Posted by Gold FM on 08/11/2012
The Australian Mining History Association delegates were welcomed to Waihi in an unique way on Tuesday evening when they attended a powhiri (traditional maori welcome) at the Waihi Community Marae.
The visitors assembled outside the gates of the marae complex at 4.30 pm where they waited until a wero, or challenge, was performed by Larn Wilkinson.
Once the challenge had been laid down by the warrior and accepted, the visitors were called onto the marae by wahine performing a karanga.
When everyone entered the whare nui the speeches and waiata began. Tim Ainsley guided the visitors and his assembled people through the traditional ceremony and after the hongi had been exchanged the group were shown into the whare kai for a carefully prepared earth hangi.
Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga attended the powhiri and said yesterday when Brian Gentil spoke to him that it was one of the best, if not the best powhiri he has attended, and he's attended a good many. He said the kapahaka performance was outstanding and he particularly liked the way the visitors were guided and given explanations so they could better understand the process they were going through.
The visitors were invited to join the kapahaka group and we're told they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were very impressed by their hosts.
Thanks to Kit Wilson for the fantastic photo record of the powhiri.
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