In Māori society, the marae is a place where the culture can be celebrated, where the Māori language can be spoken, where inter-tribal obligations can be met, where customs can be explored and debated, where family occasions such as birthdays can be held, and where important ceremonies, such as welcoming visitors or farewelling the dead (tangihanga), can be performed. Like the related institutions of old Polynesia, the marae is a wāhi tapu, a 'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning.
In Māori usage, the marae ātea (often shortened to marae) is the open space in front of the wharenui (meeting house; literally "large building"). Generally the term marae is used to refer to the whole complex, including the buildings and the ātea. This area is used for pōwhiri (welcome ceremonies) featuring oratory. Some iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes) do not allow women to perform oratory on their marae, though typically women perform a Karanga (call). The wharenui is the locale for important meetings, sleepovers, and craft and other cultural activities.
The wharekai (dining hall) is used primarily for communal meals, but other activities may be carried out there.
Many of the words associated with marae in tropical Polynesia are retained in the Māori context. For example, the word paepae refers to the bench where the speakers sit; this means it retains its sacred and ceremonial associations. Marae vary in size, with some wharenui being a bit bigger than a double garage, and some being larger than a typical town hall.
Te Āwhina Marae is situated in Motueka and stands under the two mountains: Pukeone and Tu Ao Wharepapa. The Motueka river runs swiftly, bringing life and nourishment to the district.
The mana whenua iwi are Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rārua and our wharenui is named after the ancestor Turangaapeke.
As the name indicates, Te Āwhina Marae was created as a place that openly welcomes all people to come and learn, seek shelter and find hospitality.
The vision of Te Āwhina Marae is to uphold Tino Rangatiratanga and to embrace all people under the concept of Tikanga Māori. To have a Marae that is strong physically and spiritually and where all involved are proud participants of Te Āwhina whanau.
As a community focused Marae, Te Āwhina offers a number of services, including: Kohanga Reo, Health Services, Te Reo tuition.
Phone: 03 528 6061
Established in 1986, Onetahua Marae in Golden Bay is used by the whole community for tangi, hui and wananga, and as an educational base.
It is the home marae for three local iwi: Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama, and Te Ātiawa, but it operates as a multicultural marae with the wider involvement of the whole community. The protocol there is Taranaki Kawa.
"Onetahua" is the Māori name for the nearby Farewell Spit and is translated as "heaped up sand".
The whare tipuna (meeting house) was opened in January 2001, and is named 'Te Ao Marama' meaning a new light, referring to a new, inclusive way forward. The inside of the wharenui is a mix of traditional and modern styles, as befits a relatively new, multicultural marae.
Onetahua connects ancestrally to the waka Tokomaru, the maunga Parapara and the awa Waikoropupu.
Onetahua Marae specialises in hui involving natural materials and has become a leading centre for making and playing traditional musical instruments. The marae has a weekly weaving hui usually using local harakeke.
Phone: 03 525 9484
Whakatū Marae is situated in the leeward breezes of Taitapu Bay on the northern entrance into Whakatū, Nelson.
Whakatū Marae location was developed from a disused site of the 1960's to a beautiful site that houses a whare tupuna - Kākāti, a wharekai – Mauriora, six kaumātua whare, Kopuawai Te Kohanga Reo, a kokiri block - Rangikapua, housing hauora services and a fully-equipped gym.
The newest addition, Tūmatakōkiri, houses Whakatū Marae office and Whakatu Marae Whānau Ora Services.
The land area is 10 hectares and is sited at 99 – 122, Atawhai Drive, Nelson.
The Kawa observed at Whakatū Marae is Tu Atu Tu Mai and umbrellas six mana whēnua iwi namely:
The common ancestor claimed by the six iwi is Kākati and his two wives. Kākati is seven generations from Hoturoa, Captain of Tainui Waka and is the name of the whare tūpuna.
Phone: 03 546 9097 or 0800whaka2
Hours of operation are 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday