27 Nov 2013

Mokau trustee heartened by clean-up help

6:35 am on 27 November 2013

A trustee of Mokau Marae is thanking his hapu and neighbouring sub-tribes for helping to clean up the remains of its meeting house, which was destroyed by after a drastic fire.

Te Uri o Hikihiki wharenui, near Whangarei, was extensively damaged by fire on 8 November, and it is suspected to have been started by two boys aged three and six.

Mokau Marae Trustee Clive Stone says a large portion of its Maori carvings were damaged beyond repair but he some were salvageable and hui will be held to talk about what to do with them.

Mr Stone says about 150 people went to Mokau Marae to help with the clean-up last weekend, and it's heartening to see the support by hapu members and surrounding marae to clean up at the pa and make it safe, especially because the nearby Kohanga is still operational.

The fire has shown the value of family ties, or whakawhanaungatanga, of Ngati Wai as well as Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Stone says ongoing hui will be held to talk about what will happen, such as burying the remains of Te Uri o Hikihiki wharenui, as well as what's required in order to build another meeting house.