Update on the wharekai

Our wharekai extensions are moving along at a great rate! The steel structure which forms the roof has been erected and we can see what it will look like when it’s finished. We have had three of our own working as sub-contractors on the build, so it’s good to get a bit of insider gossip. One comment I’ve heard is ‘with the beams (for the roof) in place, it’s like working inside a cathedral!’
A very big shout out to Melissa Weenink-Smith and the services academy students from Logan Park High School, who helped us remove everything from the wharekai and wharenui so the sprinkler system could be installed. He mihi nunui ki a rātou!

Māra kai

In mid-September our second wānanga for our Māra kai project was held. We now have a ‘no-dig’ garden behind the glasshouse. These gardens are built from the ground up, the first layer is wet newspaper and cardboard on top of this grass clippings, seaweed, manure, compost, and then pea straw, and edged with rocks to keep it all in place. Seedlings are planted into little ‘compost nests’ made in the pea straw. Peter Asher is really enjoying looking after the garden, and fending off the rabbits. We’ve also been lucky enough to receive a koha of several variety of taewa (Māori potatoes) from Tahuri Whenua, these will be put in the ground soon.

Koreana Wesley-Evans dampening down the peastraw, Moana Wesley spreading compost.

Planting seedlings into ‘compost nests’.

Carvings wānanga

Over 25–27 September, we hosted Dean Whiting from the Historic Places Trust, who came to work with us on restoring our carvings on the wharekura. Dean is the son of Cliff Whiting, who along with Para Matchitt, worked on the carvings back in the early 1960s. A small but dedicated group of people spent three days working alongside Dean, learning how to carefully strip the paint of the carvings. The plan is for these people to then continue with this mahi until Dean returns in December, when the carvings will then be prepared for further conservation work. While Dean was here, he also did an assessment of the whakairo inside Tamatea, and will think about how we should progress with restoring these plaster carvings.

Left to right, Carolyn Cambell, Delyn Day, Peter Asher, Tahu Potiki, Dean Whiting, Jenny Rowe-Kirk.

Left to right, Carolyn Campbell, Trent Hoani, Delyn Day, and Dean Whiting working on one of the maihi from the wharekura.

Fundraising efforts

So far the fundraising effort has been impressive and we have drawn on over $1m of our own funds as well as received support from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Ngāi Tahu Fund with their new capital development programme. Lotteries New Zealand, via the marae heritage fund, have also made a significant contribution as have Te Puni Kōkiri.

This funding has supported everything from the project scoping and planning phases, to the engagement of project managers and, more recently, the actual build phase. We still require further funds. All koha to our building fund are gratefully received!

Our account details are as follows:
Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou
01 0902 00069111 046 (ANZ).
Please reference your koha with your name, so we can personally acknowledge your contribution!

A reminder that if you, or any of your whānau have moved or changed their contact details, please let the office know so that we can update your details on our database!

If you have any stories, pānui, news, or photos you wish to share with our wider whānau, email Rachel, [email protected]