More than a 1000 people went to the small rural settlement of Te Hauke to celebrate the centenary of Kahuranaki Marae, the third meeting house of its kind after the first two were demolished.
Friends and family, Māori royalty and dignitaries alike, all making the journey home to join in the celebrations.
Meriurukore Hapuku says, “From the South Island, from Auckland, they've all come here to celebrate our marae because it's not just my marae, it's a marae that belongs to all of us.”
Kahuranaki the third, a meeting house that stands as a symbol of heritage, belonging and family.
Timi Te Po Hohepa says, “Our many elders of that time, the great leaders of Kahungunu, those are what I remember. Those elders before me who aren't here now, it's now been left to us to keep the connections to other iwi alive for the next generation.”
The original meeting house was built in 1876 and deteriorated over time. A second was built to replace it, but was burnt to the ground in 1913, then this was built in 1915.
Jerry Hapuku says,”It's through these children and grandchildren that it will be able to live on and be able to celebrate special days like this one.”
For the home people, reaching this milestone is a huge blessing and they hope it will remain to see another 100 years at least.