The Royal New Zealand Airforce has opened is very first Marae after more than a decade of hard work. Tony Davies, Chief of the Airforce has called it their very own tūrangawaewae and it is centered on the Ohakea air base just outside of Palmerston North.
Tony Davies -Chief of Air Force says, “This is the culmination of basically 8 years of work to get to this point and to this day and if you look at the hundreds of people that have been involved in this especially in the past two years with all the construction and the preparing for it the training that’s going into it, it's all coming to a focal point right on today.”
Douglas Wallace - Kaiwhakahere Marae says, “We had help from our friends in the NZ Army and the Navy, they already had a meeting house, a marae but we didn't, so it's hugely significant because this is our first tūrangawaewae for the Air Force.”
The Chief of Airforce went on to say “Calling it a turangawaewae for all intents and purposes it's exactly the same but it hasn't got those ancestral links that a marae has”