As the Good Book says, “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.
This bible text was quoted by the chair of the Pukemokemoke Bush Reserve Trust as he spoke on Tauhei Marae on Sunday 18 November.
Dr Warwick Silvester was replying at the powhiri and thanked the Ngati Wairere of Tauhei giving the care of Pukemokemoke bush to the David Johnstone Trust. The mana whenua remains with Tauhei, and it is the privilege of the Trust to develop this maunga, this treasure that is called Pukemokemoke.
David Johnstone gave the bush to the people of New Zealand to enjoy. Many volunteers have given their time and money to help develop the reserve.
Giving was the theme of the whole day, as Trust members and friends were afforded a heart-warming welcome onto the Marae and then given a veritable feast by the tangata whenua.
The rangatahi group called Nga Hau e Wha (From the Four Winds) entertained us all with lively and powerfully meaningful action waiata.
We remembered those such as the late Trudie Lloyd and the Brook Des Forges who gave so much of their time to protect the forest.
And, overall, thanks was given to the Creator for papatuanuku (mother earth) and the mantle of trees, ferns and birds which adorn it.