On the 22nd of May, we held a hui with Mana Whenua in the Reorua whare. This was to discuss future proofing and improving our centre for learning Te Reo and Te Ao Maaori.
We have had a gift from the Ministry of two beautiful new relocatable classrooms to replace those old prefabs that are to be demolished very soon. We also have some unfinished taonga in carvings that have lain waiting under the stage for at least 20 years.
We have proposed re-siting the Te Puaawai Reorua area to the new classrooms and creating a new Maaori learning centre close to the school kitchen where we can create a wharekai (eating space) and looking out to our lovely fields. Mana Whenu approved this idea and accordingly agreed to bless the new site on the 25th of May. We held a moving ceremony, well attended by Marae representatives and many staff and students on a beautiful fine morning. The sun shone and piiwakawaka (fantails) played in the trees above as Matua Glen Tupuhi addressed the crowd. Our Kaumatua Pat Kiingi turned the sod, Matua Vince said the Karakia and led the proceedings, Te Puaawai sang the waiata, and then our kitchen staff served manuhiri a delicious morning tea. It was an auspicious occasion!
The actual rooms arrived in the middle of the night on the 28th and are in place now. We are very excited by this development and honoured to have the full support of the collective of all the Marae to support us in the creation of a place that will be a home to all, where all can be who they genuinely are, honouring their own culture and identity.