Te Ahu - a meeting place

Avril Bell


In 2012 a new community complex opened in Kaitaia, housing the local museum, library, i-Site, hall, theatre and Council offices. This complex is very obviously a meeting place for people of the community and out-of-town visitors. But the site on which the building, Te Ahu, stands has a much longer history as a meeting place. In this paper I outline this history in light of recent theorising about the intertwined work of space, time, people and things in the liveliness of place. This history foregrounds the ways in which the changing nature of this meeting place marks shifting indigenous and settler relations through time. Recounting the stories of this one, particular, place, my wider aim is to give a sense of the enmeshment of the settler society present in the ongoing stories of the living pasts of place.


Place; history; spatio-temporal events; haunting; indigenous-settler co-existence

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol13iss2id327