Maoridom meet to cel­e­brate marae’s re­birth

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Horouta ki Poneke Marae’s grand open­ing is this weekend, and the pub­lic is in­vited to see the mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion that has taken place.

The Aotea marae will host dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Maori king Tuheitia Paki along­side thou­sands of ex­pected visi­tors.

Horouta’s meet­ing house or wharenui will be blessed and opened for use af­ter 20 years of sit­ting shut­tered be­cause of lack of funds.

Marae man­ager Pa­nia Houka­mau-Nga­heu has spent the past three years driv­ing the dec­o­ra­tion of the wharenui on the smell of an oily rag, and has also re­vamped the marae grounds and the wharekai or din­ing hall.

Mrs Houka­mau-Nga­heu’s en­ergy was stretched to the limit last week as she over­saw the fin­ish­ing touches.

‘‘It’s 24/7 in here. I’m go­ing to feel hap­pi­ness and relief when it’s done,’’ she said.

Pro­ceed­ings will kick off on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 7, at 4am, be­cause the wharenui must be blessed be­fore dawn.

The cer­e­mony will be of­fi­ci­ated by bishop Muru Wal­ters.

On Satur­day morn­ing, some of the best ge­nealog­i­cal ora­tory that visi­tors were likely to have heard would fea­ture, Mrs Houka­mauN­ga­heu said.

Cul­tural per­for­mances from kapa-haka to crump­ing would be staged in the af­ter­noon and all day on Sun­day.

Once opened, Horouta would be­come a re­source for any­body wish­ing to learn more about Maoridom, she said.

‘‘We can be a part of pro­mot­ing our cul­tural unique­ness. We can show all our visi­tors to Porirua what we have to of­fer as Maori.’’

Busy time: Pa­nia Houka­mauN­ga­heu has been work­ing long hours in prepa­ra­tion for the marae open­ing.

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