Ngati Whakaue has paid tribute to its highly respected koeke (elders) at the annual Whakaue Koeke Celebration Dinner.

On Friday night more than 35 80 and 90-year-old kaumatua and kuia who have served across the tribe were hosted at a dinner for 250 people at Te Papaiouru Marae.

The celebration was be funded by the Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust, Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands Inc. and the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Board.

Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied
Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied

Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust chairwoman Katie Paul said the evening was an important part of their social and cultural calendar and will be the fourth of the tribe's special annual dinners honouring their koeke.

Advertisement

"We are already strong in our culture and our marae, tikanga and te reo are thriving. The focus now is to grow and protect our success for future generations.

"We believe one of the most critical factors in moving forward is to maintain unity and respect for all of our people, and in particular for our kaumātua who have given so much."

Each of the nonagenarians received a taonga (gift) and framed photograph of the group at the event.

Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied
Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied

Monty Morrison and Kingi Biddle shared the MC'ing duties.

Morrison said the night had been amazing.

"It is truly is one of the great nights for Ngati Whakaue.

"It's wonderful to be able to read their stories or hear their stories and they absolutely enjoy the night."

(From back left) Jeanna Love, Paul McRae and Lauren Simpkins. (Front left) Kahira McRae and Winnie Morrison. Photo/supplied
(From back left) Jeanna Love, Paul McRae and Lauren Simpkins. (Front left) Kahira McRae and Winnie Morrison. Photo/supplied

He said it was a formal evening and people had definitely dressed up for the event.

Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust supports a number of events as part of its kaupapa to support and grow Ngati Whakaue.

Last year's highlight was the Whakaue Whakanuia celebration, when more than 1000 people came together to celebrate Ngati Whakaue's family history and achievements, culminating in a special kapahaka event and marae awards dinner.

Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied
Ngati Whakaue has shared some of the photos of its koeke with their families and support people who came along to help them celebrate. Photo / Supplied