Friday, January 8, 2010
The weather was picture-perfect on Tuesday when I decided to drive over the Port Hills to visit the little Maori community of Rapaki, which nestles into a bay in Lyttelton Harbour between Lyttelton township and Governor's Bay. That's it pictured above.
For some time now, the Maori community here have been building a new wharenui (meeting house) at the marae, which sits in the heart of the tiny village. I've featured the early stages of the building here before and thought I'd just slip across the hills to see how things are coming along. There was a gathering at the marae when I drove by, so I didn't stop. I just snapped this one image of the new building as I drove by. You can't see a lot but with the new tiled courtyard laid and the building itself roofed and fully closed in, it's fair to say they're much closer to completion that I expected. The craftsmen and women are now working on carvings and taniko panels for the interior of the wharenui.
I drove down the hill to the water's edge to see what was happening at the jetty - a beautiful little construction that is a feature of the community. The last time I went across to Rapaki, I chatted with a Maori woman who was drying tuna (eels) in the traditional manner, hanging them off the side of the jetty on nails.
This time, there was a man fishing off the end of the jetty and a few Maori kids checking out his catch. The caretaker was mowing lawns at the nearby Maori church and people were visitng the urupa (cemetery) on the hill above to pay their respects to late whanau (family) and friends. All up it's a gorgeous spot and I look forward to seeing the marae when it is completed sometime this year.