Tuahiwi Marae trustees, the hapū of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāi Tahu whānau and the local community celebrated the opening of our newly built whare, Maahunui II.

The opening of the new meeting house at Tuahiwi Marae attracted a crowd of about 1500.

Ngāi Tūāhuriri Upoko Rakiihia Tau Snr said, “The opening of the whare represents our intention to strengthen our relationship with the past, the present and the future and to share it with our surrounding Māori and non-Māori Communities in Christchurch and in the wider Canterbury area.”

Local councillors, MPs and Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon attended the event along with other dignitaries and tribal leaders from across Aotearoa.

Research for a replacement whare has been under discussion since the early 1990s, the old hall (Mahaanui) was demolished in January this year.

Tau says, “It’s great to see the new building erected, not only for our mokopuna, but also for the future generations. We have been working hard to achieve this dream.”

Guests followed the Ratana band onto the marae premises then the wharenui was formally blessed, the whakapapa was explained and whānau then enjoyed the beautiful hākari.

A big thank you to Mike Pooley of Motunau for sending up three large bins of fresh koura for the marae opening. There was plenty for everyone, and by all accounts some were still trying to finish off the bodies on Sunday night.

Another big thank you to the Reuben/Hopkinson whānau for laying the ready lawn in time for the marae opening. It has added some much needed colour and comfort to the marae complex.

Even that much talked about ti kouka looks ‘kind of ok’ eh Aunty Pat. Thanks must also go out to Fred and Glenn Scott of Easy Lawn Kaiapoi and Papa Chunk for their expertise and machinery.

Nā Arapata Reuben.