First and foremost, Te Kura Whare belongs to the people of Tūhoe. It is a symbol of their story, a representation of their origin as an iwi; their past, their present and their future. The building provides a central point of connection for Tūhoe, located within their turangawaewae. Te Kura Whare was put together by members of the iwi. As such, a slogan used during the completion stage was “The house that we built”.
Te Kura Whare is strategically located at the entrance to the township of Tāneatua, emphasizing the message that you are now within the rohe of Tūhoe. As Te Kura Whare belongs to the people of Tūhoe, there is an automatic association and attraction for iwi members. It provides a source of pride for those whanau living outside of the iwi rohe, another source of motivation to help them move forward in their lives while living away from their turangawaewae.
Te Kura Whare has evoked a new spirit of place with the transformation of the space from agricultural pasture to its current use. It serves as a motivational basis for long-term stewardship and responsibility for the environment and land use practices. This structure gives rise to a new energy and will sustain a human culture and ecology over time; bringing people back to positively connect with their land and environment. The sustainability values and practices connected with the Te Kura Whare will provide a platform for imbedding into community aspirations and initiatives associated with cultural, social, health and economic prosperity. It can act as a mechanism of momentum for sustainability, working for the needs of the future generations.
The establishment of Te Kura Whare affirms Te Mana Motuhake of Tūhoe over the lands of their tīpuna (ancestors), creating a place of support for the tribal advancement under the umbrella of Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua.