After a delicious summer lunch in the Penthouse, an enlightening presentation was given by Anthony Hoete and Sam Callaghan, the Chairman and vice chairwoman of the Te Maru o Hinemihi committee who are working on the restoration project for Hinemihi.
They told the fascinating story of Hinemihi, first commissioned by the Chief of the Ngati Hinemihi sub-tribe and named after an important female ancestor. In 1892 William Hillier, the 4th Earl of Onslow, towards the end of his term as Governor of New Zealand, bought the Meeting House for £50.00 and had it dismantled and shipped to his home in England.
We were made aware of the importance of Hinemihi to Maori/New Zealand culture and it is one of only four meeting houses outside NZ. This “living heritage” with special Maori carvings needs to be restored for future generations but negotiations are ongoing with the National Trust who now own Clandon Park where Hinemihi is situated.
In memory of our past President Dianne Boaden, her husband presented a cheque to the “Hinemihi” project. This money was raised by the New Zealand Women’s Association to be used towards the restoration of the marae at Clandon Park, near Guildford in Surrey.