Te Ātiawa Iwi Chair Kura Moeahu, provided the pūrākau (origin story) regarding the formation of the land, the history of Te Motu Kairangi (Miramar Peninsular) and surrounding areas, meanings and values attributed to manu and other inhabitants from the area.
Kura says inspiration for the name – Te Tūhunga Rau – came from the symbolism of manu (birds) who lived, and in some cases still live, on Te Motu Kairangi and refers to the arrival of many peoples to the area through the centuries.
E koekoe te tūī, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū
“The tūī chatters, the parrot gabbles,
the wood pigeon coos.
(A saying for “It takes all kinds…”)
“Tūhunga can be translated as a roost or a perch of birds or a place to stand. Rau can be hundred or alternatively the feathers of birds. So, metaphorically Te Tūhunga Rau can be translated as The Place of a Hundred Perches or Where feathers find a place to stand.
“What this means is Te Tūhunga Rau is a place where the manuhiri (birds looking for a place to settle) or visitors of various iwi from around the world that make our community home, can come and find a place to make their own while celebrating who they are in their own special way.”
This notion of a place where people gather from many backgrounds are welcomed, nurtured and share values is grounded in Te Ao Māori principles.
Councillor Sarah Free welcomes the new name and says it represents a place where everyone is welcome.
“This site has been the beating heart of the community for decades, where people meet, engage, learn, share, support, and enjoy kai and korero together.
“That will continue with the beautifully upgraded Te Tūhunga Rau for all members of the community – and future generations to come.”
Construction on the $2.2 million upgrade began in March 2022, with the upgrade increasing functionality, usability and safety. A new floor, kitchen, better storage, improved subfloor drainage, improved insulation and landscaping have also been added.
Keep an eye on their website for some upcoming events to celebrate the new space.