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Marae Opens Doors For Festival


FESTIVAL OF THE ELEMENTS
WAITANGI DAY
6 February 2008
Elsdon Park and Mana College grounds,
Porirua

www.elementsfestival.org.nz

MEDIA RELEASE – January 31, 2008

Marae Opens Doors For Festival

Takapuwahia Marae – the Papakainga of Ngati Toa - will open its doors to the public on Waitangi Day as part of the Festival of the Elements in Porirua.

Festival Chairman Bob Cater says it will be a wonderful opportunity for people to learn more about local Iwi Ngati Toa and the Takapuwahia Marea in Porirua.

“The Ngati Toa people have been the Iwi with responsibility for a large part of the land around Cook Strait, including Porirua, ever since they migrated here under the leadership of their great chief Te Rauparaha,” Mr Cater said.

“Their central marae is at Takapuwahia, just a very short walk from Elsdon Park, the main site this year for the Festival of the Elements,” he said.

“Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata were among the Ngati Toa chiefs who signed the treaty in 1840, and they are both commemorated in carvings in the wharenui (meeting house).”

Mr Cater said the Festival was delighted the marae would be open to the public on Waitangi Day.

“It is very much in the spirit of the Festival of the Elements, which uses the arts to celebrate the cultural diversity of Porirua, made possible by the Treaty of Waitangi.”

Mr Cater said many New Zealanders had never had an opportunity or occasion to visit a Marae, and to have its component parts and their significance explained to them.

“So this is a great opportunity to gain insights into Ngati Toa history and aspirations, and into the early history of Porirua city,” he said.

“This marae has the full range of facilities that would be found at any major marae. But its most prominent feature, and one of special significance, is the Wharenui, named Toa Rangatira after the tribe’s ancestor, the ancient chief, Toa,” Mr Cater said.

Mr Cater said Ngati Toa would welcome both Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders, as well as people born elsewhere to the Takapuwahia Marae – the Papakainga of Ngati Toa between 11.30 am to 3.30pm on Waitangi Day.


ends

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