The new wharekai at the dawn ceremony opening of the kāuta PHOTO/KRUGER WETERE
Ngāti Hikairo in Kawhia have opened their kāuta (kitchen) ahead of the formal opening for their wharekai.
The kāuata was opened before daybreak on Saturday in a ceremony led by the Kīngitanga's Rāhui Papa with the King's younger brother, Maharaia Paki, representing the kāhui ariki, or extended royal family.
Spokesperson for Waipapa Marae, Hone Edwards says, "It's been more than a year of groundwork to get the people. the money and other resources together to build our new wharekai.
"The old wharekai had passed its use-by date and needed to go but had served our people and manuwhiri well over the years," says Edwards
The new wharekai will be opened by King Tuheitia on March 12 at the marae's annual Poukai. The King's son, Whatumoana Paki, will name the wharekai, with the new name to be revealed on the day.