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Te Heke Whakangā Exhibition Celebrates Ngāti Rārua Resilience And Success

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua chairperson Olivia Hall says a new exhibition in Wairau – Te Heke Whakangā - is a chance to look back on history as we move forward to the future.

“Through Te Heke Whakangā, we aim to honour our ancestors, educate the public, and promote reconciliation and understanding."

Ngāti Rārua o Te Wairau Society chairperson Barney Thomas says the timing of the exhibition marks a key milestone.

“We are sharing this at a key moment – the anniversary of Ngāti Rārua signing the Treaty on June 17 1840, and the arrival of Matariki, a traditional time of reflection and renewal.”

Te Heke Whakangā is a partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua, its subsidiary Tokomaru Research Centre and Ngāti Rārua o Te Wairau Society. The exhibition runs at Te Kahu o Waipuna Marlborough Art Gallery from June 15 to July 28.

The exhibition delves into the rich history and remarkable journey of Ngāti Rārua, from their departure from the Kawhia region in the 1800s to their settlement in Te Tauihu and along the West Coast.

Tokomaru Research Centre Director Professor Sandy Morrison says visitors will gain insight into the devastating losses endured by Ngāti Rārua due to intentional Crown actions.

“People will gain a deeper understanding of our journey when they see the effects on our lands, resources, culture and people. Alongside that mamae are the stories of our resilience and successes.”

In 2013, Ngāti Rārua signed their Deed of Settlement with the Crown, marking a significant milestone in their quest for justice and recognition.

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“Since then, we have made remarkable strides forward, experiencing growth and prosperity in economic, cultural, and social domains. Te Heke Whakangā celebrates this progress, and showcases Ngāti Rārua's resilience and determination to sustain ourselves for the future.”

Olivia invites the community to experience the exhibition first-hand.

“Help us commemorate the legacy, resilience, and progress of Ngāti Rārua as Te Heke Whakangā brings our Treaty journey to life for all to witness and appreciate.”

Ngāti Rārua acknowledges the generous support of Marlborough District Council and Te Kahu o Waipuna to stage this exhibition.

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