Our original Project Launch tool place on Saturday 29th October 2006 at a ceremony attended by over 100 people including the Mayors of both the Far North and Rodney districts. The event detailed our plans to create a range of community-based initiatives. Our newest plans include a renovated wharehui at Mangatowai which was originally on the same site early last century, just 1km east of Akatere on Taupo Bay Road. 

"Mangatowai is a project that will benefit not just our local people, but the whole district and beyond", declared David Henare, kaumatua for Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa. "Our kaupapa is everyone walking as one, whether they are involved in helping to fund or build the marae or coordinating one of the many other initiatives such as tour guiding in the Whangaroa harbour". 

After a powhiri, Mayor Yvonne Sharp (our original Chair) praised David Henare for his vision and commitment. She noted that "One of the most compelling aspects of this far-reaching project is that it is an example of a community moving forward together. We obviously need more of these types of projects in the Far North particularly in remote areas that have much to offer and much to gain from enterprises managed by local people".

Far North District Council Mayor Yvonne Sharp and Kaumatua David Henare at the site of the new marae during the launch of the project

"Visitors to Northland are looking to meet and mingle with people who can provide unique authentic experiences based around the district's fabulous natural resources and rich cultural heritage", said Mayor Sharp. Responding to the representatives from Waipoua and Ruapehu also present, she noted that "Tour operators from elsewhere could gain from this project by way of mutual referral and a shared commitment to quality". 

The Mangatowai project includes a range of linked proposals such as solar power, encouragement of tourism within the area, craftworks, and training schemes.



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