BY special request of Arts Murihiku, members of the Awarua Runaka are offering the public an opportunity to tour their marae and hear the stories of this special place.
Te Rau Aroha Marae, on the corner of Bradshaw and Henderson Sts in Bluff, was designed by Maori artist Cliff Whiting and opened in February 2003.
Awarua Runaka community-based educator (kaitoko matauranga) Bubba Thompson said Whiting and his wife Heather had left a lasting impression on the people of the Awarua Runaka along with his interesting art.
“He was such a huge influence on us all down here. He was a mighty guy. Everything grows and art grows in its different expressions over time. Our knowledge also grew [from what Whiting shared]. It’s really the story that the art tells. That’s the korero, about whakapapa, or about history happening to our people way back when only Maori were in the land.”
The official welcome (powhiri) will begin at 1pm on Saturday, March 17, but visitors are asked to assemble outside the marae at 12.45pm.
The tour will run until 3pm.
Bookings are essential, with marae administrators suggesting a koha of $15 per person.