Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021.  © Copyright images:  Clare Toia-Bailey /  <a href="http://www.image-central.co.nz">http://www.image-central.co.nz</a>

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021. © Copyright images: Clare Toia-Bailey / http://www.image-central.co.nz

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne

I had the pleasure of meeting Kararainga earlier this year on a work trip to Te Araroa,  a tiny town off the beaten track two and half hours north of Gisborne.  Te Araroa is a small rural settlement, with a high proportion te reo Māori speakers.  It's located in the middle of two more  known locations - Hicks Bay in the North and the East Cape (home to the East Cape lighthouse).  

I was introduced to Kararainga by a mutual friend and I was delighted that although I was a complete stranger, she eventually agreed to be photographed.  Before agreeing, I did have to explain my  "kaupapa", (purpose) to her and she later told me she checked me out including my work on this website!  I explained that I was keen to photograph her dressed in her  korowai (Maori cloak)  for my portfolio.  

We later agreed that Hinuerupe, the local marae, would be a great venue for the shoot.        Kararainga is  one of a small group of Directors of  Hinuerupe Marae.  During our shoot she explained prior to COVID-19 they had started to offer tourism experiences at the Marae.  Tourists could come and stay, eat & sleep there and be taken on tours around Te Araroa.  She explained the focus was about offering an authentic marae experience - guests were even invited to help  to prepare meals too.

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021.  © Copyright images:  Clare Toia-Bailey /  <a href="http://www.image-central.co.nz">http://www.image-central.co.nz</a>

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021. © Copyright images: Clare Toia-Bailey / http://www.image-central.co.nz

I asked Kararaina about what her vision was for her people and role of Hinerupe Marae, and here's what she explained...

"Ko Whetumatarau te maunga

Ko Awatere te awa

Ko Hinerupe te marae

Ko Te Whanau a Hinerupe te hapu

We are the people of our ancestors Hinerupe.

Hinerupe Marae is the home of her people Te Whanaua a Hinerupe.

Our marae is a beacon for all her descendants both near and far who are humbled and  proud to be her uri (descendants).  Our marae is welcoming to all people who come from near and wide.  Manaakitanga (hosipitality/kindness), and aroha (love) are shown no matter who comes to our tipuna (ancestors) Hinerupe.

Hinerupe marae is home to all, a safe haven for many and a place to gather and enjoy being together."


 - Kararaina Ngtai Melbourne June 2021

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021.  © Copyright images:  Clare Toia-Bailey /  <a href="http://www.image-central.co.nz">http://www.image-central.co.nz</a>

Kararaina Ngatai Melbourne of Te Araora, Tairwhiti Gisborne Monday, 28th June 2021. © Copyright images: Clare Toia-Bailey / http://www.image-central.co.nz

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