TE KURI A TUATAI MARAE

 Te Kuri

 

Ko Titirangi te maunga
Ko Waikanae te awa
Ko Horouta me Takitimu nga waka
Ko Ngai Tawhiri, ko Te Whanau a Iwi nga hapu
Ko Rongowhakaata te iwi

Ko Whareroa te wharenui
Ko Te Ara o Awapuni ki Turanga te wahi noho

Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae belongs to Ngai Tawhiri and Te Whanau a Iwi. It is situated at Awapuni and particularly on the Awapuni 1L2F block. The wharenui is Te Poho o Materoa. Kuri refers to the barking of seals and a reminder that the coastline was once their habitat. The marae is on the original Awapuni pa site. There is a monument at the marae to Riperata Kahutia of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki. The mare was set aside as a Maori reservation in the 1980’s. The marae also contains a mass grave of approximately 150 individuals who dies in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

The wharenui was Te Poho o Materoa was built in the 1880’s by Ngai Te Kete. Carvers from as far as Waipiro Bay assisted with the work. The ridgepole was presented by Te Heuheu of Taupo. In addition, Raniera Te Heuheu was one of the carvers. Two figures commemorated on the poutokomanawa inside the building are Tawhiri and Rongo-te-Uruora. The tekoteko was Kuriwahanui. The wharenui was opened in 1882 and was used extensively over the next 30 years but gradually fell into disrepair and was dismantled in 1920. A new and much smaller wharenui was later built by Ngai Tawhiri and was also extensively used over the years. However, it burnt down along with the adjacent hall.

The only remainder being the commemoration to Kataraina Kahutia, daughter of Ngai Tawhiri, Whanau a Iwi leader Kahutia and sister to Riperata Kahutia, an influential person of the 19th century Rongowhakaata affairs.

Te Kuri a Tuatai was the home and refuge to many families in the early 20th Century, the late Rapiata Darcy Ria talked of close to twelve whanau who were born and raised at the marae, where monthly services were held with the old people coming from Kaiti with kaimoana. Much kai was gathered from the Waikanae and ‘the cut’ for sharing with the families including many Pakeha as they struggled with the depression years. The marae was also a place of healing.

Eventually families gravitated back to Manutuke while the Marae became in the contemporary times a place for PEP programmes, kohanga, marae based social services and kaumatua flats. 

 

For marae bookings please contact:

Lisa Taylor - Phone: 021 02446964

Email: Tekurimarae@gmail.com

Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae Phone: +64 6 868 7196

 

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