A new look for Te Tokanganui-a-Noho

By Kawe Roes , Tepara Koti

As the darkest lifts with the rising of the sun, Te Tokanganui-a-Noho's new look becomes clearer for the masses attending today's reawakening following the major restoration project that started 12 months ago.

In the early hours of this morning, hundreds turned out to Te Rā Whakaohooho Ake Anō o Te Tokanganui-a-Noho at Te Kūiti Pā.

The wharenui was built after the New Zealand Land Wars in 1872 as a base for the prophet Te Kooti and his Ringatū followers, who had taken refuge in Te Rohe Pōtae (King Country).   Te Kooti used the house as a Ringatū Church, a whare rūnanga, whare karakia, and wharenui. 

Today, leaders of the Ringatū Faith and Rātana Church paid special tribute to Te Tokanganui-a-Noho, one of the oldest wharenui in Aotearoa, by leading karakia within the wharenui.

Extensive work to restore the carvings inside and outside of the majestic wharenui, as well as other areas around the marae complex are now complete.

Nearly a year to the day, Ngāti Maniapoto descendants from near and far have returned to celebrate the auspicious occasion.

Acknowledgements were made to the kawe mate of the past year, including the Late Hon. Koro Wetere who passed away in June, at age 83.  

Koro Wetere was elected as MP for Western Māori (Labour) in 1969, with the largest majority of any candidate and held his seat until his retirement in 1996.  While politics became his passion for twenty-seven years, Tokanganui-a-Noho was his cultural centre where he served time as chair of the marae trustees. 

Maniapoto FM have the full live broadcast on their airwaves - Rereahu 91.8FM, Piopio 97.2FM, Waitomo 99.6FM, Waipā 106.2FM

The raising of the flag will take place soon after formalities have concluded. Kai hākari and entertainment will follow before the end of today's event.

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