After a night of heavy rainfall, the weather cleared for a dawn blessing at the upgraded Te Waikoropupu Springs.
The ceremony on Monday was attended by members of the Ngati Tama tribe, many of whom were visiting Golden Bay for the signing of the new Treaty of Waitangi Deed of Settlement, and for the Ngati Tama annual general meeting on Sunday.
Ngati Tama tribal member Ihaia Raharuhi paid his respects to John Ward-Holmes (Ngati Tama) and said he had admired him since he was a child. He honoured the "spiritual" aspects of Te Waikoropupu springs, saying the taniwha Huriawa had made herself known to members of his iwi.
Brett Cowan (Ngai Tahu) said it was nice to attend a celebration alongside members of Ngati Tama (who have a special relationship with Te Waikoropupu springs).
"We want to strengthen the relationships between the two iwi," he said.
Department of Conservation Nelson Marlborough Conservator Neil Clifton said the upgrade represented "a change in how we see ourselves as New Zealanders".
Manawhenua Ki Mohua and DOC hosted the official opening of the new interpretation panels and entranceway to their waahi tapu (sacred site).
The ceremony was a public event and was well attended by members of the Golden Bay community and visitors to the area.
A slip which closed the Takaka Hill road had been cleared in time for people to attend the blessing.
- © Fairfax NZ News