Archdeacon Harvey Ruru has blessed Moananui HQ ahead of its official opening in early October. This was supported by Shane Graham, Pouwhakahaere, and Ngawaina Joy Shorrock, Pou Mauri Ora, from Te Rūnanga ONgāti Rārua.
Centrally located in Nelson, Moananui HQ is a hub for the blue economy cluster. It serves as a national centre for blue economy innovation and high-value creation and is a space which offers meeting rooms, workshop and training space, drop-in hot desks, and project support for Moananui partners.
Many of Moananui’s foundation partners joined together for the blessing with the Archdeacon explaining HQ’s location was a historic place within the shadows of a beautiful sacred hill and cathedral.
The hilltop overlooking HQ was the site of an ancient marae called Piki mai, which dates back to the 1300’s. It was also the site where the Anglican Bishop of New Zealand, Bishop Selwyn, had his first tent service in the early 1840’s.
As part of the blessing guests formed a line and followed Archdeacon Harvey Ruru through the building as he sprinkled holy water. He encouraged the group to “tap the walls and the desks to add your wairua to the beautiful whare”.
As the group entered HQ they passed through a door adorned with Moananui’s pepeha; Big ocean, Big opportunity, Big responsibility. Making their way through Moananui HQ in a line, moving from room to room, they resembled a tuna (eel) writhing through the water.
Co-chair Helen Mussley spoke about how having a physical presence was important for Moananui and she looked forward to seeing HQ come to life.
“When we come to HQ we have left our respective work places. We come to a place where we can initiate new friendships and strengthen relationships. What we can achieve together is so much more than we can achieve individually” she says.
Moananui CE Jodie Kuntzsch then unveiled the Moananui Pledge. Each partner signs the pledge committing to developing a thriving blue economy. “The pledge is front and centre of what we do. Moananui is about exploring what’s possible. At times we will challenge our ways of thinking but collectively we need to take risks, learn, grow and push ourselves,” she says.