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  • Mark Amery

Towards marae: a Ngāti Haumia report

On Sunday 7 April the first full hui since 2001 of Paekākāriki’s mana whenua hapu Ngāti Haumia was held at their papakāinga in Paekākāriki. This was a significant event, bringing together about 50 whānau members from around the country – Reporoa, Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch and beyond. “I couldn’t believe the number of people who turned up,” says spokesman Karl Farrell. The Farrells, who hosted, were thankful for such an awesome turnout and the support and offers to help with next steps.

Those next steps are significant for our village: the agenda for the meeting was to establish support towards creating a marae for Ngāti Haumia. “It gets everyone involved and gives focus,” says Karl.

The hui involved karakia, mihi and introductions, with some rangatahi meeting some of their elders for the first time.

Contact details have been shared to connect everyone up digitally, and the tribe will reconvene for an AGM on 5 May. At that hui a new executive for Haumia will be appointed. It will also enable those who weren’t able to make the last hui to attend. That will be followed by a meeting to organise a proposal for a marae, to take to Ngāti Toa for their blessings. The proposal will also be taken to Ngāti Kimihia at Hongoeka Marae, Te Atiawa at Whakarongotai and Ngāti Raukawa at Otaki, as all are strongly connected.

“People from all those marae have experience in this,” adds Karl. “We’re going to need a hand with a lot of stuff: carvers, weavers, builders, architects.”

“It’s a huge job,” adds Karl’s daughter and Housing Trust trustee Levi Farrell “but we can get it done.”

“We need a foundation,” says Karl. “A marae is our foundation. We need that to be a proper, active runanga. Haumia needs that so we can go in there and talk about all the other things.”

The land pencilled in is currently part of Queen Elizabeth Park and is where Ngāti Haumia were based prior to the land being taken under the Public Works Act. It is owned by Ngāti Toa, returned to them under their recent treaty settlement, and therefore requires Ngāti Toa’s blessing. The land is managed by Greater Wellington Regional Council who have met with Ngāti Haumia recently, and expressed a wish to ensure their plans fit with park development.

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