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Celebrating 100th Birthday of Te Arawa Kui

Publicity Release
for Immediate Release Friday June 30 2006

Marae Kai Celebrates 100th Birthday of Te Arawa Kuia

MARAE KAI steams into the heart of Te Arawa country on Maori Television this Sunday to celebrate the 100th birthday of Witarina Harris (Sunday July 9 at 8.00 PM).

The momentous occasion is being celebrated by her Ngati Whakaue iwi in Ohinemutu, the place that will experience MARAE KAI presenter Pete Peeti’s unique style of cooking.

Witarina has had an illustrious career as an actress and artistic performer. In 1928, she starred as Princess Miro in the silent movie, Under the Southern Cross, later released as The Devil’s Pit.

She was also a soloist with her renditions of immortal waiata featured on the album, Ko Ngati Poneke Hoki Matou, Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club, recorded in the 1930s. Not content with her artistic and cultural accomplishments, her academic and intellectual spirit also impressed frequent visitor Sir Apirana Ngata, who recruited her for his Parliamentary office.

This endearing kuia has continued to thrive right throughout her life, even featuring in a 2004 documentary, Homegrown, which described the remarkable friendship between Witarina Harris and film historian Jonathan Dennis. In 2006, she still retains her chiefly role as a kaumatua for New Zealand’s National Archives.

In the final episode of MARAE KAI next week, Te Papaiouru Marae and its wharenui Tamatekapua is the scene where everyone will gather for Witarina’s birthday. Pete Peeti will be spending most of his time in the wharekai of Whakaturia.

The Mitchell family have spent many generations working in the kitchen here and they are more than willing to share a few tips with Pete. In honour of the occasion, Pete has created two delicious meals: delectable curried mussels and pan-fried trout for te hunga mahi and a mouth-watering toheroa soup for the manuhiri or visitors.

The star of the channel’s hit food show, KAI TIME ON THE ROAD, travels from region to region to take a closer look at the role and importance of the wharekai (dining rooms) at marae during major hui.

Peeti (Ngati Pikiao, Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi) talks to the people responsible for feeding the masses and highlights the necessity of good planning and committed teamwork to ensure every visitor at the hui is fed and looked after.

Join MARAE KAI next Sunday on the shores of Lake Rotorua as Pete Peeti uses his culinary skills to help the ringawera feed the multitudes (Maori Television Sunday July 9 at 8.00 PM).



Year 2006
Censor General Exhibition (G)
Duration Six-part, 30-minute series
Language Maori and English languages

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