Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Blessing of harakeke at Te Awa o Te Atua Reserve

Blessing of harakeke at Te Awa o Te Atua Reserve

A collection of harakeke planted at Te Awa o Te Atua Reserve was this morning blessed to mark the start of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

The reserve, situated at the Longlands Rd roundabout, is home to more than 1200 harakeke (flax) plants, which started being grown there in 2011 from a collection provided by Rene Orchiston.

From Gisborne, Mrs Orchiston started collecting harakeke in the 1950s after observing many craftswomen in her area were using inferior material for their weaving.

Noting the shortage of special cultivars needed for different types of weaving, she visited many marae and individuals on the East Coast of the North Island and other parts of the country talking to elderly weavers and carefully recording the information of the plant varieties and uses.

Samples of these plants then formed a collection that from 1987 was grown at Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research in Havelock North, before the Hastings District Council began growing them at the reserve.

More than 50 harakeke species are now at Te Awa o Te Atua, and are regarded as a taonga that has been handed down from generation to generation.

These plants will ensure weavers will have access to good quality harakeke to take the traditional practices into the future for the benefit of anything from education to economic development and tourism.

Once the plants reached their maximum growth, the plan was to distribute them to local traditional weavers throughout the rohe, while continuing to maintain and care for the community planting at the reserve.

Today’s whakawātea (cleansing ceremony) was led by Jerry Hapuku, Cordry Huata and Thompson Hokianga and attended by mana whenua, Hastings district mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and Hastings District Council staff who had been involved in the project.

A group of students from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga accompanied the occasion with karakia and waiata, and attendees took a short hīkoi through the plantings.

Mrs Hazlehurst said that it was through Mrs Orchiston’s visionary work of collecting and growing cuttings more than 30 years ago that future generations of weavers were ensured access to good quality harakeke.


“She selected varieties chose for their muka (fibre) or raranga (weaving/plaiting) strength, and colour qualities.

“We all have a major role to play in protecting and maintaining this taonga for our rangatahi.

“We are blessed to have Rene’s vision and we value the relationships that have grown through this wonderful flax reserve.”

Meanwhile all Hastings District Council staff were celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori with a number of events and initiatives ranging from short, daily waiata sessions to a mini-lecture series, and various activities were being held at Hastings libraries.

In addition the council is inviting the general public to get on board with a daily quiz and learning resources posted on the council Facebook page.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>





InfoPages News Channels