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Sarah Mila

Dearest Bruce, Halima, Pare, Hirini, Kiri Heka and Goody

Just a quick note to tell you how much I love your web site. We have it as our favourite and we look at it practically every day. It is so brilliantly done, so interesting. I makes us feel so close to you all, knowing what you are up to. The things people say are so moving, the whole site is just so loving. People have always loved the Marae and this is just another way in which they can convey that to you Bruce and to thank you for the opportunity of having that experience.

It is like watching our other home and all the goings on. WE MISS YOU SO MUCH every day. Pare and Hirini you are so brilliant, all the hard work you do and helping Dad so much. You are good kids and you must always remember how much we love you all over here and how much we think about you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Pare and an early Happy Birthday to you Halima.

All is well here, we have just got some rabbits and Vili has made a hutch and run like a palace, they are happy here with us and the kids love them already. The weather is changing and is raining, autumn is on on the way and the leaves will soon fly away leaving the branches bare. The seasons in England are so prominant, something you feel and with each season something to look forward to.

Viliami has just said, that if we won the lottery we would be straight back over there with you all on the next flight, so lets buy another one just in case. We work hard but money just seems to evaporate in to thin air. We are trying our hardest but there are so many things to pay for. Its not from lack of trying that we can't come over this year. We are sad as its been too long already and we are yearning to see you all again. Its hard sometimes, for Viliami especially but also for me and the kids because we miss you too.

Anyway, I'd better sign off. All our love to you and take care

Sarah xxxx Vili, Gracie and Tommy xxxxxxxx

Karl Wixon

E mihi ki a koe Bruce me to whanau,

Firstly I wish to express my thanks to you and your whanau for your warmth and hospitality at Tapu Te Ranga for our Maori design & tourism hui last week on the 23rd and 24th of May. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all and
all were moved by the experience and vision of Tapu Te Ranga.

I recalled your whakatauki "The people build the whare and the whare
builds the people" (excuse me I can not recall the kupu Maori you used).
Reflecting on that whakatauki I thought it should have been "...the
whare builds the whanau" i.e many come, often as individuals, but leave as
members of whakapapa or kaupapa whanau. Your whare has not only evidently built
your own whanau, but has built whanau amongst those who visit. Every time I
leave Tapu Te Ranga I feel that.

Kia ora

Trish Cronin

On behalf of the Waiotahe Ki Opotiki Taekwondo Club I would like to thank you for allowing us to stay at your home (tapu te ranga marae). Your children are commendable, mature and a credit to you and your wife. The highlight for us was the tour and your talk with us. You have left a lasting impression on us all and are an inspiration to the youth in our club. Thank you again.

Paora Howe

Tena koe e te Rangatira,

Nga mihi aroha ki a koe me ki tou whanau hoki.

Bruce it is important to us, the members of Tunui a te Ika Waka Ama Club, to acknowledge how important it is for us to have a place to meet and to talk. Your home, Tapu te Ranga, is like our home away from home. It’s a place that we feel safe in, that we can relax in, that we can take the time needed to think about our issues in a loving and caring environment.

Last month we had the pleasure of staying there ‘i roto i te kopu o tou whaea’ for our first wananga in over a year. Although there were only fifteen or so of us who stayed overnight into the Saturday, on the Friday night many more of our club members dropped by, if only for a short time, to support the cause. All of them (and some of them had not visited before) were really impressed by the real warmth of the place, generated by your fire at the back of the dining room and added to by the relaxed way we were able to ‘do our thing’ in the kitchen. Usually for people to ‘enjoy’ themselves on a wet Friday night you might expect to see a bottle of wine or beer passing across the table. Instead there was the wine of laughter and fun that went on into the early morning. Again, it has something to do with the special nature of the place that you have helped create.

It was also interesting to see the respect that the two different groups who were staying there had for each other (there was a group representing Eco NZ also staying on) and the sharing that took place among us all.

Bruce, I also wanted to comment that you and Halima have children to be really proud of. Your twelve year old daughter is an impressive young lady already – wise beyond her years in dealing with older people. If, as you said, they have known no other life except living there on the marae, then it speaks volumes for the positive values and the beliefs that you hold dear. These values and beliefs are born from the potent mingling of powerful physical and spiritual forces. The different levels of the buildings – the different whare that make up the large complex – all together represent the energy of the many builders from the past, that remains still. The spiritual forces are represented in the many taonga with which the whare are adorned – gifts given thoughtfully by many who have stayed before us – but finally in the vision and values that drive you.

May you and Tapu Te Ranga long remain our spiritual ‘home away from home’.

Me mauhara tatou i nga kupu a a tatou tupuna – ‘Me haere i muri o te tira paraoa’ – we should follow in the path that you have set before us as a leader.

Arohanui – Paora Howe and members of Tunui a te Ika Waka Ama Club.

Trevor Pye

Tena koutou katoa te whanau o Tapu Te Ranga Marae

What a wonderful experience for myself and 10 whanau to stay a few days at Tapu Te Ranga. I arrived burdened down with the cares of a world primarily concerned with consumption, fighting wars and pollution, to an absolute oasis; a place of sanctuary and sanity exuding aroha and a pracical philosophy of deep ecology.
Many thanks, Bruce for sharing your vision and lifes work with us. All of us were deeply touched by our experience at Tapu Te Ranga Marae.

Viliami Mila

To Koro, Halima, and all the children,

It was early Monday morning in England - I was still in bed half asleep when I heard about the sudden death of a loved one back home in New Zealand. Tute my elder sister had phoned from Wainuiomata, after hearing the sad news a few hours earlier.

My wife Sarah and I were in shock and deeply sad for the loss of Lynanne who was a great part of our lives. Someone who was always there - someone willing to help in anyway, someone who put others before herself, someone who loved my wife and kids. Someone who I took for granted. Someone I thought would always be there.

I hopped out of my bed and opened the curtains, the weather looked colder and greyer than the day before, it didn’t matter, Sarah was sobbing into her pillow, at that moment nothing seemed to have mattered.

A few hours later I phoned Tute again and she talked me through what had happened to Lynanne, I asked her if the family would take her to the Marae (Tapu te ranga) – No one knew at this time, it was too early.

In my heart I knew Koro would welcome Lynanne and her friends and family to have their final farewell at the Marae. I felt it was the most appropriate way to send off a special person such as her, someone who was part of our family.

The next day it was confirmed that Lynannes body was to go to the Marae. All the family were there and all the workers were working and all the talkers were talking and everything was in preparation. I was on the telephone and was being told what was happening and that Lynanne’s body was resting on the Maho of Tane Whaiora, and that all the men, young and old were preparing the Hangi.

I felt so proud and triumphant for Lynanne because in a way, she had changed the mould of tradition something that Tapu Te Ranga Marae is so powerful in doing in such a good way.

Lynanne was not Maori, nor was she a blood relative, she was a white New Zealander. But she was accepted as an equal, she was loved dearly by us all, being blood relative or not didn’t stop her body from resting on such a prestigious spot as the Maho of Tane Whaiora. For me Lynanne deserved it, I just wish I could have told her how special she was and how much we loved her and to thank her for being a spark in my life.

Tapu Te Ranga Marae is for me a fire burning, which was lit by you Koro, and I imagine many thousands of people from different walks of life have in their own way have helped you to stoke it up to help it from burning out. Some people throw in a twig or two and some may throw in a branch and some may even throw in a tree trunk, but they come and they go, but you are always there to give this fire the breath of life just when it needs it and when the fire is burning strong you sit back a bit and see it in its true glory, and when it needs to be stoked up you give it a bit more.

I am honoured to have helped you in the past to keep the fire burning strong and in my time I saw many others throwing in their logs and branches too, but what amazed me the most was you were open to every one and the Marae was universal.

I have a photo which was taken in Henatai, in the photo there are three people standing looking happy and smiling one is English and the other two are Tongan, and in the back ground flys the Aboriginal flag. I’m one of the Tongan boys in the photo, and I’m proud to say Tapu Te Ranga Marae is my Marae .

Thank you Koro for your commitment to the cause and may the birds sing your song forever. And may the fire burn strong inside of you.

Love your grandson Viliami

chelsea winstanley

Tena koutou katoa te whanau o Tapu Te Ranga Marae,

My whanau and I have just returned from the most amazing weekend at your beautiful marae.
A month ago my mother Chery Wilson had asked if I knew of any marae in poneke we could stay at as 10 whanau were making their way down to support her becoming the first Maori woman to be initiated into the NZ association of psychotherapy.
I had visted Tapu Te Ranga Marae recently while filming a segment for a documentary so I thought I would give Bruce a call and see if that was possible. Bruce was more than accommodating and welcomed us with a memorable powhiri on Friday night surrounded by his tamariki.
We instantly felt the warmth and aroha from the place, it was the perfect setting for our whanau to support our dear mother, aunty and sister Cherry.
On saturday Pare, Bruce's daughter, gave us a beautiful tour of the whole marae, what a wonderful girl she is certainly a treasure.
As whanau we shared a beautiful intimate experience and the marae setting was perfect to awhi my mum through her successful journey. Thankyou once again for making your place open and available and for giving us something we will never forget. Arohanui Chelsea W.

Jeremy Sherlock

I’ve finally managed to have a look at your site. I just wanted to congratulate you on a marvelous effort — it looks great, and is very informative indeed; certainly something we at Reed and I’m sure Robyn herself are happy to be associated with. Well done!

Rebekah Bell

Rebekah here from the Learning Connexion. I can tell you that there have been significant breakthroughs for a lot of the Students present and their thinking has shifted forward to a new space in some way, this was a direct result of being on the Marae. The Marae space allowed for this to be able to happen & this is very significant we can look forward to some interesting and exciting results both in art making and life. Thanks so very much for the opportunity.

Daniel LeBel

Hello Bruce,
I am busy reading and researching background on my experience of being up there with you last week. I came home to Westport yesterday and am confronted by the deafening silence of life here on the coast. I have so many thoughts and feelings relating to my visit there and am determined to put them into some shape that leads forward, honors the time and the content of what we talked of. Manaakitanga. A beautiful and worthy ideal.