Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 32, September 1988

by Nellie Bain

NGATI HAKO, the small Maori community of Tirohia, welcomed several hundred Maori and Europeans, in the traditional Maori tradition, onto their Marae to celebrate the opening of their new dining room on Saturday 30 January 1988.

Visitors came from as far as Wanganui, Waikato, Auckland, Tauranga, East Coast and Rotorua. They were all given the welcome call of "Haeremai Haeremai" by the women of the home people. The visitors came and entered the new building to walk through the kitchen and assemble in the dining room. A Church service was led by Anglican ministers, After that people sat in groups around the Marae and entertained themselves with speeches from the different tribes, remembering their ancestors that had stood on the Marae. After each man spoke the women of the man's tribe would sing songs of their ancestors, the "waiata". While this went on, the home people prepared a meal which included a variety of food. This was enjoyed by all.

The boys and girls of the Marae had decorated the dining room with flowers and beautiful floral hanging baskets. The efforts of the young families who had worked hard to raise money toward the beautiful building and grounds, the "Turanga Wae Wae" are much appreciated. Thanks are also extended to Mr Phil Fathers and his team of workers, who did the finishing work to the building.

NGATI HAKO are very proud of their Marae "Te Kotahitanga".