Ngati Toa elders were welcomed onto at Takapuwahia Marae last week and took the opportunity to share their memories of growing up in Porirua, ‘‘ around the pa’’, and observe how much the area has changed.
After a welcome onto the marae, accompanied by a haka from kaumatua Thom Kenny and Taku Parai, the seven women gathered inside the wharenui to share stories.
It was the first time in more than two years the group had been together and Mr Parai said it was important they honour their elders regularly in this fashion.
After a little prompting, there was plenty of laughter and ‘‘oh, I remember that’’ moments as the tales gathered momentum.
Playtime in and around the marae, under the watchful eye of ‘‘aunties and uncles’’, whare with dirt floors and straw, fires that were never put out, horses and carts, pipis and eels collected from the harbour, ghost stories that would frighten them and waiata that would fill the air during tangi were among the anecdotes.
Karanga Metekingi said it was ‘‘amazing’’ to see the wharenui so beautifully carpeted. She hoped that the younger generation realised how lucky they were.
‘‘We had nothing, we worked hard and didn’t expect anything. Young people have their hands out much more today.’’
The women are all above 80 and appreciated this could be the last time they were all together.
After a ‘‘tiki tour’’ around the pa, being shown any changes to the buildings and land, they had lunch at Porirua Club.