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A Blessing at the Wairau Affray

The story board describing the actions that took place here on 17 June 1843. The story board was written by the Tuamarino senior school students and shares space with the titoki tree at the site of Te Ārai o Wairau/The Wairau Affray


Of the many precious cutural sites the Whale Trail passes through, Te Ārai o Wairau, or the Wairau Affray is one of the most significant. 


The Wairau Affray, as it was to become known, took place just three years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and signalled the beginings of Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa or the New Zealand Land Wars.


So just before dawn, i te atapō, on Sunday 24 March, it was a significant moment for The Whale Trail when mana whenua Kahu Ropata, a kaumatua for Te Runanaga o Toa Rangatira led a blessing at Tua Marino.  Marlborough Kaikōura Trails Trust Chair, Luke Velthoven, staff from the Whale Trail, and Ngati Toa whānau visiting from Wellington for a Wananga Reo at Wairau Pa all attended and traversed the new trail which was blessed to ensure the cultural and physical safety of all those who use the trail in the future.


Its another major step in the construction of the Whale Trail as it connects communities along the East Coast of the South Island.  Following the blessing and kai, attendees took the opportunity to learn more about this significant site and to walk north along the trail and take a look at the next exciting section as it makes its way towards Picton/ Waitohi. 

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