Staff, family and friends of GWE attended a formal naming and blessing ceremony for their two new meeting rooms yesterday. We were honoured to have Rev Hannah Pomare, amongst others, join us to lead the ceremony.
This marks a focal point in GWE’s journey to become more culturally aware and to better engage in using te reo within our language and written documentation.
Over 2 years ago, GWE reached out to Josh Wainui, asking for help and guidance in learning Te Reo and developing a better understanding of tikanga Māori. Over the course of several months, senior staff have been attending language classes every week, culminating in yesterday’s hui whakamanāwa. We will now progress to a more in-depth understanding of tikanga as part of our on-going work with iwi in developing engineering solutions for marae throughout New Zealand.
Gareth Williams had this to say on the day.
“As a Welshman, I draw parallels between my country of birth and the country I now call home. Both enjoy a wonderful language that has been suppressed for many years, but in both countries that unique language is now celebrated, like never before. I am delighted to be able to embrace te reo both personally and professionally.”
The two new meeting rooms in GWE’s office have been named Waitī and Waitā. The room names come from the twin stars that form part of the Matariki star cluster. Waitī shines for all sources of fresh water and life within them – rivers, lakes, and springs. She reminds us that water sustains us and to take care of it. Waitā shines for all sources of salt water and all life sustained within it. She calls us to protect the treasures of our coasts and oceans.
A beautiful patu onewa, created by Ihāia Ryan, has been placed in the Waitā meeting room, and a carved kauri ipu, using 30,000 year old wood and created by Thomas Hansen has been placed in Waitī.
Tēnā koe Josh, your guidance and help in our journey is much appreciated. We all look forward to continuing to learn and embrace your teachings.