We will meet at the Memorial Hall at 10AM on the 8th to prepare for the powhiri.

Dear fellow participants in the Kaikoura Meeting,

Here is a short description of how I expect us to proceed when we first visit the marae.

The likely procedure for the powhiri.

According to the timetable on the website the powhiri starts at about 11am. We should aim to be outside the marae in good time before this so that when we are called onto the marae we are ready.

While we are waiting we should put together a koha (gift) for the hosts as a contribution to running the marae and associated facilities. While the NZMRI plans a significant koha, it is usual for individuals also to make a small monetary contribution: we will have an envelope for this purpose.

Once we are invited onto the marae the guests should stay in place and keep reasonably quiet.

At some point we can expect a karanga (call) from a kuia (senior woman) amongst the tangata whenua (hosts). This will mark the beginning of the welcome. Ideally we should have a woman from our own group to reply to the karanga but maybe we are not equipped for that but the hosts may ensure that a local woman accompanies us for this part.

After the karanga we then move slowly into position to the left. After assembling in our place we wait until invited to sit (there may not be enough chairs for all). The front row is usually occupied by men with the rest immediately behind them. If there are insufficiently many chairs then the remaining men should stand at the back. Our speakers will sit together at one end of the front row if there are no chairs obviously designated for them.

Then some speakers from the tangata whenua will welcome us. After each speech there will be a waiata (song) from their party. The point of the waiata is to express support for what the speaker has said.

It will then be our turn to speak. Perhaps 2 or three from our group should speak. It seems worthwhile for at least one of us to speak te reo Maori (the Maori language) so I guess I will speak first. Then Vaughan and/or Rod should also speak. Again after each of our speeches there should be a waiata. After the waiata following the last of our speeches that speaker will offer the koha.

There will be a brief wrap-up speech from the tangata whenua followed by a hongi. We will be invited to cross towards the hosts and, in turn, hongi (press noses while shaking hands: we may arrange a practice demonstration while waiting beforehand.

Here are a couple of waiata which we might try to learn beforehand. The first we used at Tolaga Bay. It is easy to sing; we should try to meet the day before for a practice session. Unfortunately I do not know the tune for the second but maybe someone else can help us. At Tolaga Bay Arkadii Slinko got us singing a familiar Russian song and that went down well.

1) Ehara i te mea It is not the case
No inaianei te aroha Love started today
No nga tupuna From the ancestors
I tuku iho, i tuku iho. It has been passed down.
2) Maku ra pea Perhaps it is I
Maku ra pea Perhaps it is I
Maku koe e awhi e Who will embrace and help you
Ki te ara, ara tapu In the pathway of your growth
Maku koe e awhi e. I will enfold you.


David Gauld