A karanga wail filled the Matariki winter sky at dawn on Saturday, marking the opening of new offices for Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust at 10 Parata St in Waikanae.

Almost 100 people, including Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai iwi members, local government agency representatives and the wider community, gathered to welcome the new day and celebrate the new premises.

The iwi spans from Peka Peka to Paekākāriki and the shift to a larger office space has brought together the Kāpiti tribe's three governing arms.

Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust Board, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Asset Holding Co and Wharekohu Fisheries Ltd together manage the collective interests of more than a thousand Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai descendants.


Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai chairman Andre Baker said, "The official ceremony was shrouded in Ātiawa tikanga (customs), including taonga puoro (traditional Māori instruments), karakia, karanga and incantations from rangatahi, and was attended by iwi from new pēpi through to kaumātua.

"It has taken good management and time to grow our base as a trust.

"Matariki was the perfect time to move and for us to look ahead to the future and the expansion of our governing services.

"As we prepare for a post-settlement period this new premise will assist us to continue to mobilise our people and represent their collective interests in the future of Waikanae and the Kāpiti Coast.

"Fittingly the new premises are situated on Parata St, which was named after Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai tupuna (ancestor) Wi Parata Te Kākākura, who in the 19th century was a leading chief, politician and farmer who owned large blocks of land, including the new office site.

"The street name recognises the important history of the area which was once named Parata Township."