Te Parahirahi Ngāwhā Waiariki Trust chairman Dr Te Tuhi Robust promised the blessing and formal opening of the revamped Te Waiariki Ngāwhā Springs complex at Ngāwhā would be something special, an old-fashioned event, the likes of which had not been seen for a while.
"And boy did he deliver."
That was the reaction of Far North Holdings and Foundation North, who posted a statement on Facebook saying they were honoured to have been among the manuhiri at the re-opening of the "venerable" springs.
"The feeling of community and togetherness at this amazing event was rich and powerful," they said.
"From the pre-dawn procession to the newly-redeveloped springs, passing pou who were acknowledged and saluted, through to the magnificent sight of the sun rising behind the steaming springs, through to the speakers who stirred, charmed and amused all those present. It was magnificent.
"We feel privileged to have been part of the team helping to bring this re-development into being. We supported the Parahirahi Ngāwhā Waiariki Trust in the planning stages of the $4.3 million project, and assisted it with its application for PGF and Foundation North funding, which was successful. Subsequently we managed the building consent application process for the trust and project-managed the construction.
"We were delighted to lend our skills and expertise to this project, as it ticks all the right boxes for us; it will deliver employment, economic, cultural and social outcomes, it will support the growth of our district, and it will enable the local community.
"Ngā mihi, Parahirahi Ngāwhā Waiariki Trust. Mauri ora!"
The complex is now very modern yet simple, blending in with its surroundings.
There are no more rough concrete paths badly-placed steps or hand rails that were out of alignment, but there is a wonderfully designed, warm, modern, dry building and ablution area.
The first of the three carved figures represents Rahiri, a chief from Kaikohe, who married Ahuaiti (from the Pororua area).
Eleven carved pou within the pool complex represent Rahiri's descendants.