Exciting journey ahead for Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa

By Regan Paranihi

Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa has officially opened their new premises in Marton where Turakina Māori Girls College used to be located.

Hundreds gathered at the new Te Poho o Tuariki grounds on Friday 15 February to celebrate a new era for the rūnanga.

Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa chairman, Pahia Turia, addressed the crowd as he unveiled the Te Poho o Tuariki sign, and acknowledged the many who came from near and far to be a part of the kaupapa.

“Today is a day for us to celebrate a milestone in our evolution as an iwi,” he said, “Re-establishing ourselves throughout our rohe, having pouwhenua in our rohe has been about raising our profile and raising our presence.”

Turia said their new complex will help open many doors for the people in the Rangitikei region.

“Te Poho o Tuariki has given us not only the opportunity to re-establish our presence here in Marton but it's opening the doors to many opportunities that we see in the future, not only for ourselves as an iwi but more particularly our community here within the wider Rangitikei.”

He also paid homage to former students of Turakina Māori Girls College, who were present at the opening.

“We will continue to honor that legacy and we will continue to honour you for everything you continue to do for te ao Māori, and we want to make sure that Te Poho o Tuariki remains open to you and all of your families.”

Turia says he is excited for what lies ahead and believes that with the help of their strategic partners they will be able to address a lot of local issues within the community.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to take charge of responsibilities for improving educational outcomes for our rangatahi.”

“We believe that with a joint attempt- we can work collaboratively, we can start to address these issues that not only impact on Māori within the Rangitikei but impact on all the people of the Rangitikei.”