Traditional skills aim to lure village visitors in Kerikeri

By Peter de Graaf

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OPPORTUNITY: Rawi Pere's healing hands will be at work this winter at Rewa's Village, across the river from Kerikeri's Stone Store. PHOTO/PETER DE GRAAF
OPPORTUNITY: Rawi Pere's healing hands will be at work this winter at Rewa's Village, across the river from Kerikeri's Stone Store. PHOTO/PETER DE GRAAF

A reconstructed Maori fishing village near Kerikeri's Stone Store is hosting a group of healers, herbalists and weavers for the next three months.

Rewa's Village, originally built in the 1960s to raise money for a legal battle to save Kerikeri Basin from development, was handed over to local hapu Ngati Rehia last year.

With regular tourists few and far between in winter the hapu has allowed its members to use the village to share traditional skills and knowledge.

Rawi Pere, of Te Tii, said she was working with her whanau and hapu to demonstrate traditional healing methods and artisan practices.

"It's an opportunity we've been given that's made us proud and humble at the same time."

The group moved in last week with their first visitors a couple from France, who called in to see the village and received a mirimiri, or Maori massage, instead.

Mrs Pere and her husband Ngawati Hei Hei run Nga Ringa Wairua (Hands of Spirit), offering rongoa (traditional medicine), healing massage and blessings.

- Northern Advocate

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