WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Visit to Tānenui-ā-Rangi Marae

WelCom April 2019:

Palmerston North Diocese Team gathered with tāngata whenua at Tānenui-ā-Rangi Marae. Photo: WelCom

On Friday 1 March, Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop Peter Cullinane and staff from the Palmerston North Diocesan Office, made a visit for the first time to the mana whenua at Tānenui-ā-Rangi Marae, Maxwell’s Line, Palmerston North.

Rangitāne are the iwi. Their hapū and whānau hold historical and current residency and traditional authority over a defined territory rohe. Tānenuiārangi Manawatu Incorporated (TMI) has been the mandated iwi authority for Rangitāne o Manawatū since 1989. Its members are the natural descendants of the hapū of Rangitāne o Manawatū.

The visit was the culmination of many months of preparation and organisation by Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard, Nick Wilson and Korty Wilson with Tānenui-ā-Rangi Marae Manawatū Incorporated education facilitator Roland Fitzgerald.

The visit gave the diocesan team the opportunity to visit a marae and learn how this community contributes to the city of Palmerston North; walk through the welcoming processes together and experience the special wairua, protocols and manaakitanga (respect); and begin a relationship with the mana whenua in recognition of residing on their tribal lands and care for their ancestor, Tānenui-ā-Rangi, who stands in the diocesan reception area.

The tangata whenua called the manuhiri (visitors) onto the marae with a karanga of welcome. The visitors gave a karanga in response. Once inside the meeting house there was an exchange of waiata and the laying down of a koha from the manuhiri. Bishop Charles Drennan presented a Bible and an exchange among speakers followed. The manuhiri had prepared and learned a new waiata especially composed for their visit. Terry Hapi spoke of the significance of Tānenui-ā-Rangi and of their ancestoral waka Kurahaupō, as depicted in the carvings.

The tāngata whenua invited the speakers followed by all the manuhiri forward to hongi (pressing of noses) and hariru (shaking hands). After sharing kai the tapu was lifted and all became one.

The manuhiri were each invited to introduce themselves, many of whom spoke in Māori. CEO Danielle Harris gave an overview on TMI Inc and its many community services, which shared synergies with the diocese’s own work including matters relating to the wellbeing and educational support of their people.

The groups are committed to forming an ongoing relationship with each other.