Wā Whakaaroaro | Time of Reflection

Tēnā rawa atu koutou i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā… tihei wā, mauri Ora!

It’s been a weird year for all of us and Ripia Marae takes this opportunity to reflect on what was. So here goes…

We went from what was classified as normal life to being something of an extraordinary way of life that was scarier and uncertain as ever with the first pandemic for many. We went through a whole lot of new developments in life that changed us and the way we see the world and our communities we live in because of Corona Virus.

We saw the strength of people unite during these times, especially in our Māori communities adjust to new tīkanga such as the use of Zui (Zoom Hui), Kaumatua and Kuia use technology more and Tangihanga really test our limits of manākitanga, ways of harirū and taking tangihanga to new limits by not being involved in our loved ones farewell or by digital participation via video conferencing methods – many of which were not our normal styles of doing things.

Ripia Marae came into modern technology with the release of some new features in the tech-space world being a huge touch of new merging with a significant touch of old.

With the launch of Ripia Marae’s 0800 line (0800 1 Ripia), a newly built website with online Marae registration, and online Marae Booking capabilities, the Kumara Vine updates, a Facebook and Instagram revamp, going live on Google Business Community and a seamless Booking process growing much favour throughout the hapū, a new YouTube channel to capture stories of our people in interviews that explain their hono and connection to Rīpia Marae and a Marae Podcast Series called ‘Tōku Tūrangawaewae’ that too will be an enjoyable series of stories and whakapapa. With all these brand new developments and more, Ripia Marae ensures to stand tall and proud connecting everyone through the digital age.

Ripia Marae saw the testing times for new Marae Committee members and whānau divided during what was an ambitious introduction of new toto, however, personalities and egos slowly halted the people and the Marae from moving forward until the promise of a new way forward was planned and agreed bringing an end to those take, and an agreed whānau based approach reintroduced that aimed to voice all whānau opinions and participation.

A mediation was held and an Special General Meeting was hosted to rectify and put all of this back on track in order to move forward with better promise and a brighter future for the hapū.

We farewelled one of Ripia Marae’s biggest treasure’s, ‘Gentle Giant – Big Richard’ who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Richard, the local farmer, will certainly be missed as he played an integral role to the Marae as its Marae Security, Maintenance man, Mr Fix-It and the fullah who was always there – day in, day out.

To Rīpia and the whānau, Richard was acknowledged for his long-term support, dedication and commitment spanned over 20+ years from his voluntary duties which he took seriously, his extra hand of support for whatever the occasion through to his promise that if there is Kai or baking he would be there with his half gallon mug of tea enjoying what treats the whānau had for him.

Big Rich was instrumental for helping the late Uncle Rob Sarich during the Marae re-build and refurbishment constantly being involved and around the marae.

Because of that and more, we will all miss him.

We had an amazing opportunity to design and architect part of Ripia’s next 20 year future which is now placed into a planning document ‘Rautaki Marae Tū Rangatira – Marae Development Plan’ where whānau and hapū were given the opportunity to underwrite the Marae’s future with dreams, ambitions and designing the future of what Ripia Marae looks like.

A huge part of the future looks at ways to draw whānau home, get more out of the Marae and how to be self sustaining as a Marae with business wishes and prospects alongside our other Marae – Oturei, Waikaretu and Naumai.

All of these moemoea and dreams are about one thing ‘Oranga Marae – Marae Revival’.

With all these and more, we know it’s been tough for many of our whānau, hapū and Iwi through Te Uri-o-Hau and Ngāti Whātua, and we are grateful to be able to reflect throughout and look forward to doing the same with more prosperous and happy new reflections.

Therefore, Ripia Marae wishes you all an amazing Merry Christmas with an even better New Year for 2021.

May you and your whānau be merry, well and safe during the festive season and know that home is when you see Tokatoka Maunga as it greets you and Te Orikena calls you to a place you can claim as ‘Tōku Tūrangawaewae.

Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi nui rawa atu e tātou ma mo te tau hou…

Haumi e, Hui e, Taiki e!

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