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Horowhenua District Council now has its own waiata

Horowhenua District Council now has its own waiata

Horowhenua District Council now has a dedicated waiata and has become one of only several councils throughout New Zealand to have their own.

Titled Te Kaunihera o Horowhenua, it has been written and composed by a focus group of Council staff under the guidance of Tipi Wehipeihana of Ngāti Tukorehe. This followed on from staff participating in cultural awareness training at Tukorehe Marae late last year.

The waiata was performed by staff in public for the first time at the Council meeting on Wednesday evening.

Among the people sitting in the public gallery were six representatives of local iwi Ngāti Whakatere, who quietly stood while Council staff sang.

Chief Executive David Clapperton said their gesture was "honourable and respectful" and showed that they appreciated Council's efforts and good intentions.

Mr Clapperton said the waiata continued Council's steps to express how it values all iwi and hāpu in the District and its work to better consult and engage, as well as show respect for Māori culture and protocol.

There are two versions of the waiata - a shorter one for use at formal occasions and the full version which is more upbeat and includes actions, for use at informal occasions.

Prior to Wednesday evening's performance, all Council staff had met on several occasions to learn and practice the waiata lyrics and actions.

Tipi Wehipeihana said he was delighted with Council staff's support, attitude and participation in developing, learning and performing the waiata.

"In 26 years time when our nation is 200-years-old I'm sure Horowhenua District Council will continue to be at the forefront of cultural awareness."

Te Kaunihera o Horowhenua (full version)

Ko Tararua te maunga Tararua is the mountain range
E tu mai ra That stands majestically
Ko Horowhenua te rohe ee In the Horowhenua district
Mai I Tokomaru From Tokomaru
Ki Te Awahou To Foxton
Ki Taitoko Through Levin
Tae atu ki Manakau To Manakau
Te kaunihera We are the
O Horowhenua Horowhenua District Council
Hei awhina I te hapori We serve the community
Te reo o te hapori We are the voice of the community
Hei whakakaha I te hapori To strengthen the community
E tu nei We stand before you
E mihi nei And we greet and acknowledge
Ki a koutou katoa You all


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