Foxton’s much anticipated tourism and community services centre, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, is set to open its doors on Saturday 18 November 2017.
Translating to mean ‘The New Stream” in both Māori and Dutch, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom originated from the aspirations of two Trusts representing local Iwi and the national Dutch community. Later, Horowhenua District Council purchased the building and joined in partnership with the Trusts.
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom is unlike any facility in Aotearoa New Zealand. It incorporates exhibition areas dedicated to the three Partners, including the community's library and Council services.
Te Taitoa Māori o Te Awahou Trust Chair, Hayley Bell, says “our hapū and Māori community have overcome many challenges to retain our tino rangatiratanga in this building. Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre is our place - it is bold and it is innovative. A place of celebration that shares the treasures of our tūpuna with people of today for tomorrow”.
Just before the break of dawn, the community will gather with Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga who will conduct the time honoured Tānga o te Kawa dawn ceremony which will be immediately followed by karakia, whaikōrero, waiata tawhito and kai as part of customary practice. At 10.00am, a day ceremony will begin with a Pōwhiri to formally welcome and honour all guests and visitors before the Community Festival starts at12pm until 3pm.
Arjan Van der Boon and Yolande van de Wetering, Co-chairs of the Dutch Connection Trust say “Over the last 60 years or so, Dutch immigrants and their families have made a real contribution to New Zealand’s culture and business. But that story has never been told. With our Oranjehof museum we will have a place to show and celebrate what has been achieved in innovation and art – with lots of hard work and clever-clog smart thinking. The Dutch are often called the ‘Invisible Immigrants’. That label won’t apply any more after November. Oranjehof will be the place where all things Dutch come together, and where visitors can make connections with the Netherlands, past and future, family, neighbours and long lost friends”.
David Clapperton, CEO Horowhenua District Council says “this is a time for our community to celebrate. We have a world class facility in a small provincial town that will enable our community to access essential council services and also provide an attraction that will draw in millions of dollars to our local economy each year. We look forward to celebrating this special occasion with our community”.