September 13, 2022
Te Raki Paewhenua whanau seek keys to Awataha
Maori on Auckland’s North Shore are making another attempt to open up Awataha Marae.
Facilitator Kingi Biddle, who is related to marae founder the late Arnold Manaaki Wilson, says a hui at the weekend aired longstanding grievances the marae is controlled by one whanau and is not available for tangi and other community functions, despite the kaupapa on which it was originally set up.
“The doors aren’t seen to be open for the community to come or just the community to find that space to belong so the hui was to speak about their ngawe but also to try to create a huarahi that follows that korero we sing on the marae – ma wai ra e taurima te marae i waho nei? Ma te tika, ma te pono. me te aroha e – to try and find a pathway so that our whanau, our community can return,” he says.
Mr Biddle says the hui resolved it could not work with the current management, but that community leaders including Sir Wayne Shelford and Raewyn Harrison should continue to work with Te Puni Kokiri and Ngati Whatua, which has a claim over the marae land, to find a solution.