After nine months of renovation work by Ngati Porou tradespeople, the new Te Tini o Porou Whanau and Youth Centre in Kaiti was officially opened on Monday the 17th of August.
The day began with a dawn karakia/blessing of the new facility by Derek Lardelli and Mark Kopua. At 9am an official public community opening was held and attended by 300 people. The ceremony ended with a video about the vision and purpose of the Te Tini o Porou complex, and a special hakari.
In June 2014 the iconic "DB" Gisborne Hotel was purchased by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou with the vision that it become a central hub for the Iwi, offering a range of commercial, educational and community services. A little over a year later a section of the building (the former public bar and lounge areas) have now been renovated and repurposed to become a place of service and manaakitanga for the Iwi and wider community.
The whare is a testament to the foresight of Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika - Chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou (later Runanganui) since its inception until his death earlier this year. Naming it "Te Tini o Porou", Uncle Api's vision was that it become a place to shelter and serve ‘the many descendants of Porou’ - a name that reflects the many services, skills, talents and people who will use the facility.
The Whanau Oranga and Te Tatai Hono kaimahi of the Runanganui will move into the new centre within the next fortnight, and provide a “one stop shop” for the delivery of services and programmes to help support and empower whanau and rangatahi.
To learn more about the purpose of Te Tini o Porou and the site's re-development process please download the Official Te Tini o Porou Opening booklet.
Watch a short news report about the opening of the whare below.