A prized taiaha or traditional Maori weapon belonging to Ngati Mahanga ancestors last century was among taonga or treasures blessed at an early morning ceremony last Saturday ahead of a community open day at Raglan’s new million-dollar museum.
It was handed by descendants of Wiremu Neera Te Awaitaia to Raglan Museum & District Society president Pat Day, who placed and locked it in a glass cabinet for safekeeping.
Kaumatua Russell Riki led the blessing of the museum and its “sacred” artefacts, supported by about 50 local residents gathered at the site on Wainui Road.
Raglan resident and academic Angeline Greensill — daughter of the late Eva Rickard — described the new museum as a “great facility”, while ward councillor Clint Baddeley acknowledged in his speech “the long journey” and the support it had taken to bring the project to fruition.
The museum attracted 700 visitors through its doors for a free look-around on Saturday. From last Sunday, a fee of $2 for adults and $1 for children has been put in place.