Published: 31 August, 2023

Mana Whenua Induction kicks off iReX construction work

Mana Whenua Induction kicks off iReX construction work

Downer Group and HEB Construction have formed a Joint Venture to deliver main construction works for the Waitohi Ferry Redevelopment (iReX project).

As a key partner in iRex, we have entered a kawenata with Downer-Heb Joint Venture (DHJV), to work together to ensure that Te Ātiawa o te Waka-a-Māui, as mana whenua, are involved in the changes taking place in our town and that those working on the project understand the significance of our place here, and our history.

As part of that, earlier this month we welcomed the DHJV project team, along with representatives from Simcox, who are delivering enabling works, DHJV subcontractors, and representatives from project partner KiwiRail to Waikawa Marae for a Mana Whenua Induction.

Following the welcome, trust Chairperson Rachael Hate, Trustee Rita Powick, and kaimahi Renee Love and Sharlene Maniapoto shared the history of Te Ātiawa o te Waka-a-Māui’s migration to Waitohi Picton, our connection to the land, language and cultural practices, and the Trust’s vision of looking after Mana Moana, Mana Whenua, Mana Tangata (Our place, Our People, Our Culture).

The construction team also heard about the significance of some of our key sites within and surrounding the work sites; the site of the terminal development itself was once a significant pā, cultivation and mahinga kai of Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui.

We felt the day was well received and would also like to acknowledge the effort the DHJV team took to ensure they were able to engage in the rituals of pōwhiri and poroporoake. Supported by the Te Kupenga Mahi team at KiwiRail it was a pleasure to host each and every one of these manuhiri.

The Downer-Heb team are also holding informal Community Coffee mornings at Seaspray Café as a way for the community to find out more about what’s happening at the port. We will keep you posted about the next one and encourage you to drop in, meet the team and find out what's happening.

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