Day one of Te Āhuareka ō Ngāti Hine festival was held today at Otiria Marae, Moerewa. This year’s theme for the biennial event was aimed at encouraging the people of the region to promote and implement the Ngāti Hine dialect in everyday conversation.
A festival to perpetuate the dialect of this tribe.
Hine Hoterene, of Ngāti Hine, spoke of the masses of Ngāti Hine that had gathered and the importance of celebrating their unique tribal culture:
“Kua tae mai te minenga, ngā whanaunga, ngā hapū katoa o Ngāti Hine, heoi anō ko te mea nui kei kōnei te whānau katoa hei whakanui i ō tātou nei Ngāti Hinetanga.”
Pita Tipene, also of Ngāti Hine spoke of how the marae is an ideal location for this event and how it is a platform to show the language and cultural practices of the tribe.
“Ko tēnei te wāhi tika mō Te Āhuareka o Ngāti Hine, kei runga i te marae, kia ranonga te reo, hei mahia ngā tīkanga, koina te mea nui mō Ngāti Hine.”
Held at Otiria marae in Moerewa, the today's festivities focussed on the kohanga reo and early childhood centres.
Unity was another theme that Hoterene touched on.
“Ko tētahi mea whakahirahira, rongo te reo o Ngāti Hine, ō tātou mita o te kainga nei nō reira haere mai ā tātou whanaunga e noho kei tua atu kia huihui tātou katoa kia noho tahi, koira te mea nui ki a au.”
Tepeka Henare, of Ngāti Hine was happy to see the numbers that had come to support the kids.
"He rawe ki te kite i te manomano kua tae mai i tēnei ra, ā ki te tautoko i ō tātou taitamariki. Ko tēnei te ra mō rātou."
The festival is usually held in March, however due to bad weather in the past, they brought it forward to October.
Padre Brown spoke of his whakapapa and the happiness he felt at the gathering.
“He tino koa nei te ngākau me te toto i roto e au e mea atu e uri nō Hine Āmaru, te kite te kaha maha o ngā hunga kua tae mai kua hoki mai ki te kainga.”
Tipene called on his fellow Ngāti Hine to attend in numbers.
“E te iwi, nau mai haere mai, ahakoa te nama perēti o tēnei kaupapa, mō Ngāi Hine, mō te hapori, te iwi whānui, nau mai haere mai.”
Hoterene, closed with a quote from the late Sir James Henare.
“Ahakoa e tū, e kīa ana te korero a Tā Hemi Henare, "Ngāti Hine me haka iti me haka iti." Tika ana tēnei engari ki a ahau nau pai ki te kite i te iwi kia hakanui ō tātou iwi o Ngāti Hine.”