rongowhakaata 30 11 2010 11 06 56 a.m.


Ko Puketapu te maunga
Ko Te Arai te awa
Ko Horouta me Takitimu nga waka
Ko Ngati Maru te hapu
Ko Rongowhakaata te iwi  

Ko Te Mana o Turanga te wharenui
Ko Rongowhakaata te tekoteko
Ko Te Aroha a Te Rangatahi a Turahiri te wharekai
Ko Hurimoana te urupa
Ko Te Ara o Whakato ki Manutuke te wahi noho
Ko Rongowhakaata te kohanga reo 

The Whakato Marae commemorates the tipuna Rongowhakaata. The wharenui is named Te Mana o Turanga and the wharekai Te Aroha a Te Rangatahi a Turahiri. The marae is situated at Manutuke on the Whakato No.3 block and identifies primarily with Ngati Maru. The urupa is named Hurimoana.

 The following whakatauki applies to this marae:

‘Te kotahi a Turahiri
Ripo ana te moana.’ 

‘The one and only child of Turahiri
Who causes the rippling of the sea.’

Another whakatauki for this marae is:

‘He kotahi na Turahiri
Ka horu te moana.’ 

‘Turahiri may be only one person
But such a one that could stir up the oceans.’

Whakato Marae traces its beginnings to the time of missionary contact in Turanganui-a- Kiwa. A mission station was originally established at Kaupapa in December 1839. However, it was later moved due to continual flooding. That area was named Whakato symbolic of the planting of Rongopai (“the good word of the Pakeha religion”) within Turanga. William Williams was the first missionary in the region and he commenced his mission at Whakato. The first church was erected in the district at Whakato Marae. J W Stack noted in a visit in 1842 that the large church erected by local Maori was the most striking object about the place:

“It was the loftiest building I have met with. It had a strange appearance, although the thatched roof and boarded floor were completed, the sides were left uncovered and the totara slabs supporting the roof forwarded the only protection from the weather for the congregation.” 

He also commented on the grounds at the church and marae:

“The orchard and vegetable garden were the largest and best kept I have ever seen. I was particularly interested in the vines and the clusters of grapes, the appearance of which until then, I only knew from picture books.”

The first service in the church was held on Sunday, 17 January 1842. At the time Williams noted the different way the hapu of Rongowhakaata approached the building. Firstly, Ngai Tawhiri occupied the centre of the building, Ngati Kaipoho occupied the north side and Ngati Maru the south. It reminded Williams of the passage in the Psalm 122, “Jerusalem is built as the city that is compact together, wither the tribes go up”. The church was later destroyed by a severe storm causing considerable distress to Rongowhakaata. However, another church was built on the same site and was opened on 19 April 1863.

For marae bookings please contact:

Mauhoe Waihape - Phone: 027 8840928

Whakato Marae - Phone: +64 6 862 8443