Kerikeri’s Old Packhouse Market — which has grown from nothing to the town’s top weekly attraction in just three years — will now open on Sundays starting this weekend. The Sunday market, which will run from 9am2pm, will have a different flavour to the established Saturday market. To avoid clashing with the farmers’ market in town there won’t be produce but there will be an emphasis on vintage items, creativity and fun, with a car boot sale, a second-hand car fair, kids’ entertainment, arts and crafts, locally produced craft beer and wine, and more. The Old Packhouse Market is at 505 Kerikeri Rd. My parents and siblings — my family — were a big influence growing up.
I’m the youngest of nine kids. My dad’s father, Matini Tihema Rudolph, was a Minister of the Anglican Church and a builder. Dad’s mother, “Mama” Erina Weira — I remember her always crocheting to make sure we had warm blankets. I was especially close to my Mum’s mother, Nana Hinganoho. I used to question her a lot and she had all the answers. She passed at the age of 112, in Pawarenga where she lived with us in the early part of my life.
Whanau, friends, community, hapu, iwi are all the things I love, something embedded in me by my Nana and that generation where everything was in karakia and waiata. This addresses issues where technology fails. For example, if anyone had those suicidal thoughts or worries, they would talk to our old people, and karakia would begin.
These days, our kids have those thoughts and for many, karakia isn’t seen as an option anymore. And that’s sad. Our old people could read things that we can’t or won’t anymore. Even just being around our old people would be healing. It’s those things that I try to bring to the children I work with in some way.
Growing up we were taught about mahi kai. As a young boy I would enjoy diving and food gathering. We would gather food for the old people and drop it to them. Nothing would go to waste and there was plenty for everyone to share.
To know we had fed our nanas and aunties, was the most important thing, after all they are the backbone of our community. I’m very proud of our people as a community, proud to be a part of a big family in a beautiful community where we’re looked after and supported.
We have many young ones wanting to come home and use their skills, their degrees to give back to our people. They need encouragement, support and opportunity. Some people underestimate how competent our young ones actually are in times of importance. Like at Te Amohaere’s tangi, our old people got tired and the younger ones stepped up and supported each other to make sure TA got the send off she deserved.
Near the end with TA, I got sick. My wife was a machine and my boys were amazing. With both myself and TA on chemo, my wife played tag team, coming to the hospital with me then going home to our daughter. When I wasn’t coping TA would just say, “In this house we don’t do ‘aaaaah’, we don’t do ‘oooooos’, otherwise I’m gonna have to give you some cement pills so you can harden up.” That was our girl.
I remember one time when she said, “Come here Dad. I want to talk to you.” She held me and said, “You’ve come a long way, you’ve done well”. This is only one of many beautiful moments that keeps me moving forward and remembering every day I get to wake up to, is a beautiful day that I get to cherish.