Marae re-opens at last
Community works hard
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.