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu to name the new wharenui Kākati and for Waikato to conduct the kawanga ceremony when the whare was opened.
All six iwi of Whakatū marae are connected to the Māori Queen and to one another through the marriages of Kākati to Ururangi of Kurahaupō waka and Kurawakaimua of Aotea waka.
Uncle Paul Morgan gave an in-depth history of the Ngāti Rārua tupūna in the whare – Hamupaku – the son of Kārewa and Rāruatere, and four Ngāti Rārua rangatira involved in the heke – Te Pēhi Tūrangapeke, Tamati Pirimona Marino, Niho Te Hamu and Pānekeneke.
In the afternoon, our Pou Taiao Rowena Cudby shared the contributions of the rūnanga in the Taiao space which was complimented by a haerenga to Ngāti Rārua kāinga, mahinga kai and occupation sites around Whakatū on the Sunday morning.
Before we set off on our haerenga, Uncle Des Willison and Lee Luke gave a quite detailed history of the origins of Ngāti Rārua and the heke to Te Tauihu o Te Waka.
Me mihi ka tika ki a koutou katoa i takoha mai i ā koutou taonga kōrero, Aunty Mel, Uncle Paul, Rowena, Uncle Des, Lee, tēnā koutou katoa.
The next wānanga will be held at Te Āwhina marae on the 9th and 10th of September.
Nau mai rā e te iwi.