The fourth annual He Kete Rau Mahara Local Heritage Week is a week-long event celebrating the rich heritage and culture of Rotorua.
He Kete Rau Mahara is held during the week of the anniversary of the signing of the Fenton Agreement, 25 November 1880. The city-wide celebration was established by local historian, and Rotorua Lakes Council Research Lead & Senior Advisor, Ben Manley, in November 2020, with support from Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa and Rotorua Library.
The library’s Heritage and Research Team took over its coordination in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic meant the celebration went online that year, with seven online presentations, a children’s Facebook competition and children’s take-home craft activity.
Last year, we extended the programme by inviting members of the community to host events alongside the Council. We welcomed the Rotorua and District Historical Society, the Māori Land Court, Rotorua Multicultural Council, and Rotorua Settlers and Steam Museum.
The above groups are returning for 2023. Also joining us are Arikikapakapa – Home of Rotorua Golf; Be Essential; Ngongotahā Rail Park; Rotorua Little Theatre Society; Waiohewa Marae; Te Arawa Lakes Trust; Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; and authors Philip Andrews and Dr. Rāpata Wiri. This year’s programme includes public talks, exhibitions, workshops, guided tours, children’s activities, and museum open days.
Watch the Local Focus story about last year's He Kete Rau Mahara event.