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New Trustees lead Hau Ariki direction

December 9, 2021 December 2021 No Comments

From left: Te Rei Koopu, Toni Kerr, Michael Jamieson, David McCartney.   Chairman Kevin Haunui. Absent is Board member Trevor Hawkins.

Martinborough’s Hau Ariki Marae is unique. Opened in 1998, it’s a community marae, not affiliated directly to a particular iwi. Newly elected Chair Kevin Haunui says this means it allows “a connection for people not from here” to link with the Wairarapa and its tangata whenua. “Anyone can regard Hau Ariki as their marae, regardless of their ancestral origins,” he explains. “As quite a different type of marae, we can do some things differently, to meet the needs and interests of our community.”  

New Trustees were elected at the recent AGM.  Responsible for governance of Hau Ariki, they are Martinborough businessman Trevor Hawkins, Terei Koopu (Maori Mental Health specialist, Toni Kerr (financial planner and Treasurer), David McCartney (Public Health consultant) and Michael Jamieson, who brings a business background to the table. 

Kevin Haunui is currently a doctoral student at Victoria University of Wellington.  He says “Importantly, the Trustees all know Tikanga (best practice, reflecting Mäori values and concepts) complementing their business management skills”.  

The refurbishment programme is well-advanced (Martinborough Star August 2021). In 2018 the DIY Marae TV programme funded a huge community effort in upgrading facilities and grounds. With recent PGF support, it is now creating a multi-purpose centre, including as a Civil Defence Centre.  

“The improvements and renovations, with fantastic work contributed by hundreds of members of the community, Maori and non-Maori, propelled us towards a new vision”, he believes. “Trustees are responsible for keeping our people safe through well-maintained facilities, and to observe cultural protocols with visitors and accommodation users.  

“The facility is available for hire, and accommodates seasonal vineyard workers, scrub-cutters, foresters and shearers, as we have done for years.

Kevin is particularly proud of the restored image of Rongokako above the Marae doorway.   Rongokako was the son of the Takatimu Canoe captain, said to have landed on New Zealand’s East Coast from Samoa in the 1600s.  Grandfather of Kahungunu and ancestor of all iwi of Ngati Kahungunu, Rongokako was educated in the Wairarapa.  

Susan McLeary 

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