As hosts of the 2003 Hui, Rangitāne and Manawatū weavers proposed the creation of a waka huia to carry the mauri of the Weavers National Hui. The Committee accepted this offer as a fitting emblem for the values and intent of this ongoing event.
Rangimārie was carved by Charlie Larkin and presented at Awhitu Marae, Rangiōtu near Palmerston North, co-ordinated by Lovey Hodgkinson.
Rangimārie was happily accepted by Taranaki weavers as hosts of the 2005 Weavers National Hui at Owae marae in Waitara.
In 2005 Taranaki weavers added a kumete to hold Rangimārie along with a koha to assist the next hosts of the hui, a practice that continues in the present.
Te Korowai o te Aroha
The vision of so many kākahu being worn for a whakaeke onto Awhitu marae in 2003 was described by one elder as resembling a huge cloak enveloping all participants. This vision was termed ‘Korowai o te Aroha’ and has evolved into a custom practiced on the pōwhiri day of Weavers National Hui since that time.
‘Korowai o te Aroha’ recognises loved ones who have passed on and commemorates those weavers to have passed since the preceding hui. Their family or friends bring their memory into the space of welcome by carrying photographs of their loved ones.