It was wonderful to see local people arrive at Te Poho o Tuariki's first open day, Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa spokeswoman Kiri Wilson says.
The Rangitīkei tribe's open day was on Saturday, February 27, at its iwi headquarters Te Poho o Tuariki in Marton. The 5ha complex is the former Turakina Maōri Girls' College, which Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa bought in April 2018 and officially opened in February 2019.
As well as providing a base with health and social services, it aims to use the complex for education and training within the Rangitīkei. The iwi received a $95,000 Provincial Growth Fund grant to get that started.
UCOL has been a partner in its education ventures. Courses in arboriculture, pest management and building are based at Te Poho, and some of the results were on show.
There was also entertainment for children, with Justin Gush providing some poi toa for them to try.
The tribe's taiao (environment) team showed how harakeke (flax) is potted up before planting out. Its Te Kotuku Hauora health workers and others offered bowel screening, immunisations and cervical smear tests.
Summer intern Tiarne Gush launched her research project, a booklet about the three Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa people who signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Tawhirihoe Pā near Tangimoana on May 21, 1840.
A stone was erected nearby in remembrance 175 years later on May 21, 2015.
Gush was helped in her research by Grant Huwyler and other tribal historians, Wilson said, and the booklet will be used in schools.
"It's not an overly complex book, but it's really awesome in terms of getting to the bits that we need to keep sharing."
The iwi plans to hold more open days at Te Poho.
"It's a start for us. What was awesome was the opportunity to bring people in who don't usually walk through those gates," Wilson said.