Moving blessing of Atupare Marae

Wednesday August 12, 2020 Written by Published in Culture
Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown and President of the House of Ariki Tou Ariki. 20081113. Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown and President of the House of Ariki Tou Ariki. 20081113.

The blessing of the Atupare marae by Bishop Tutai Pere yesterday morning was witnessed by dignitaries and many who attended the special occasion at the House of Ariki in Puaikura.

The dignitaries included Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters and Lady Tuaine, who were traditionally welcomed, Prime Minister Henry Puna, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown and Minister of Culture George Angene.

Kaumaiti Nui, President of the House of Ariki, Tou Ariki spoke of the construction of the marae and acknowledged the value of the traditional leaders.

He added that it is hoped that the empty seats of absent Arikis will be filled in the near future.

Tou Ariki also acknowledged local artist Junior (Katu) Teiti for designing the marae.

Teiti said the plan took three days to complete.

The structure of Atupare is based on a pyramid like sketch.  

Looking from the front, the highest point is the centre back, where the Kaumaiti sits – like a stairway to heaven.

The angled seating of the Ariki on both sides represent arms, the lines towards the centre are hands that clasp the small front centre circle of rocks that represent the belly button.

The marae was constructed with natural material.

Rocks were moved from the marae’s original location, and also brought in from the hills and the beach; branches were used as posts and kikau was plaited for its cover.

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