Indigenous people from all around the world came together for the opening of the only indigenous centre in the Pacific.

About 22 United Nations delegates and indigenous people were welcomed to Whangarei on Tuesday during a stirring powhiri by students from Te Kapehu Whetu and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rawhitiroa.

The purpose of The Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction, based in Reyburn Lane, is to increase the value placed on indigenous knowledge.

Photographer John Stone went along to capture the opening.

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Mahina Kukulai, Kataina Mokaraka and Te Manea Smith perform an action song.
Mahina Kukulai, Kataina Mokaraka and Te Manea Smith perform an action song.
Aotea Parata gives a mihi at the opening of the centre.
Aotea Parata gives a mihi at the opening of the centre.
International guests were welcomed with a stirring powhiri.
International guests were welcomed with a stirring powhiri.
Te Kapehu Whetu students perform a haka.
Te Kapehu Whetu students perform a haka.
Whangarei's Justice Hetaraka (right) stands with Ben Ruli from Papua New Guinea as he is welcomed along with other United Nations delegates and indigenous people.
Whangarei's Justice Hetaraka (right) stands with Ben Ruli from Papua New Guinea as he is welcomed along with other United Nations delegates and indigenous people.

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