A key event on the Ngati Whakaue calendar, which focuses on celebrating and prospering whanau, kicks off in Maketu next month and is expected to attract hundreds of tribal members.
The Whakaue Whanau Day will be held on Sunday February 4, and is a unique event designed to bring the tribe together to celebrate their culture, learn about their environment, access key information from the iwi and most importantly – have fun and relax.
Event organiser Tony Pecotic says the kaupapa (theme) of the day is the tribe's role in being guardians and protectors of the waters and land in Maketu.
One of the relevant activities will be a Wearable Arts Parade, where people will enter on the day and use organic fibres and material found in Maketu to win prizes for the best outfit. It will highlight the importance of a clean moana and whenua and how to be an effective kaitiaki of the bird and marine life.
“There will be lots of varied activities for all age groups, including face painters and bouncy castles, a water slide, musicians, mirimiri practitioners, Taa Moko experts, historical tours of Maketu, whanau portraits and lots of games and sports.
“We will have information stalls from Toi Ohomai, Lakes Trust, EBOP, Maketu Estuary, Pukeroa Oruawhata, Tribal Lands, Fisheries Taiopure, Pare Kore, First Aid and Pukeroa Oruawhata Early Childhood Centre School, where tribe members can learn about our future plans, educational opportunities and how we distribute grants and job opportunities,” he says.
There will also be a selection of kai stalls selling hangi, chowder, steak, bacon and egg burgers, white bait fritters, sponge cakes, summer fruit, desserts and slice and coffee.
The event is funded by Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust, who will this year distribute over $460,000 to its beneficiaries. The Trust's distribution has an emphasis on strong support for marae grants, cultural activities and events that bring the iwi together.
Chairperson of the Trust Katie Paul says the Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust has achieved outstanding returns on investments and the assets have doubled in just one decade. “The financial success of our investments allows us to deliver a prosperous and positive future for our iwi by funding key events such as the Whakaue Whanau Day that strengthen the wairua and well-being of our people.
“We believe one of the most critical factors to our success moving forward is unity and kotahitanga says Paul.
Pecotic says Maketu is significant because in 1350AD the Arawa waka under the command of Tamatekapua landed in Maketu. From that time to the present, there has been a permanent settlement in Maketu of tribal members.
Location: Whakaue marae, Maketu
Parking: Next to the marae
Kaupapa: Te hononga o Ngāti Whakaue o Te Arawa ki Maketu,
Nga hungatiatanga ki nga wai me te whenua I Maketu.
Ngati Whakaue of Te Arawa connection to Maketu, the guardians and protectors of the waters and the land in Maketu.
Contact: Tony Pecotic, phone 0275606707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust
In 2009 the Trust was given a $9.2 million Kaingaroa Forest settlement fund to invest for the collective benefit of Ngati Whakaue. Thanks to “astute and strategic investment plays” the asset base has since doubled and is on track to surpass $20 million by 2020.
Last year the Trust distributed over $225,500 in grants to marae, community, sports and cultural groups. It committed to giving beneficiaries $460,000 over the next year, bringing the total distributions from the Trust to $2.2 million since its inception in 2009.