Iwi partnership sees upgrade for Te Toke Marae's wharekai

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UNISON - Te Toke Marae - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, 12 November 2016. Photo by John Cowpland / alphapix

Taupo's Te Toke Marae has officially reopened its wharekai (dining room and kitchen area) following a complete refurbishment and upgrade to its power supply.

The wharekai of the traditional Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa iwi marae was established well over 60 years ago.

Marae spokeswoman Evelyn Forrest said they were grateful to Unison Networks for providing the renovations. She 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.

"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.

Customer relationship manager Danny Gough said Unison was 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," Mr Gough said.

The opening was held on November 12 and started with a pohiri 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.

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