March 13, 2020
Puketapu back in splendour as Hono opens
It’s a proud day for Te Ātiawa as the Puketapu hapū takes the lead in opening a new airport terminal for New Plymouth.
Member Wharehoka Wano says the airport land was confiscated from the hapū so its former kainga has been off-limits for many years.
Hono, as the terminal building is named, gave it a chance to once again stamp its mark.
He says it was not without controversy, as Puketapu leadership had to muscle their way into the room.
"There was a desire by the council to have a real relationship but their expectation around a real relationship and ours was quite different. It needed good leadership to really put a mark on this place. It's unlike any regional airport you will visit, to have this strength of narrative. It is really about us saying 'Puketapu never went anywhere. We were pushed to the fringes but we’re back,'" Mr Wano says.
The design and artworks by Rangi Kipa share some of Te Ātiawa’s creation stories and pay tribute to its ancestors.
Hono will open to the public next Tuesday.
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