After serving the community for 75 years, the Women's Health League is taking the time to reflect on its rich history.
Starting tomorrow, women from all over the North Island who are involved with the league will make their way to Waiariki Institute of Technology's Tangatarua Marae.
Horohoro branch member Raiha Manahi said the birthday celebrations would be hosted by the Whakarewarewa branch. On Saturday there will be a powhiri for the dignitaries, including local MPs Todd McClay and Te Ururoa Flavell, Mayor Kevin Winters and ex-president of the Maori Women's Welfare League, Dame Georgina Kirby.
"There will be a kapa haka competition, an arts and crafts competition and other art works will also be displayed."
In 1937, when many Rotorua Maori were still living in homes with dirt floors, the league of Maori and European women was formed by district nurse Robina (Ruby) Cameron.
Nurse Cameron and the league gained the full support of Te Arawa chiefs to do what they could to improve Maori health and housing. Many of the most influential women of the day were members of the league and were involved with projects such as a guest house for Maori to stay in while family members were in hospital, a milk in schools scheme and social security funding for those needing hospital care. Seventy-five years later, Nurse Cameron's legacy lives on in the 12 branches of the Women's Health league in existence today, spread from Rotorua to Tairawhiti (Gisborne).
Ohinemutu branch member Linda Morrison said the league still worked along the same lines as when it first began, with a focus mainly around family and their health.
"We do try and work with iwi but it's more about us helping in the health arena and encouraging our young people. We try to foster arts and crafts whether they be Pakeha or Maori. For me, it's about what I put in, not what I get out of it. I joined to put something in and that's what I've done."
Ms Morrison hoped the league would still be around in another 75 years.
"Many women are bringing their mokos along, but there are not enough young ones. A lot of them were brought up with the league and they still believe in the kaupapa of the league which is important. In the league, young kids get companionship, wisdom and the history of way back then with how our Maori people used to live"
Another aspect of the league involved the learning and maintaining of Maori and European arts and crafts, from knitting and embroidery to painting and whariki (mat weaving).
Ms Morrison said one of the members had undertaken to repair and redo all the whariki at the Tunohopu Marae in Ohinemutu and had been working on the project for five or six years, with help from others.
"Those are the skills that could be handed down to our young people," she said.