Ngāti Raukawa iwi and Foxton's Dutch community have come together for the grand opening of Horowhenua's newest multi-cultural center, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom which is home to a new Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga museum
More than 450 people gather in Foxton for the grand opening of Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, celebrating the long-standing relationship between local Māori and the Dutch community.
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom is a multi-faceted facility, and home to Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre, a Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga museum, gallery and learning space. The museum is home to an ancient Ngāti Huia waka which was found more than two decades ago by a farmer.
Whare Manaaki staff member Manu Kāwana says, “This waka has lived in an unsheltered place for a long time.”
Ngāti Huia ki Porotāwhao Kaumātua representative Tiaki Tamehana told Te Kāea, “My heart is filled with joy that the waka has been brought here.”
The waka is believed to have been used in the 1800's by the people of Ngāti Huia to gather seafood.
Heritage New Zealand Māori Manager Dean Whiting says old waka like these are a rare find, “It's very hard now to find waka that are complete but even parts of waka, where there were hundreds and hundreds in this area you're only getting one or two that actually have survived, so this is a real taonga that's actually come back."
The waka has now been restored by its iwi and is on display alongside other historic and contemporary Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga exhibition pieces at the Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre.