Taken at Ohakea, December 13, 2001. The arrival of the Governor General, Dame Silvia Cartwright PCNZM DBE, was met by a Wero or challenge. This is part of the process of a Powhiri or welcome by which visitors are met. In Maori protocol, when manuhiri (visitors) arrive the challenge is to establish whether their intentions are peaceful. The challenger comes forward (in this case three warriors in traditional dress) and places a token on the ground (often a piece of foliage but sometimes a carved dart). If the visitor picks this up then all is well - if they trample on it, then there's going to be trouble.
© 2002 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved