The new wharenui, Maahunui II was opened at Tuahiwi Marae, just north of Christchurch, on Saturday December 1st. here are a few photos from the day.
Tuahiwi Marae opened their new wharenui, Maahunui II last Saturday. It was the end of many years of planning and over 1,000 people gathered for formalities followed by a relaxed whānau day. here are a few more photos from the day – and we’ll be featuring more on Monday.
Over 1,000 people gathered at Tuahiwi Marae, just north of Christchurch on Saturday, for the opening of the new wharenui, Maahunui II. Designed by architect, Huia Reriti of MAP Architects, the wharenui sits proudly facing north, its wide mahau (front porch), harnessing warmth and sunshine.
Built with modern materials it has the simple gable roof form of traditional wharenui but it is otherwise unadorned, inside and out. According to Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri ūpoko Rakiihia Tau, this allows for the rich mixed life enjoyed in the new whare’s predecessor, Te Maahunui, affectionately known as ‘The Hall.’
The Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga opens its new whare, Maahunui on Saturday, December 1, beginning with visitors gathering at Tuahiwi Urupā for the walk to the marae complex, escorted by the Ngā Pou o te Haahi Ratana Band.
After the blessing there will be a welcoming pōwhiri and celebrations that include whakawhanaungatanga, entertainmment and kai.
It’s a busy time for building in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā at the moment. Further south, Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou on Otago Peninsula is forging ahead with the building of its new wharekai extensions; and on the West Coast, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae is also building a new whare kai.
Just two years ago, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke built a beautiful, new $2.7-million wharenui at Rāpaki. The house, Wheke, sits above the pretty sheltered cove of Rāpaki on Banks Peninsula and records the hapū and iwi history and traditions through ornate carvings, paintings, and woven tukutuku panels. It was the culmination of a decade of planning, consultation hui, fundraising and whakapapa research and close to 1,000 people attended the opening day that began with a dawn ceremony. Today it is the heart of the Rāpaki community and the people and their stories remain the heart of the marae.
All of this is a continuation of marae development among Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga that began around twenty years ago. In Kaikōura, Ngāti Kuri established marae buildings in the mid-1980s on the exact site of that original wharenui that stood there two hundred years before (Kāti Mamoe established the original marae 450 years ago). The rūnanga then opened their contemporary wharenui in 1992 and today it is known for both its striking hill-top location and its extensive collection of contemporary sculptures throughout the grounds.
In the deep south, Te Rau Aroha Marae at Bluff is the world’s southernmost marae. It was originally established in the late 1800s as a hostel for local Māori who lived on islands off Southland’s coast. The marae proper was established in 1985 and the beautiful whare tipuna, Tahu-pōtiki, was opened in February 2003. Designed by prominent Māori artist and heritage advocate, Cliff Whiting, it is a striking contemporary facility that pays homage to hapū and iwi history through magnificent carvings and building interiors designed by Whiting.
It is fitting that the first marae to be built on Te Tai o Poutini (the West Coast) in more than 140 years, was built at Mahitahi (Bruce Bay), in South Westland, where Māui first landed. Thus, Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio’s beautiful new marae – opened on January 23, 2005 – is named Te Tauraka Waka a Māui.
The two West Coast hapū – Kāti Waewae and Kāti Māhaki ki Makaawhio – lost their original marae when the gold rush began on the West Coast during the 1800s; but when the new Ngāti Waewae house is completed, their dreams of new marae will have finally been realised.
The renaissance of Ngāi Tahu marae in recent years is very much in line with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s vision of a full cultural revival. That focus on the protection and enhancement of Ngāi Tahu culture is seen as essential to maintaining the life-force and integrity of the tribe. One part of that cultural revitalisation has been the recent establishment of the Marae Development Fund. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has committed $1 million each year to the fund, to assist with large capital works projects and smaller, maintenance-related activities on Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Marae. In all, the rūnanga has committed $17 million to cultural revitalisation projects since 1998.