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Minister leads pou whakairo ceremony in Santiago - Mahuta

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who is on her first official mission to Chile, led the ceremony naming and gifting of a carved pou whakairo at the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral in Santiago today.

"This pou is a response to this specific site and its history, reflecting challenges of the past and symbolising aspirations for the future," said Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

"Master Carver James Rickard (Ngāti Porou and Hauāuru) and Karaitiana Rurehe (Ngāi Tūhoe) from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute both worked on the pou. James has travelled to Santiago for the ceremony.

"The pou whakairo has been named Ngā Morehu - those who remain.

"Our peoples share an incredible past, one that we can all be proud of. Today we continue that proud tradition."

Minister Mahuta, who is in Chile to promote diplomatic, cultural and business relationships between Chile and New Zealand, said this visit provides a unique opportunity to share the experience and value of Māori economic and social development and promote links between Aotearoa and Chile on indigenous issues and collaborative opportunities.

"It’s great to be here to build and foster a relationship with our Chilean counterparts and share what we’ve learnt and we are doing to support indigenous development in Aotearoa.

Minister Mahuta says the Mapuche people of Santiago has supported the Minister’s visit with its programme and hosted the special ceremony.

"I’m proud to visit Chile and to support this significant ceremony in Chile", Nanaia Mahuta said.

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