Ngāti Whakaue Whakanuia was a 2 day, 3 event occasion that brought together the past, the present and the future of Ngāti Whakaue.
Under the skilled guidance of Event Co-ordinator Monty Morrison, Norma Sturley and a dedicated committee, Whakanuia started with a Ngāti Whakaue Future Makers session, where high school students came together to hear experiences and leadership advice from Ngāti Whakaue tuakana leaders.
"The Whakanuia effected whānau, hapū, iwi and marae and a number of levels explains Mrs Sturley, "the whakanuia gave our families a chance to show who they were and it showcased the pride in every performer from babies to koeke."
That same evening, 250 Ngāti Whakaue alumnus joined for a wonderful dinner within Whakaturia wharekai to formally recognise great achievements and selfless acts that add value and enhance the iwi, community and the nation as a whole.
This was a beautiful time for many of our pakeke and koeke to dress up, step out and enjoy a night out with whānau. Then the next morning, Te Papaiouru came alive with karanga, moteatea waiata me ona haka as 9 marae stood to share with over 1500 spectators.
These marae were Te Papaiouru, Hurungaterangi, Waikuta, Te Koutu, Paretehoata Te Kohea/Tunohopu, Owhata, Waiteti, Maketu kaipapa and Te Kuirau.
Each group was asked to perform certain items (compulsory moteatea, original compositions specific to their marae) and wore colour specific T-shirts as a way to identify and recognise each roopu.
The MCs, Roger Cunningham, Kingi Biddle and Chey Milne kept the energy levels high and ensured smooth transitions between each roopu (with between 20 - 90 members in some of the larger groups).
After the 9 performances, the crowd were entertained by reggae duo Native Nations (Marcus & Katerina Ridge) and Russell Harrison.
While Whakaue Whakanuia was indeed a celebration of inclusiveness and whanaungatanga. Awards were handed out to each marae for participation as well as prizes to recognise excellence, whakawhanaungatanga and whakapapa.
The overall award went to Paretehoata Te Kohea/Tunohopu who received the carved trophy Te Aronga o Whakaue. At the time of writing, we are unsure if Whakaue Whakanuia will be an annual event but judging by the absolutely positive buzz, the hope is there.
Special thanks to the 3 organising committees and event volunteers (Future Makers Day Committee – Ana Morrison, Hemi Rolleston, Katie Paul, Jason Rogers; Alumni Dinner Committee – Monty Morrison, Norma Sturley, Ana Morrison & Greg Allen; and Kapa Haka Committee - Tiffany Te Moni, Norma Sturley, Kahurangi Maxwell, Stephen Te Moni, Rawiri Waru with support from Marae Tutors. Also a huge mihi to platinum sponsor and host organisation - Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust; and sponsors Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board, Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, Te Arawa Fisheries, Te Puni Kokiri, Glen Hawkins & Associates, Craigs Investment Partners, Te Komiti Nui o Ngāti Whakaue and BNZ. Hii Haa Hii!