Nga Marae O Te Rarawa

History of the Hapu and Marae

The hapu of Ngai Tupoto today is centred around Motukaraka, Te Huahua and Tapuwae in the North Hokianga. Part of the iwi of Te Rarawa, the rohe runs from Kohatuhaohao around from Rangiora (the Narrows) where we join with our whanaunga, the hapu of Te Ihutai, and Tautehere where we join with Ngati Tamatea of Motuti and Ngati Manawa of Panguru. Ngai Tupoto's rohe is further defined by the maunga Rakautapu at Paponga.

Ngai Tupoto ki Motukaraka Hapu

The hapu name is derived not just from our ancestor, Tupoto, as many hapu in Hokianga, Te Rarawa, and Ngapuhi descend from Tupoto. Ngai Tupoto ki Motukaraka derive the name from the coming together of the whakapapa of Tupoto's two wives, Kauae and Tawakeiti. Ngai Tupoto includes Ngati Here. Today the people of Ngai Tupoto who have maintained ahika descend from a number of lines. Due to inter-marriage and outward migration many of these lines of tatai are hard to separate.

Most of the whanau that affiliate to Motukaraka today descend from Te Uruti, Rameka and Hoana, Hua and Ruu, Whatiia and Te Raumahi, Te Tihi and Te Huinga; Pero and Rangitinia, Huiwhara; Ipu and Pukerewa; and Hemo and Rewi Puhi.

Te Uruti was the father of Hoani Te Uruti who married Erina of Ngai Tupoto. There are numerous descendants of the Hoani whanau today. Rameka, married Hoana and their grandson Hone Rameka married Rora the daughter of Hoani Te Uruti. Among Ngai Tupoto today are many descendants of the Rameka whanau. Hua married Ruu and their daughter is Ngahuia, who is the ancestress of the Hare or Harris whanau.

Another primary line of Ngai Tupoto whakapapa comes from the descendants of Te Wehi, through his grandson Haumia. Whatiia and Te Raumahi, Huiwhara and Pero, and Te Tihi and Te Huinga are Tupuna of the line that comes down to the Pairama and Gundry whanau. Pero and Ipu are also from this line but were grandsons of Pukehaka. Pero and Rangitinia, and Ipu and Pukerewa are tupuna to the Pairama and Hapeta whanau. Pukehaka is a brother of Te Atau grandmother of Ngahuia.

Rewi Puhi also descends from Te Wehi; and Hemo, daughter of Kuauau, from Te Wehi's brother Te Ahinui. They are the tupuna of the Rewi or Davis whanau.

Te Uruti, Hua, Whatiia, Pero and Ipu all signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 12th February, 1840 at Mangunu.

The principle whanau of Ngai Tupoto today include Hoani, Rameka, Pairama, Harris, Hancy, Young, Waata, Ngapera, Lundon, Davis (Rewi), Brown (Paraone), Smith and Gundry.

The marae at Motukaraka is known as Ngai Tupoto, and formerly was referred to as Te Iringa o Tupoto, referring to the considerable number of descendants of Tupoto. There has been a whare on the site of the current marae since 1855. The new complex built in the early 1960s is called Ngahuia in honour of one of our tupuna whaea.

Ngai Tupoto vigorously asserted mana whenua status when pakeha settlement began and was in dispute with the Crown and a settler McDonnell, as early as 1844. When the Native Land Court was established this continued and Ngai Tupoto people were granted title to land at Tapuwae, Tautehere, Te Huahua and Motukaraka. The majority of this land has been retained

Ngai Tupoto whanau have occupied the area continuously for nearly 20 generations and while many hapu members have married into other hapu and iwi there have always been several hundred living, working and farming within the rohe, or nearby Kohukohu or Rawene. Large numbers of whanau moved to the cities from the late 1940s, but a trend of returning started from the late 1970s and today there are more than 200 hapu members living locally.

Marae Trustees

  • Louis Brown (Chairperson); Te Huahua, RD 1 Kohukohu 0491; 09 405 5743
  • Mina Neho (Secretary); Motukaraka, RD1, Kohukohu 0491; 09 4055 444;
  • Hoana Smith (Treasurer); PO Box 525, Kaitaia 0441, 09 408 1771;
  • Wendy Henwood; PO Box 47, Rawene 0443, 09 405 7857;
  • Michael Howell; 244 Te Karae, RD1, Kohukohu 0491; 09 4055 723
  • Barbara Marriner, Motukaraka, RD 1, Kohukohu 0491: 09 4055 505
  • Denise Tairua; 021 474 152;
  • Zonya Wherry; 9 Yarborough Street, Kohukohu 0491; 022 473 6754;

Marae Committee Office Holders

  • Andrew Hoani; Chair
  • Dawn Harris; Deputy chair
  • Mina Neho; Secretary, Treasurer


Marae Upgrade and Facility Redevelopment

In 2003-04 our plan to upgrade the Marae facilities began. Work completed; a timber retaining seawall, new sewerage system, kitchen extension, renovation and refurbishment, the installation of a disability toilet/shower facility, re-concrete of the 'out the back' area, block wall work, metal cage installed to hold the gas bottles, the lean-to and back face of the marae re-roofed.

March 2005 we rebuilt our wharf as part of a 3-day Hula Haka - Mitre 10, Marae DIY project. Three days of hard work, fun and whanaungatanga. During that time we managed to build the wharf, realign our drive/parking area, do some landscaping and planting, carving and art work, build a paved BBQ area and outdoor seats, and paint the outside and roof of the marae.

A big thank you to all our whanau that supported the kaupapa - the willing workers out front and behind the scenes, koha from whanau that couldn't be there or were unable to help, whanau that did a lot of running around fetching and carrying stuff before, during and after, our kuia that had to keep away from the marae during the work so that they could be surprised when they arrived by boat on the final day, and those that provided tools, equipment, machinery, boats, vehicles, food, timber and plants for the project. We were really humbled by the way in which businesses and individuals outside of the whanau helped us to make it happen: Mitre 10 (timber & amp project materials), Fulton Hogan (grader), Cowleys Hire (digger, auger, concrete mixer, compactor, tile cutter, rotary hoe), Avon Industries Ltd (jetty bolts), Kaitaia Transport (delivery), United Transport (delivery), Peter Hudson (transport digger), Juken Nissho (bark), Telecom (underground cable), EJ Reede (metal, rocks), David Clayton-Greene (landscaper - plants), Guest whanau (bees wax for carvings), Trees Company Nursery CBEC (plants), Kerikeri Plant Productions (plants) kia ora koutou katoa!

The whole project was videoed and screened as a 1-hour programme on Maori Television. See below 'Ngai Tupoto resources' for details of copies.

2008, working bees were held to: prepare drainage for the lawn and seawall area, clean drains, retain wall below sewerage soak area, install new guttering, rebuild the ring wera seat, build cradle and re-site waka-ama, clean and paint the whare ceiling, fix ladder to the wharf, extend Remana urupa fence, plant and landscape, and replace the church gates and part of the fence.

The church concrete was replaced in November 2008 - we have a ramp instead of steps so it is now safe and wheelchair friendly. Thank you to Pub Charity for the funding that they provided, and to Oue Concrete for their work in preparing and laying the paving.

2012, the church steeple was braced as recommended in a structural engineers report during preparations for the 2010 restoration work.

The 3-stage redevelopment plan that began in 2007 is making good progress. We have completed Stage 1 – the church restoration and centenary celebration, and Stage 2 – the dining room extension. Stage 3 is to build a new whare that will be attached to the existing building. The process has involved discussion at a number of hui and a feasibility study.

Stage 1: church restoration work and centenary celebration 2009-2010

Major restoration work was undertaken prior to the church centenary on 4th April 2010. Much of the steeple
area timbers were rotten and had to be replaced, all the steeple windows were removed and the joinery was either replaced or restored, all the glazing was replaced as most of the windows were cracked, and the roof which was also in bad repair was replaced with long-run colour-steel.

The entrance and upstairs floors were sanded and sealed, the exterior of the church was repainted, the old
concrete tank was repaired, the rotten fence timbers were replaced and the fence repainted, the bell-house was rebuilt following the original design, areas in the church-yard were paved, a new seat was built, and the memorial stones were cleaned and repainted. A small band of whanau spent countless hours working on the jobs – a big kia ora for your commitment to the kaupapa. We also thank Te Puni Kokiri, Pub Charity, Lottery Marae Heritage & Facilities, the Hokianga Art Project, and The Southern Trust who also contributed to preparing and hosting the Centenary event.

Stage 2, dining room extension 2012

With our own fund-raising efforts and financial assistance from the ASB Trusts ($70,000) and Lottery Grants Board Marae and Heritage ($116,150), the work to extend the dining room began in March 2012. Several other improvements were also made and have made a huge difference to the functioning and the look of the marae. Work included: re-orientation of the entrance to the whare (which involved some foundational work for the new whare), a fire wall between the whare and dining/kitchen area, a new porch area, new doors, replacing the remainder of the roof with coloursteel and increasing the water catchment area, replacing and extending the concrete path, building a retaining wall along the foreshore (including seating) to level the lawn, and installing a laundry for ringawera use during hui.. We also took the opportunity to do some work on the roads to Taringaroa and Matai. To complete the project the dining room vinyl will be replaced, and various fire safety items installed (with financial assistance from Pub Charity) as required by the FNDC. Terra Firma Building Ltd were contracted to complete the work, and a few local whanau picked up some casual labouring work.


Ngai Tupoto Arts Strategy 2007

The strategy was developed during 2007 with funding assistance from Toi Ake/Creative NZ. The process helped with ideas and thinking for the design and decoration of the marae complex and proposed new wharenui. Key themes included:

  • Connection to the water/moana - vantage point from the ferry, the harbour, the church and Rawene.
  • Whakapapa of Tupoto making it a 'linking' marae for others in the North and South Hokianga.
  • Stories about the environment, events, places and people.