At the Rotorua District Council budget setting hui held yesterday, a motion to scrap the annual $5000 contribution grant for poukau celebrations was passed. The motion was put forward by Councillor Karen Hunt.
This will result in increased pressure on Ngati Pikiao whanui to find the funds needed to cater for the 1000s of families that attend each year.
“It’s insulting, this event is of strong significance to our whanau and the withdrawal of funding is another slap in the face especially in light of the fact that other similar non-Maori events have been given support”, Te Arawa Standing Committee member, Potaua Biasiny-Tule (Ngati Pikiao) said.
Te Arawa hapu Ngati Pikiao has direct links to the Kingitanga movement through their ancestor Pikiao, forming a strong whakapapa link between the Kingitanga, Ngati Pikiao and Te Arawa.
For many Ngati Pikiao it is a huge honour to be able to host the Maori king outside of the Tainui rohe, with marae spending months planning and organising.
They bring the most recent of their people who have passed away so we can share in their sadness, but we also share in the joy of coming together to celebrate each other and to make tribute to his mother Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu.”
The word poukai has no direct translation but is taken from two words, pou – meaning upright post, sustenance or support, and kai – meaning food, or to eat.
Poukai were originally held to offer help to those less fortunate or who were going through tough times and needed help.
The Rotorua District Council had donated $5000 toward the poukai for the past three years.
Kia ora to the Rotorua Daily post for some of this content.