12 Sep 2011

Meeting house marae complex blessed

11:51 am on 12 September 2011

Mataatua Wharenui was confiscated by the Crown not long after it was initially opened and spent more than 130 years away from its ancestral grounds in Whakatane.

The meeting house was returned to Ngati Awa as a result of a treaty settlement. The re-opening ceremony will be held on 17 September.

Parts of the complex, including the dinine room, were opened on Saturday. A spokesperson says it was important to whakanoa (lift the tapu) from the complex so the people are able to use those areas to prepare for the big opening of the meeting house.