Iwi eager to unite its people in celebration

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Excitement is building among Ngati Whakaue in preparation for a two-day celebration focussed on bringing hapu members together and acknowledging the success of the iwi.

Matatihi – Whakaue Whakanuia will showcase three events in September at Te Papaiouru Marae, Ohinemutu. This includes a future-makers’ day aimed at rangatahi (young people) at university and senior high school students, to give them a chance to listen to and meet Ngati Whakaue achievers in commerce and business.

An alumni dinner will be held to recognise iwi recipients of Queen’s Honours and those who have achieved national and international honours.

The celebrations will conclude with a kapa haka day.

Chairwoman of the founding sponsor, Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust, Ana Morrison said the concept had been discussed for 10 years in various forms.

The trust was formed in 2009 as a result of the Treelords Treaty of Waitangi settlement and during an annual survey on how the funds should be distributed, iwi members said they wanted a day of celebration.

“The treaty settlement system can sometimes divide an iwi and we wanted to help provide an opportunity for Ngati Whakaue to come together and reconnect with each other,” Ms Morrison said.

“We’re hoping thousands will come and take part and are doing a lot through social media – we’d love to see some of our whanau in Australia join in.”

The event is expected to cost about $100,000, with Ngati Whakaue Asset Trust funding half, and contributions from other iwi entities and corporate sponsors.

“Whakaue has a long legacy of community contribution, the gifting of the land, as well as a long history of success.

“For us we’re wanting to connect our people and provide a forum to celebrate what it is to be Ngati Whakaue.

“I’m really looking forward to everyone participating, having a great weekend.”

Event co-ordinator Monty Morrison said the events were targeted to all age groups with the kapa haka an opportunity for young people to reconnect to their marae.

-ROTORUA DAILY POST

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