By Mick Jensen
Lara Reihana has been confirmed as Hakatere Marae’s first co-ordinator.
The mother of three started in the 20 hours per week role on Monday and has a strong and proud Maori heritage.
Her grandfather, Jack Reihana, was the upoko (head) at Arowhenua Marae, the principal Maori settlement in the Aoraki region, for a number of years and she attended Arowhenua Maori School in Temuka for her primary education.
She is a familiar face in Rakaia, where she ran the South Rakaia Hotel with husband Peter Harrison for 12 years.
Lara Reihana said she was excited to be stepping into the newly created role.
Her job was to offer secretarial support and to facilitate and co-ordinate events and activities at the marae.
She would be a regular presence and contact person at the marae and wanted to make it an inviting place for everyone in the community to enjoy and use.
“A lot of hard work has gone into getting this marae up and running and my job is to get it busier,” she said.
She had a good network of contacts and wanted to see more events, workshops and huis (gatherings).
Lara Reihana coaches Rakaia’s junior netball team and is a social player herself.
She is also on the Rakaia School Support Group and has been a teacher aide.
Hakatere Marae Komiti chairman Michelle Brett said she was excited to fill the co-ordinator role with a quality candidate.
The komiti was looking forward to seeing what could be achieved with Ms Reihana going forward.
Lara Reihana is at Hakatere Marae from 10am until 1pm on weekdays and can be contacted on 27 226 6134.