Marae History

 Whakapapa The Marae Taharoa Hukarere The Revival 



Eru Nehua and Te Tawaka both link back to the great iwi of Ngapuhi and hapū of Ngatihao (through the great chief Patuone) and Ngatihau.

See here for information about Patuone (site being developed by Dr Benjamin Pitman)

The Whakapara marae is one of five marae that make up the hapū of Ngati Hau (Whakapara, Akerama, Pehiaweri, Maruata and Waihou ).

Eru and Te Tawaka had many children, it is believed that there were fourteen children but only nine of them had offspring. From these nine children are the uri, the people of the Whakapara Marae.

The Marae     
Eru and Te Tawaka were forward thinking people and wanted to make sure they provided for their children and their descendents. The land for the Whakapara Marae was set aside as a Māori Reserve in 1913 and in 1966 it was gazetted as a Marae reserve. Trustees were appointed from the descendents of Eru and Te Tawaka to administer the marae. As well as setting up the marae reserve land was gifted by whanau for the church across the road from the marae and later for the Whakapara Native School.

For many of Eru and Te Tawaka's descendents the marae and the church are the last link to the whenua of their tupuna; most of the whānau land has been sold to people outside the families.

 church wide view 2006
     St Isaac's church
 marae carpark2006
          Whakapara Marae
 whaka school circa 1936
   Whakapara Native 
    School circa 1936

This is the name by which the area at Whakapara was known and where Eru and Te Tawaka made their home. The actual Pa site Taharoa is on the hill overlooking the Waiariki river but the area along the Whakapara river is also known as Taharoa. This is where the marae now stands.

 whakapara from main road
       View of Taharoa along the river



 hukarere marae history
      Hukarere circa 1920 to 30's
 tennis group circa 1930s
            Tennis was popular
The first wharenui meeting house to be erected on the marae was called Hukarere. There was also a large dining room capable of seating up to one hundred and fifty people, a store room, slaughter house and large shed for tools and a buggy.

There were two cottages on the property. Te Tawaka and Eru lived in one of the cottages, and some of their children also resided in the cottages until they had their own homes built. Each of the children were given land and assistance to build homes of their own. House sites were selected to provide space for gardens, access to water and where possible on the side of a hill where there was a good view. Some of the original homes remain standing today and you can see the type of architecture of the early days;
villas with verandahs.

Hukarere was used for hui to discuss iwi and hapū affairs, family functions like weddings, tangi, and birthdays. The inside was very bare and some of the old aunties remember some quite rowdy times there when people let the drink get the better of them and rode horses right up into the building.

The last event to be held at Hukarere was a wedding probably in the late 40’s to early 50s. The building remained unused for many years and the grounds became overgrown with gorse. Many people today remember traipsing through the overgrown marae grounds to get to the creek for a swim. The old meeting house was filled with hay and it was great fun to play in there.

In 1962 the Hoskins whānau offered to buy the old house for the timber to build a house at Whangaruru. The whānau say that people from the older generations they have hosted at the beach house have said they could still smell the old hui house as soon as they entered the door.

The Hoskins whānau donated some of the timber from the old hui house to be incorporated into the new Wharenui Te Ihi o Nehua. The timber at the base of the tupuna wall and the wooden signs for Te Ihi o Nehua, Te Aranga Ake (the Kokiri) and the proposed wharekai Te Tawaka all come from Hukarere.

The Revival  
As the old hui house deteriorated so to did our link to the marae and to things Mäori. Many people grew up and moved away from Whakapara. For most of these people they grew up knowing and loving their extended whānau, cousins, aunties and uncles. Even though the language and cultural knowledge was not fostered for a long time the spiritual and emotional links were firmly established.

The Māori revival and land marches of the 1970s stirred people to seek their roots and instilled in them the desire to learn their culture and language so they would not be lost forever.

In 1976 a group of people including Andersons, Shelfords, Edwards, Davis’s gathered by the old oak trees in amongst the gorse bushes and made the commitment to revive the marae. 

 te ihi o nehua oak trees
The trees are still there - the
dream is coming to pass. 
 oak trees from wharenui 2006
The oak trees looking from inside
the wharenui

It is from this commitment that we have the marae of today. Little by little the marae has been rebuilt. At each stage different people would step up and take charge. As people tired other people would come forward. The different stages included:

- The work shop (opened 14 October 1985)

- The power shed (built 1985)

- Ablution block completed 1986

- The Kokiri building completed 1988
  (used for ten years as a training center and wharehui)

- Te Ihi o Nehua the new whare nui opened in 1998
  (the kokiri being relocated to make way for the new wharenui)

- Tomokanga Te Whei Ao opened July 2006
  (the gateway to the wharenui)






Page last updated 20 Feb 2012