Issue 3: 22 February 2008

Third Retrospective column published in the University News, 22 February, 2008

Extracts from ‘University Marae Opens Officially’, New Zealand Herald, 22 February 1988, p. 2.
Among the hundreds of guests at the ceremony were the King and Queen of Tonga and the Governor-General, the Most Rev Sir Paul Reeves.

The idea of establishing a marae at the University was first raised in 1976 by a committee examining educational opportunities for Maori and Polynesian students. The university later applied for Government finance but such funds were available only for the academic sections of Maori studies. However the Public Trust Office gave funds for the marae and the university provided the balance, which included money from staff parking fees. Work on the marae site began early in 1984 and all building was finished by mid-1986. Maori carvers and weavers put the finishing touches to the construction.

Extracts from ‘House waiting to be warmed’, University News, 2nd April 1988, pp. 12-13.
The marae has been described by the Governor-General, Sir Paul Reeves, as "a claim of Maori identity" in the University. This has not been an easy project, said Sir Paul. "There have been many difficulties, but the marae and the house Tane-nui-a-rangi are here and are waiting now to be warmed by our presence."

The Chancellor, Judge Michael Brown said the adornment essential to transform the shell and breathe life into the timber had been brought about by the inspired choice of the master carver, Paki Harrison. The University would be enriched, said Judge Brown, if the warmth and richness of Maoritanga could be woven into it through the marae.

This waiata recounting the history of the University Marae was composed specially for the opening by Merimeri Penfold and translated by Anne Salmond. It was performed at the opening by staff and students.

Teeraa ka noho te rau tau te whare waananga
Rere ana te awhi a te hunga rangatira o to rohe
Na Parore, takoto ana taa Ngaatihine mai i te wao a Taane
Ka peke, pakuu ana te waha o te hunga rangatahi
I noho tahi nei i a ‘Mihinga i toona tuuranga.
Ko Whare teeraa i te kei o te waka o Tuia
Na raatou ra i tuitui nga rawekeetanga
Peeraa hoki te piri mai a te whaanau whaanui
E papata e noho puku nei i runga o Horotiu
Rere ana te koha tapu, tuu ana te whare hei tuupuna
Teeraa te Tumu ka paa atu te puna Te Pane o te Ika
Whakatinanatia mai ana ko Reipae e tuu
Te tutu (mai) te puna o nga whare wananga o te motu
Tuu nei Rehutai (te) toka te mahi waananga
Tau maki ko Paaki, ko Hine me to whaanau rangatahi
Hei tuhi, hei raranga i te pueru whakahirahira i te tupuna
Ko Tanne-nui-a-rangi e tuu nei i runga o Waipapa e
Nau mai e Koro e
Nau mai nau mai!

Now the University’s centenary came
the chiefs of the region offered their help
through Parore, Ngati Hine’s gift came from the forest of Tane,
the young people leapt up and cracked their mouths
while ‘Mihinga sat with them
and Whare stood at the stern of the canoe Tuia
that group which bound meddlesome strands together
bringing the wider family closer
that teeming, self-contained multitude on Horotiu
gave their sacred gift, and the shell of the ancestral house was built
the chief went to the source at the fish’s head
Reipae (the dining-hall) came to life
the well-spring for the universities of the island made its gift
Rehutai (the academic wing) stood as a foundation for teaching and
Paaki and Hine arrived with the family of young people
to carve and weave a magnificent garment for the ancestor
Tane-nui-a-rangi (the meeting-house), standing here on Waipapa
Welcome, old man!!
Come, welcome!!