Navigator is still in Waitangi Day spirits and goes (conscious) Aotearoa roots and Pacifica

Written by on February 7, 2010

Hoi friends

I am still buzzing from the Waitangi Day celebrations on the Piritahi Marae .

Piritahi Marae is in the rather unique situation of being located on Auckland City Council reserve land and being a Marae which is not specifically dedicated to the local tangata whenua, although due recognition and respect is paid to Ngati Paoa as Mana Whenua and the interests of the wider Hauraki whanau. It is a relatively recent Marae that has been developed and built more as a community Marae than by the traditional process of being developed by Hapu and Iwi.

1833 saw the marriage of Nga Puhi chief Eruera Patuone to Takarangi (Riria) of Marutuahu/Ngati Paoa lineage to consolidate peace between the tribes. To commemorate the wedding and the symbolic coming together of two peoples in peace the stream at Te Huruhi was named "Piritahi" at the time of the wedding. Piritahi meaning "coming together as one". The plaque at the base of the Marae flagpole commemorates this event.

During the 1800’s the Te Huruhi flats had extensive gardens and orchards farmed by Ngati Paoa that provided supplies for Auckland. The land was later sold by Ngati Paoa and passed into European ownership in the 1900’s. In the early 1970’s the land was being farmed as a dairy farm when the then owner Brown gifted the land in 1971 to the "public of Waiheke with the intent that the land be used for educational and Marae purposes". Thus the land came under council ownership and a lease was issued to the "Piritahi Maori Marae Committee" in 1976. The lease states " that the membership of the Marae shall be open to those of all races".

To me this was the obvious place to be and what a program it was!!!! The MC, Mua Strickson-Pua, chaplain of the Tagata Pacifika Resource Centre, strung the music together in a masterful way with humour, respect and class.

Music, hangi, weaving, promotion of non-violence, kids activities and beautiful weather to top it off. If only we could all be like this………

The navigator stays mostly at home and goes on a journey to visit Herbs, Cornerstone Roots, Katchafire, Rhombus, Tropical Downbeat Orchestra, Batacuda Sound Machine, Pacific Curls, Deva Mahal, Tiki Taane, Ladi6, Kora, Unity Pacific, Tahuna Breaks, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Black Seeds. We drop the anchor in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Okinawa and Hawaii.

I haven taken a lead from Bob Brozman, a guitarist like no other: an established and prolific recording artist, performer, producer, and author, Bob is a non-stop world traveler and tireless researcher in ethnomusicology. His work with musicians from around the world in the past several years has marked him as not only a virtuoso musician and slide guitarist, but also as a pioneer in finding a common thread among global musical cultures.

Enjoy, Be nice to each other and don’t drink and drive

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