A different post to my usual.. please bare with me...
In the early hours on Sunday the 9th of June 2019, while my home country of New Zealand slept, a huge and important part of the landscape, the city, my Whanau (family) and my memories was lost to a devastating and heartbreaking fire.
Tapu Te Ranga marae in Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand stood 10 stories high and was the largest wooden structure made of recycled materials.
It was built by hand, by Koro Bruce Stewart, an ex-prisoner with $25 and a dream.
He and many others poured in many an hour, many years of hard work to make this magnificent sanctuary what it was.
It was a home, it was a sanctuary, it was a meeting place and a place that anybody, from any walk of life could come and be safe. It was a place that became known to so many as the place that saved them. The place that taught them about life, about other people and about Maoritanga.
This place was where I spend my last moments with my mother. We held her Tangi here (funeral) and it was where I got to sit beside her and listen as my whanau and friends sang with her and with us. It holds many memories for me and my family. Not just these memories but many others.
Family gatherings / get togethers/events. Hours in the kitchen, working to make one event or other, what it needed to be.
This sprawling place, that towered above everything around it. This place that so many called home, that we all knew was there when we needed it, is no more.
Tapu Te Ranga was not just a structure. It was a home, a place full of memories, people, artifacts, history and hard work. It was a place full of dreams and love.
Many hearts are broken. Many people around the world are devastated.
As the diggers and fire fighters clear the smoking debris of what was our castle, I pray for everyone affected. I pray for my cousins, my aunties, my uncles. I pray for the residents who lived on site. I send love and the warmest thoughts to everybody who has been devastated and affected by this tragedy.
I love you all.
As I sit here, writing this post, tears once again streaming down my face and my heart hurting, thinking of my whanau back home, I wonder what I can do to help.
I am one person.
Then I think.
One person and his dreams, he created all of this. Koro was the reason we all could come together in this place and be together.
Why can't I do something?
(Please see auction details below x)
There is a give-a-little page that has been set up to help rebuild this amazing place.
It will never be the same, there is no way anyone would try to make it so. It will however be rebuilt with love and warmth and will be a wonderful place that will help to heal so many shattered hearts and lives <3
To help, please follow the link below.
Also, I will be setting up an auction in the next few days.
All money raised will be going straight to the families who lived on site and have lost everything. I hope it will go a small way to helping them and their small children the things they need in the coming weeks.
The auction will consist of
X1 signed copy of Forever Friends
X1 signed copy of Mikah Big Move
X1 Audio Book Mikah’s Big Move
X2 Hand painted Pendants
-Naming rights of a character in one of my next children’s books and credit for this on the copyright page of that book.
-Postage to your location.
Note- I know these things usually sell for a set price, but I do hope that if you can, you will bid anyway, and we can give just a little help to those who are hurting right now and have immediate needs.
Details on the auction to follow.
For now, I will sign off.
To my whanau … I love you all, so much and am so grateful that you all made it our safely <3 hold tight to each other and know I am thinking of you all x x
"We who build the house are built by the house"