Why a Marae on the North ShoreIt is from such a rich historical and cultural background that we come to view the North Shore today.
The latest immigrants, the Pakeha, have settled the area densely dominating the North Shore culturally in all walks of life. In the 1980s, after but a blink in the stretch of time, many people of the North Shore of Māori, European and other descent are wakening from this recent period of dominance by European culture.
Many wish to allow the tides of the past to flow into the present and future.
With the marae in its traditional role and place in Māoritanga we hope to see benefits to all North Shore residents, particularly the youth, for those to come. In words of Hoani Rangihau, “A Marae is the one institute of Māori society where Pakeha can meet the Māori on Māori terms and come to a better understanding of what it means to have a bicultural society”.
The Māori people need a Marae for a host of reasons
“That we may rise tall in oratory,
That we may weep for our dead,
That we may have our feasts,
That we may house our guests,
That we may have our meetings,
That we may have our weddings,
That we may have our reunions,
That we may sing,
That we may dance
And then know the richness of life
And the proud heritage which is truly ours.” Hoani Rangihau
In the 1980s the North Shore was overwhelmingly monocultural in its institutions and lifeways. Pakeha children receive tiny amounts of instruction in Māori language, songs and values in some parts of the education system and had to travel a long way to visit a marae.
To some people’s way of thinking it may seem to be desirable that Pakehatanga dominates cultural life on the Shore but was it really an advantage to adults and children to continue to deny the bicultural reality of New Zealand, to be ignorant of the language, songs, dance and customs of the people of the land?
Was it to stay a part of Pakeha children’s heritage that they remain ignorant of an old and beautiful lifeway that belongs to the country they live in and that they remain ignorant of the variety of cultural difference among New Zealanders? We needed to ask the question, does this equip them to be developers and leaders of our future society?
Pakeha people on the Shore need a marae for these reasons:
That they may hear the oratory,
That they may appreciate the farewelling of the dead,
That they may share in Māori prayers to God,
That they may acknowledge their manuhiri status,
That they may join in the feast,
That they may reduce the social distance of their ancestors,
That they may reduce the racist bias of their communities,
That they may feel comfortable with Māoritanga,
That they may enjoy the song,
That they may see the dancing,
And then know the richness of the in Aotearoa,
And the proud heritage of the people of the land.