As the sun peeked across the horizon towards Kāpiti Island this morning, 300 people, including a group of 50 Parihaka kaumātua and leaders, blessed Paraparaumu's new $12 million performing arts centre with a name steeped in history, Te Raukura ki Kāpiti. The building was gifted the name by Parihaka kaumātua, signifying the school's long association with Parihaka and Taranaki.
"Meaning feather, Te Raukura is an important symbol of peaceful coexistence to the tribes who affiliate to the Taranaki Rohe, including Waikanae’s Te Āti Awa whose whakapapa sought refuge there among many other iwi who had been oppressed and marginalised by the Crown," a Te Raukura ki Kāpiti media release says.
The building was built by Kāpiti College, in a project with significant community funding.
“The opening and gift of such a taonga is a great honour to the kura and an acknowledgement of our long association with Parihaka and Taranaki,” Kāpiti College te reo Māori head Paora Trim says.
“Parihaka holds a heavy place in our history books but the values and lessons that arose from the time of Te Raukura are a source of great inspiration."
A crowd of 300 gathered at this morning's blessing for the new Te Raukura ki Kāpiti performing arts centre. Photo/Supplied
Kāpiti College recently introduced a Parihaka-based curriculum and set of values within the school.
Principal Tony Kane says, “That sense of community and peace that was fostered at Parihaka all those years ago feels very at home in our school and it rings true for the centre.
"We strongly believe in the harmony of this place, the community built it together and it belongs to us all.”
Te Raukura ki Kāpiti. Photo/Supplied
The building will be opened to the public by Associate Minister for the Arts Grant Robertson on 22 February.
As part of Te Raukura ki Kāpiti's opening season, Kāpiti College will re-stage its sell-out production, Parihaka, on 4 and 5 March.