13 February 2023
At dawn on Thursday 2 February, we held a kawanga whare (opening ceremony) to bless our Manu Korokii Profile Group Education Centre with the rising sun.
With close to 100 supporters, sponsors and iwi marking the occasion, the building was blessed by mana whenua led by Ngāti Korokī Kahukura Trust co-chair Karaitiana Tamatea and blessed by Tahau Thompson and Maihi Bennett of Ngāti Hauā. The ceremony was also marked by Waipā District Council Mayor Susan O'Regan cutting the ribbon with Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari co-chairs Don Scarlett and Norma Taute.
Mayor Susan O’Regan said Sanctuary Mountain was intrinsically part of the Waipā district and there had been “many mountains to climb” to realise the vision. She also acknowledged her predecessor Jim Mylchreest, a former chief executive of Sanctuary Mountain for his contribution.
The name Manu Korokii was gifted by Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, reflecting the flight of a songbird and the mātauranga (knowledge) that is imparted through our education facilitators, not to mention the manu that sing their songs across the maunga. After a year of construction and more than five years of planning, it is great to see this extraordinary vision finally become a reality. Thank you to the incredible support of sponsors and the community who have contributed to the project.
Our team is now busy fitting out the space with resources and this week we will host our first education group within the new walls. Over the course of the 2023 school year we anticipate hosting up to 3,500 school students and their teachers in Manu Korokii.
The centre will be available to schools, tertiary groups, community groups, and anyone participating in Sanctuary Mountain's Conservation Education Programme. We also anticipate making Manu Korokii available for community groups and sponsors who wish to use the space for events and functions.
The vision for this project started 20 years ago and it has taken more than 5 years of working with our partners to get it off the ground. Thank you to the incredible sponsors for their support and to the community who have contributed to this project. It is great to see this wonderful vision become a reality.
Many thanks to our sponsors and community partners for their contributions:
ASAP Contracting Limited
APL (Profile Group Ltd)
Aerial Scaffolding Ltd
BCD Group Ltd
Bowers & Son Concrete
David William Steele Trust
Dimond Roofing Ltd
Duffield Murray Consultants Ltd
Flow Consulting Ltd
Innerscape Consulting Ltd
Interface Carpet Floor Tiles
Kings School Auckland
Macdonald Industries Ltd
Milestone Foundation Ltd
Morrinsville Intermediate School
Mother Earth (Profile Foods Ltd)
Newton Consulting Ltd
Ngāti Korokī Kahukura
NZ Lotteries Commission
PAUA Architects Ltd
Pub Charity Ltd
Star Safety Ltd
Waikite Valley School