For the first time, Kawa Marae of Ngāti Rehua hapū of Ngātiwai celebrated Matariki on Great Barrier Island. 

About 70 people went to celebrate the constellation of Matariki and Nupere Ngawaka is one the elders of Ngātiwai that returned back to the island, where his parents were born. 

He says he is super happy.

"I thought kaumātua are supposed to be retired and rest. But no, they are 24/7 so I have been on the move for the last six years with Ngātiwai and I have been travelling all around the country."

Local Jarrod Waetford says it is awesome to see our older people because this year alone 17 members of our family passed away.

"Me hoki mahara ki a rātou kua wheturangitia pēnei ana i ngā whetu rangatira o Matariki, e tika ana me mihi atu ki a rātou."

Ngātiwai ki Aoteea's Rhanae Ngawaka says this is a good start for our youth here.

"Ko te mea tino whakahirahira ki a au ki te kite i ngā tamariki, mokopuna me ngā kaumātua e karahuihui ana me te whakawhanungatanga ki te haramai ki te marae mō tētahi hui pai. Te whakanui i a tātou anō."

No doubt, this will be the first of many to come for Kawa Marae.

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