Each year these ladies carry the traditions of welcoming the multitude onto Rātana Pā.

The hosts prepare to welcome the masses this week, including Kuia Piki Waretini, who says they have been practising for this occasion.

“Mō te tae mai o te iwi ki runga i te marae kua mōhio mātou ki ngā kupu tika hei whakatau atu ki te iwi kei te haere mai ki runga i te marae.”

And according to Kamaka Manuel of kapa haka rōpū, Te Reanga Mōrehu o Rātana is they are preparing to make sure they welcome their guests correctly.

“Ko te whakahirahiratanga o tō rātou haratau kia tika, kia pono hoki te manaaki e whakaatu atu anō rā te tini me te mano kei te eke mai nei. No reira kei te whakahira rātou i a rātou anō.”

 

The kai stalls are also getting ready by making sure their oils are hot and their food is ready, including fried bread maker, Nathan Pari, of Floaters.

 

“We will be making thousands. At night time when the talent quest is on is our busiest time so we’re really busy.”

For Pari, today is all about frying bread.

“Our most popular one is the double happy with butter and syrup, so fried bread with butter and syrup that'll be our most popular.”

Grace Taiaroa owner of one of the local stores is also getting ready for the onslaught.

“The shop is quite empty through the year so we've had to stock up had to go buy stuff to put on the shelves to sell to people.”

It's going to be a big week here at Rātana Pā.

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