Te Raukura ki Kāpiti: Parihaka Gifts Name to Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre
As Te Rā the sun peeked across the horizon toward Kāpiti Island this morning, a group of fifty Parihaka leaders and those with connections to Taranaki gathered to bless Kāpiti’s new performing arts centre with a name steeped in history and inspiration for the performers who will call it home for generations to come – Te Raukura ki Kāpiti.
At 5:15am a crowd of 300 gathered and Karakia Tomo Whare was carried out at the new $12 Million dollar multi purpose venue off Raumati Road, which was built by Kāpiti College in a project with significant community funding.
Meaning feather, Te Raukura is an important symbol of peaceful coexistence to the tribes who affiliate to the Taranaki Rohe, including Waikanae’s Te Ati Awa whose whakapapa sought refuge there among many other iwi who had been oppressed and marginalised by the Crown.
As a plume of white feathers, Te Raukura represents spiritual, physical, and communal harmony and unity despite hardship. It is a symbol of faith, hope, and compassion for all of mankind – a sentiment fitting of what the kura sees as a community asset, said Kāpiti College teacher in charge of Te Reo Māori, Paora Trim.
“Parihaka holds a heavy place in our history books but the values and lessons that arose from the time of Te Raukura are a source of great inspiration,” he said.
“The opening and gift of such a taonga is a great honour to the kura and an acknowledgement of our long association with Parihaka and Taranaki.”
So struck by the kōrero of Parihaka, the kura recently put in place a Parihaka-based curriculum and set of values within the school.
“That sense of community and peace that was fostered at Parihaka all those years ago feels very at home in our school,” said Principal Tony Kane, “And it rings true for the centre. We strongly believe in the harmony of this place, the community built it together and it belongs to us all.” The building will be opened to the public by Hon Grant Robertson in a festival-like open Day next Saturday, 22 February.
Parihaka Takes the Stage
As part of Te Raukura ki Kāpiti opening season, Parihaka, a moving sell-out Kāpiti College production written by Trim and colleague Nicola Easthope will be re-staged in the centre’s Coastlands Theatre on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th of March. The emotionally charged, historical drama will be a box office event with tickets available at: https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2020/parihaka/paraparaumu