We are delighted to report the great news reflected in a heading on a news item from Massey University.
It says Auspicious’ moon shines over construction start and appears on an item illustrated by Auckland campus staff, students and construction workers who have gathered for the blessing of the site of a new building.
The moon happened to be moving into a full phase at the time of the ceremony. According the kaumatua who officiated, this is a good omen for the project.
So what is being built? A Maori studies centre, where indigenous myths and spiritual beliefs can be taught and questioned?
Nope. A science centre is the beneficiary of the moon’s serendipitous position in the sky.
This is the site of Massey’s new Innovation Centre at the Auckland campus.
It has become a prerequisite for kaumatua – steeped in animism and mythology – to bless building sites in modern-day New Zealand. It’s a measure of progress.
In this case kaumātua Blackie Tohiariki officiated at the ceremony, representing the mana whenua, Ngāti Whātua.
According to the Massey news item:
Mr Tohiariki told the gathered project leaders, construction teams and Massey staff and students that with the moon moving into a full phase meant the construction was starting at an auspicious time of high energy, which bodes well for the project.
Joined by principal Māori advisor Takuta Ferris and campus chaplaincy coordinator Ricky Waters, Mr Tohiariki conducted the ceremony to bless the site and the people who will come to build on it. Those gathered walked onto the site and, facing east, participated in a sequence of sacred karakia.
College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor spoke on behalf of the University.
He welcomed the start of construction of the science innovation and research centre, which will house teaching and research laboratories and a collaborative working space to connect the universiy with industry and the local community.
The 9800 square metre complex is part of a $120 million development plan to meet the growth in student numbers at the Auckland campus.
How much comfort Professor Geor has taken from the the position of the moon at the time of the ceremony has not been reported.