We were incredibly honoured to have kaumatua Martin and Barry join us for our mihi whakatau, a formal Māori greeting and welcome to celebrate the opening of our new office and reception areas. Family and friends were invited to the blessing of our new space and the unveiling of our taonga.
We had a karanga, or welcome, followed by a whaikōrero, or speeches, the unveiling of our taonga, a hariru and hongi and finally a hakiri, or sharing of food.
Haere mai to our taonga, especially carved for us and representative of the Delta mauri, or lifeforce, of our team, acting as a signal for us and a beacon of safety. Our taonga’s name is ‘Mai I TeTahi uri, Kua Whānau he Ngahere’, or ‘From one seed, a forest is born’. The bottom section has been carved from Oamaru stone and represents Delta’s foundation and Te Waka-o-Māui, the South Island. The middle section is carved from 30,000 year old swamp kauri, and represents our tangata whenua and each individual’s pepeha, or story. The top section has been carved from raw kauri and represents how each individual came to Aotearoa, whether by sea or air, how they found their feet here and in the process learned to become a New Zealander. The koru represents our new beginnings and our growth, and the rising and setting sun carved on the back represents the passing of time on our journey to becoming part of Aotearoa.
Our taonga represents us, the Delta whānau, and our mixed diversity, and we welcome you to come to feel her powerful energy when you next visit us.
A huge thank you to Lynne Webb for doing such a magnificent job of organising our new office space and commissioning our taonga, and to Tui Olliver for her guidance and guitar skills in teaching us all our Māori hymns and songs.