by Hurimoana Nui Dennis
As the Chair of Te Puea Memorial Marae, it is an honour and a privilege to contribute to local kōrero and tell you about your local Marae.
Our Marae has proud Waikato-Tainui and Ngā Puhi connections and was the first Urban Marae in the country.
Since its opening in 1965, many different manuhiri (visitors) have visited and also enjoyed the local services and shops.
Agencies, politicians, private organisations, youth groups, different iwi, hapū and marae have come to Te Puea Memorial Marae, bringing their skills, knowledge and networks to enrich our kaimahi (workers) and pakeke (elders).
This year alone, we’ve hosted close to 60 different hui (gatherings) for whānau.
Since 2016 we have also placed 502 Māori, Pacific, Ethnic and Pākehā homeless whānau into homes and helped them to get their lives back on track. This mahi (work) is ongoing.
It is a privilege for us to be able to give service to those who struggle and, indeed, to follow the lineage and whakapapa of the Marae namesake, Princess Te Puea Hērangi.
Princess Te Puea, as she was affectionately known by the motu (country), was a strong and determined Māori leader with a vision to ensure the safety and protection of mokopuna and whānau. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, she just wanted to make sure you were safe and looked after.
What and how much she did for her people across the Waikato and for the country is recorded in our nation’s history books. Today we strive to continue her memory by doing exactly what she would have expected her Marae to do.
Ahakoa te aha, mahi te mahi, hePrincess Te Puea
painga mō e iwi.
It doesn’t matter how challenging, get on and do what needs to be done for the good of the people.
We thank local whānau who continue to contribute to the Marae and to our homeless whānau through donations, food, household appliances and resources.
We will soon be reaching out to local schools and organisations to invite you to come to the Marae. We want people to enjoy the manaakitanga (hospitality) of the Marae and share local stories that relate to the area of Māngere Bridge.
Hurimoana Nui Dennis