New Zealand Defence Force praises efforts of Takahanga Marae

By Taroi Black

Kaikōura Māori have been praised for their tireless efforts following the earthquake which forced many locals to evacuate. New Zealand Defence Force says the support of Takahanga Marae was outstanding and should be recognised.

They have delivered, evacuated and led emergency services.

But when it came to local Māori, international defence forces were keen to be the students.

Colonel Glenn King says, “When I got here I recognised the fantastic work of Takahanga....of their manaakitanga.”

Colonel Glenn King said it was important that international forces from Canada, America and Australia were taught and understood the meaning of mana whenua.

“To be able to do that in this rohe many visitors to New Zealand and to Māori,”says Colonel King.

Kaikōura has seen close to a thousand personnel assisting in their town's recovery over the past two weeks and believes now is the right time for the community to get back on their feet.

Colonel King says, “Most of our workers are around bringing in supplies through the Inland Route and distributing them within the Kaikoura region - so we can now reduce our footprint.”

Colonel King has now taken on the reigns in Wellington and assisting in cities recovery.