Iwi group celebrates Matariki

IAIN SCOTT
Last updated 10:44 05/06/2014

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Tararua iwi group Ngati Kahungunu is putting on a free concert to celebrate Matariki - the Maori New Year - and the opening of its new office.

The proceedings tomorrow would begin with a dawn ceremony to open the office at 171 High St, Dannevirke, Ngati Kahungunu ki Tamaki Nui-a-Rua Taiwhenua chairman Hayden Hape said.

''Between 6.30am and 7am tomorrow morning we're going to have a karakia opening, so there will be Kahungunu whanau coming, from the top of Kahungunu to the bottom, to help bless the office.''

Once the office was opened, a ''beautiful'' carving by Norsewood master carver Jeff Bryan would be unveiled.

''It will probably be one of the most iconic Kahungunu carvings ever collected.''

Hape said the trust had used smaller offices before, but the new site gave it more presence and would provide a platform for expansion.

''We will start delivering stuff to our whanau. It's a presence for them to come and talk to us in regards to their needs and their wants and talk about the future for our community.''

The trust employed two people, but staff would increase, although Hape could not yet say to how many.

A sumptuous breakfast at the town hall would follow the ceremony.

''Staying with Kahungunu traditions, we'll be eating like kings and queens. We've got quite a breakfast organised.''

A free concert at the Dannevirke Town Hall would follow tomorrow evening.

Entertainment would include hip-hop artists, kapa haka groups, Homai Te Pakipaki winner William Tokelau, and school groups.

There would also be hot food stalls, hangi, prizes and arts and crafts.

''They are part of the Matariki celebrations we hold every year. It's the first event out of six events that Kahungunu hold for Matariki. 

Tamaki Nui-a-Rua is the first area and then it rolls over each week to the different areas.''

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- Manawatu Standard

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