Published: 14 February 2022
A new multipurpose facility, Te Matauraura o Whenuangaro, in Te Whiti Park, was formally blessed at a dawn ceremony on Saturday 29 January.
The space, which takes its name from The Enlightenment of Whenuangaro, the original name for Waiwhetu is founded on the cultural practices of the local Te Āti Awa people and is intended as a centre for education, culture, sport and community development.
First discussed in 2009, Te Matauraura o Whenuangaro is a partnership between Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Hutt City Council. The newly unveiled building sits alongside Te Whiti Park playing fields, incorporating new changing rooms and toilets alongside the educational and community space.
“Te Whiti Park stands here at the feet of the mighty Pukeatua. This multipurpose facility on the park will be a place to enhance community wellbeing through education, sharing information, community meetings and events. Te Matauraura o Whenuangaro will strengthen the connection of young people to their whakapapa and provide new opportunities to grow the holistic wellbeing rangatahi in Te Awakairangi,” says Kura Moeahu, Chairman of the Board for the Rūnanga.
“This will be a welcoming place where our young people will gain the confidence and skills to take the next steps on their chosen journey to work or further study.”
Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry who attended the blessing says, “I’m really pleased that we have been able to support this project, and it demonstrates the real progress we’re making to strengthen our partnership with Mana Whenua and deliver better outcomes through education to our community.”
The teaching of Te Reo and Tikanga will be a major focus of the space, which will also serve the community as a base for school holiday programmes and after-school homework sessions, for tamariki, while rangatahi will be supported to achieve their educational goals at a tertiary level, through a partnership with WelTec.
The sharing of cultural knowledge such as Māori arts, kapa haka and cultural wānanga will play a central role at Te Matauraura o Whenuangaro, and sporting culture will continue to be celebrated and enjoyed, with regular games from a range of codes throughout the year, as well as coaching and development for sports people, and club meetings being held at the venue.
View a timelapse of the construction and blessing of Te Matauraura o Whenuangaro.