Tangonge … the karanga, keening calls of women opened the threshold for us to step into the ancestral meeting house at Pukepoto in Kaitaia where we were greeted by elders, the children of the school and departed whanau members whose photos line the walls.
You know there are moments in life when one can set aside as “ … I was there,” and Tuesday in Kaitaia has to be one of those moments in life for me. Call it serendipity or by any other name it still smells and feels like magic. First, Albert Walters sat between Roy Clare and myself; he was introduced as the grandson of the man attributed to ‘finding’ Tangonge, further more Dr Bruce Gregory and Hekenukumai Busby (kaumatua) pointed us in the direction of the discovery back in 1921.
This was followed by the grand entry into Te Ahu, The Kaitaia Heritage Centre as it prepares the taonga for the official opening this Saturday. The other stand out has to be the perfectionism of our staff as they worked late into a long night, just to get a tiny beam of light in the right spot to catch the spirit and antiquity of a taonga come home.
In all of these settings, reverence radiated around Tangonge, the kind or radiance that, apart from pulling communities together, will inspire mokopuna, rangatahi and a community to come. It’s journey continues …
Hoki atu e te taonga, hoki atu ki to kainga tuturu. Haere atu ra.