New wharekai opens in Waiohau
It may have taken years to fundraise, but Ngāti Haka-Patuheuheu's new wharekai is now open and ready for service.
The Waiohau community, and Tūhoe iwi, gathered to celebrate the day. Kuia Ani Hare is proud with the opening of the new whare, it being a significant occasion, and that so many people have come for the kaupapa.
"He rā nui kua roa e tatarihia ana. Me pērā pea te kōrero. Ki a au, he mīharo te kite i ngā tāngata."
Kiritua Tumarae shared it was also an occasion for the people to reaffirm whakapapa ties.
"He mea nui tēnei, ko ngā hononga katoa, nē? Ko ngā hononga kei roto i a Patuheuheu, i a Ngāti Whare. Koia nei te koa, kua tae mai mātou ki te tautoko i tēnei kaupapa."
The cost of erecting the new wharekai came to around $1 million.
Paki Nikora told Te Karere the new wharekai is the result of a collaborative effort between local businesses, land owners and the NZ Lottery Grants Board, to get the projected funded and completed.
"Whakapau werawera ai rātou mō te hia tau kē. Heoi anō, nā runga anō i ngā āwhinatanga mai i te kamupene hauhake rākau, me ngā ariki o ngā whenua o Waiohau, tae ake anō hoki ki ngā āwhina mai i te Puna Tahua, āna, kua tutuki."
The prime minister was expected to open the building, but that honour was left to the people of Waiohau instead.