Renovated Taupiri marae unveiled

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

The newly renovated Taupiri marae has been unveiled.  Hundreds of Kiingitanga supporters gathered in the region of Ngāti Mahuta to mark the significant occasion, which included the opening of the newly renovated ancestral house, which was unveiled by the Māori King's daughter, Ngawai Hono I Te Po Paki.

Traditional incantations are being recited to unveil renovations at Taupiri marae, starting with a new entrance gate by the Ngāti Pikiao tribe.

Te Waata Cribb (Ngāti Pikiao) says, “We were asked by Tainui because of our genealogical ties of Ngāti Pikiao to this marae, as well as the King Movement from long ago, when Pikiao came to Prirongia, to this today Ngāti Pikiao continue to support the people from the Tainui canoe, which is the Kiingitanga.”

The carvings of the renovated ancestral house and posts on the forecourt called, “The Gathering Place of Streams,” were acknowledged with traditional calls by woman of the tribe of Ngāti Rereahu, who gifted the wood.  The ancestral house, Te Puna Tangata was aptly opened by the King Tuheitia's daughter, Ngawai Hono I Te Po.

Boxer George (Ngāti Korokī, Ngāti Te Ngaungau), “It's been a labour of love from everyone aye, so there's a lot of people that haven't made the journey and they hang in our whare on the wall, they're now passed on so I suppose, they're here some way.”

Four years ago Boxer purchased a community hall in Tamahere for one dollar, which is now the renovated meeting house.  Ngāti Hauā unveiled the newly named and renovated dining room, Te Puna Kai.

Taamirangi Sam-Turner (Ngāti Korokī), “My heart is rejoicing, so really happy to see the labour of our ancestors come to fruition.”

Cribb says, “I want to congratulate the home people because there aren't a lot of new marae being opened these days.”

Organisers want the marae to be utilised by families for all occasions.

George says, “We're hoping that it makes things easier for the whānau when they bring their tūpāpaku back, that's one of the main things.  We're hoping were going to get some weddings out of it aye, not all for bad.”