Taupo’s Te Toke Marae officially reopened its wharekai (dining room and kitchen areas) on Saturday, following a complete refurbishment and upgrade to its power supply provided by Unison Networks.
The wharekai of the traditional Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa iwi marae was established well over 60 years ago.
Marae spokesperson, Evelyn Forrest said the renovations would have been far more complex and the marae trustees wouldn’t have been able to complete the project to such a high standard, had Unison not offered its support.
“We are thrilled with the result, and cannot thank Unison enough. The upgrade to the power supply will enhance the functionality of Te Toke Marae, therefore enabling it to better meet the greater needs of our iwi and community.
“We have forged a very strong relationship with the electricity lines company which has proven beneficial for both parties, and the future is looking very positive I believe.”
Customer Relationship Manager, Danny Gough said Unison were pleased to support the project.
“Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa Iwi have been very supportive of the construction of Te Toke substation, which was commissioned last year. With renovations to the marae already planned, it was an obvious way for us to show our gratitude and offer support in return.”
The commissioning of Te Toke substation is part of the Wairakei Estate dairy conversion – a project managed by leasehold Landcorp, which will see up to 30 new dairy farms energised in the Taupo region.
“Unison looks forward to continuing its positive working relationship with Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa iwi and other community groups over the coming years, to ensure the Wairakei Estate project meets the long-term needs of the customer and also benefits the wider community,” said Mr Gough.
The opening started with a powhiri followed by a blessing of the Wharekai Te Aomapihi. The event was attended by local iwi, Unison, the Department of Internal Affairs, Landcorp and Reporoa Foodmarket.