Marae opens its doors

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Horouta Marae threw open its doors, and its heart, to the peo­ple of Kokiri Cres and War­spite Ave dur­ing the siege.

Pa­nia Houka­mau-Nga­heu was at work when she got a phone call from Mike Ta­here.

‘‘Papa Mike asked me to open the marae,’’ she said. ‘‘I did it right away.’’

Ta­here, the iwi li­ai­son of­fi­cer for New Zealand Po­lice, and Aunty Heni of the Maori war­dens, scoured the streets of Porirua search­ing for peo­ple who needed some­where to go.

Houka­mau-Nga­heu was wait­ing at the marae to wel­come the vans full of peo­ple driven there by the war­dens.

‘‘I said, ‘Wel­come home, this is your marae’.’’

More than 80 peo­ple dined on mashed potato, mince and pump­kin for din­ner.

‘‘Warm­tum­mies mean warm hearts.’’

More than 35 peo­ple slept in the wharenui (sleep­ing house) on Fri­day night.

Aunty Heni said the Porirua com­mu­nity shared so much aroha (love).

‘‘Peo­ple have been bring­ing food, toi­let pa­per and even a brand new TV,’’ she said. ‘‘Taka­puwahia marae sent us two whole mut­tons.’’

By lunchtime 300 peo­ple had been served ameal at the marae.

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