Marae re-opens at last

Community works hard

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By ADEN MILES

Five years of re­con­struc­tion will come to fruition in a few days week when Mangakino’s Pouakani Marae re-opens af­ter be­ing torched by an ar­son­ist in 2007.

Pouakani Marae trustee Anah Ped­er­sen has been in­volved in the re­build of the Pouakani Marae build­ings since the fire.

‘‘The com­plex is phys­i­cally a lot big­ger than it was.

‘‘There aren’t many marae in New Zealand that have un­der­gone a to­tal re­build all at once,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s very mod­ern, but we’re still fo­cused on the tra­di­tional art­work inside the whare tupuna.’’

The marae was first built in 1972, for Maori who set­tled Mangakino af­ter the con­struc­tion of the hy­dro dams and the Wairarapa Maori own­ers who came to Mangakino to farm the Pouakani two block.

Mrs Ped­er­sen said the site has been buzzing with ac­tiv­ity in the lead-up to the open­ing.

‘‘ There has been a hive of ac­tiv­ity at the marae in prepa­ra­tion for the open­ing on Satur­day Novem­ber, 17.

‘‘ The tuku­tuku pan­els have been com­pleted, com­ple­tion of the carv­ings and in­stal­la­tion is in progress, trades­man are ap­ply­ing the fin­ish­ing touches.’’

Mrs Ped­er­sen said the restora­tion has in­cluded many in the dis­trict.

‘‘We have en­gaged the wider community, ap­pointed co­or­di­na­tors and es­tab­lished work par­ties to as­sist with the plan­ning and mahi on the open­ing day,’’ she said.

The open­ing cer­e­mony will in­volve a dawn ser­vice, which will take place around 4.30am, fol­lowed by a break­fast kai hakari, the morn­ing ser­vice will take place at 9am.

A lunch cer­e­mony at 12pm will be fol­lowed by en­ter­tain­ment.

FIVE YEARS ON: Mangakino’s Pouakani Marae will re­open this month five years af­ter be­ing set on fire by an ar­son­ist. RIS­ING FROM THE ASHES: The scene of the fire which saw fire fight­ers re­move carv­ings from the front of the Ta­mateapokai whenua meet­ing house on the Poakani Marae.

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