Papakura Marae hosts citizenship ceremony

Publish Date : 22 Feb 2024
The challenge is laid down and accepted.

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s newest Aotearoa New Zealand residents have received their citizenships at a Papakura Marae ceremony.

Whānau and friends arrived at the marae as Croatian, Dutch, Samoan, Egyptian, Indian, Fijian, Russian, Filipina, English, South African, Tahitian, Tajikistani and from 14 other countries, but all left able to say: ‘I’m a Kiwi’.

“What better place could there be to become a Kiwi – tangata tiriti – than on the marae,” Papakura Local Board Chair Brett Catchpole says.

“Papakura Marae has long sought to host one of our citizenship ceremonies, and it’s a pleasure to be here to witness that finally happen.”

Ngāti Tamaoho kaumatua Ted Ngataki welcomes guests to the wharenui.

Ngāti Tamaoho kaumatua Ted Ngataki welcomes guests to the wharenui.

Manuhiri / guests, were welcomed on to the marae by Ngāti Tamaoho kaumatua Ted Ngataki, with their own kaumatua, Auckland Council’s Māori Outcomes senior advisor Richard Nahi, responding on their behalf.

Marae CEO Tony Kake enjoyed seeing such diversity on show. “For many of our guests it’s their first experience on a marae, and we want them as new Kiwi citizens to understand that they are welcome here and accepted as part of the community.”

The powhiri was unique, with guests invited into the wharenui / meeting house, but because of the numbers, others watching via livestream on television outside, before moving to the larger wharekai / dining room for the certificate ceremony.

Board Deputy chair and ceremony MC Jan Robinson says it was a moving experience. “With great kapa haka from Taniwha Ventures it was wonderful to see so many dressed in national costume. I just thought it was delightful to see our rich cultural melting pot expanding and coming together on the marae.”

Taniwha Ventures kapa haka groups perform waiata as part of the powhiri for arriving guests.

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