Million dollar makeover for Auaukiterangi Whare Tupuna

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

A $1mil makeover has been given to Maketū Marae's historic meeting house, Auaukiterangi, which houses the unwritten history of the arrival of the Tainui canoe to Kawhia. A re-dedication ceremony of the refurbished meeting house took place earlier today.

Shrouded in darkness, at the request of the people of Taranaki, they recited their sacred incantations, to rededicate the newly refurbished Auaukiterangi ancestral house. 

Wharehoka Wano from Te Ati Awa, Taranaki, says, “Reciting the correct incantations and prayers on the marae, in front of the ancestral house, around the outside, then inside the house, while it's still dark, and at the end, the lights are turned on, like entering the world of light and understanding.”      

Within the walls of the 54-year-old patriarch is the unwritten history of the people who navigated the Tainui canoe to Kawhia during the Great Migration.

Te Ara Taura chairman Rāhui Papa says, “This is all our history.  This is the Māori textbook, through images from a Māori world view, where genealogical ties are highlighted in depth.”

Auaukiterangi was opened in 1962 by King Koroki.  Hoturoa was the captain of the Tainui canoe and Auaukiterangi was his father.  Taranaki was invited to take part by Kingi Tuheitia, to acknowledge kinship ties of marriage between Auaukiterangi's daughter who married Turi, the captain of Aotea, from one of the Taranaki canoes.

“Hinekiwa was the last born girl, the sister of Hoturoa, so, that's the senior link to Taranaki,’ says Papa.

The people of Taranaki will be the first guests to sleep within the warmth of refurbished Auaukiterangi tonight.    Remembering fondly how the late Te Arikinui Te Atairangi Kaahu visited and slept amongst their people, therefore, they will sleep here.

 Hoturoa Kerr from Ngāti Hikairo says, “Amongst ourselves we've started initiatives to revive again these narratives in the minds of our youth.  Perhaps that's the pathway to make these events relevant to our youth today.”

Tomorrow a memorial breakfast will be held in honour of the late Te Arikinui Te Atairangi Kaahu's birthday.