19 Oct 2012

Rangitane to reconnect with marae

8:16 pm on 19 October 2012

Rangitane people are being encouraged to reconnect with their marae and foster a sense of belonging to the community.

Tribal members from Manawatu, Dannevirke, and Wairarapa have joined their Marlborough relatives for their first ever Rangitane Ahurei or tribal festival being hosted at Blenheim's Omaka Marae.

Manager of the marae Kiley Nepia says after a big renovation project at Omaka earlier this year, the hope is the festival will inspire descendants to keep returning to their marae and increase their desire to learn about their tribal roots.

He says the recent Maori Women's Welfare hui at the marae and the DIY project have been very positive in enticing people to return to Omaka to keep the marae alive.

Mr Nepia says these kinds of gatherings help to uphold tribal traditions which leads to iwi members fostering a stronger tribal identity.

He says the Rangitane Ahurei is another way of raising the iwi's profile in the community.