Historical Background - He Hītori
Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Beginnings
Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Incorporated was formed as a kaumātua supporting group and committee in April 1989. Members were first drawn from Ngā Pūtōrino o Orewa Māori Culture group established in 1982. Most members of Ngā Pūtōrino o Orewa came from several other tribal areas of Aotearoa, whom lived and worked, in the local communities of Rodney, Te Raki-pae-whenua and Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Foundation members of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa gave the committee this name in recognition and acknowledgement of all past and present members, supporters and whānau.
The “Te Herenga Waka o Orewa” means:
“The tying together of canoes of Orewa”, in this, one joins their whānau (family), cultural heritage, ethnicity, hopes, aspirations and dreams. Regardless of how long one has lived in the area, your canoe is still tied to Orewa until such time you may journey on.
The Te Herenga Waka o Orewa logo represents;
The four strong winds which carried our canoe here
from distant lands to a common mooring place.
Since Te Herenga Waka o Orewa's early beginnings, members have been involved in arranging and supporting numerous community programmes, initiatives and gatherings in both their professional and committee roles.
The committee felt it was vital to retain, manage and develop Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga (Māori language, culture, values, its processes and identity) for the benefit of future generations.
The committee identified that they needed to focus and direct their energies to plan, build and establish a Marae, a Tūrangawaewae (A place to stand tall). This traditional facility would promote and further enhance the succession of these taonga (treasures) to the present and forth coming generations as an integral part of our New Zealand heritage.
For these reasons the committee became a registered Incorporated Society providing more opportunities for future development purposes. The committee members of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa have voluntarily given much of their time and aroha to the project over that period. They have tried to express their hopes, dreams, ideals and gratitude in the process. (No financial benefits).
Over the course of the next 20 years following their incorporation, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa made numerous attempts to establish a marae. Historically, there have been no marae in this southern portion of the Rodney District. Unfortunately, all attempts were unsuccessful and in our historic correspondence it was evident that both the Rodney Council and its officers could easily have been far more supportive.