20 November 2007
Kura festival to bring Seatoun foreshore alive
Te Ra-o-Kupe is the title of a gala festival that is expected to attract thousands to Seatoun this Saturday 24 November.
The festival is a fundraiser for Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna – the total-immersion school on the Seatoun
foreshore. However organiser Nicky Karu says the event also aims to celebrate the area’s rich Maori history – especially
its links with the legendary explorer Kupe.
Marine Parade between Ventnor Street and Falkirk Avenue will be closed to traffic for most of Saturday to accommodate
the wide range of stalls and scheduled events. Mayor Kerry Prendergast will officially open the event at 10am.
There’ll be a large stage featuring local entertainers and it’s rumoured that Maori City Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer –
a local and a rock ‘n’ roller from way back – will make an appearance.
TV3’s fast-talking Political Editor, Duncan Garner, will again preside over the auction – which is fast getting a
reputation for its humour and high intrigue. A hangi will be put down on the school field and will be ready at 2pm.
Another special feature of the day will be an exhibition of multi-media art by students from the Matapuna Training
Centre in Gisborne.
Nicky Karu says Kupe, the first Maori to visit the area, arrived in about 950AD. Many places in and around Wellington
Harbour are named in connection with his stay. A few examples are Te Tangihanga-a-Kupe (Barrett Reef), Te
Turanganui-a-Kupe (Seatoun Beach), Te Aroarao-a-Kupe (Steeple Rock) and Matiu (Somes Island) and Makaro (Ward Island) –
named after his niece and daughter.
The area and the greater Miramar Peninsula (Motu Kairangi) has long been settled by Maori. Oruaiti Pa was on the site of
what became Fort Dorset and Whetu Kairangi pa was on the Seatoun Heights ridge. Rangitatau and Poito pa were nearby on
the South Coast.