Members of the GNG team were honoured to be welcomed to stay overnight at Ohaki Marae.
Our team were welcomed with a pōwhiri and came together for whakawhanaungatanga – creating opportunities to build and support positive and collaborative relationships. The participants shared history between the haukainga (hosts) and manuhiri (visitors). The GNG team introduced the programme. This led to very interesting discussions exploring the concept, benefits and concerns associated with supercritical geothermal use. It was also an opportunity to test the six new kupu (words) in Te Reo Māori (Māori language) developed as part of the Waiwhatu project and discuss future steps for developing a shared language.
As this was the first visit to a marae for several of the GNG team, it was an amazing opportunity to learn tikanga around powhiri and staying on marae in such a supportive environment.
After dinner, many of the team took a hikoi to the Ohaki Ngāwha (hot pool). This geothermal feature was at one time the largest natural boiling hot pool in the southern hemisphere. When geothermal development commenced, the extraction of geothermal fluid made the water level in the Ohaki Ngāwhā drop. The ngāwhā is now fed by a geothermal bore, and some of the waiwhatu (geothermal fluid) is used by Geo40 to extract silica.
This was an amazing experience, including seeing the first performance of the Ngati Tahu, Ngati Whaoa Kapa Haka Group while eating fantastic kai! We thank our hosts for their wonderful manaakitanga and engaging conversations.