OUR marae

Ngā Marae

The ancestral lands of Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara stretch over 45-50,000 acres from the base of Horohoro maunga to significant landmarks including Tihi-o-Tonga, Tarewa, and Patetere. Our whenua extends south towards Tokoroa and east to Tikorangi, framing the Matahana basin and circling back to Horohoro. Learn about the history and significance of Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara marae. 

Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara Kearoa wharenui
Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara - Kearoa Marae Te Uira
Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara marae booking

Kearoa Marae

Kearoa Marae is situated on Apirana Road, 14 km south of Rotorua, nestled between our maunga Horohoro and our awa Pōkaitu. It is one of the older Te Arawa meeting houses, comprising three whare:

  • Kearoa: the whare tupuna
  • Te Oha a Te Uira: the wharekai
  • Te Uira: the wharepuni

The marae is frequently used for gatherings such as hui, wānanga, tangihanga, and whānau reunions. The Kearoa Marae Committee manages the marae complex, including bookings, maintenance, and the whānau working bee schedule.

For marae bookings please email: kearoamaraecommittee@gmail.com

History and Carvings

Skilled carvers completed the wharenui in 1881, and it officially opened in 1888 at Horohoro. Several known carvers(in some instances only first names are known), including Hohepa, Tu, Te Wheoro, Naera, Henare Taiamai, Te Hake, and Te Ruato, contributed to the work:

  1. The amo and the koruru carved by Hohepa.
  2. The first maihi carved by Tu, and the second maihi by Te Wheoro and Naera.
  3. The painting of the rafters, which are named “ngā tuhituhi by Te Arawa”, was the work of Henare Taiamai. 
  4. The pare was carved by Te Hake and Te Ruato.

In the early 20th century, Kearoa underwent significant transitions. Around 1921, the community relocated Kearoa to Tarewa Road, alongside Taharangi, due to a tribal migration driven by economic factors. This move coincided with broader social and economic shifts within the community. However, around 1929, Sir Apirana Ngata’s introduction of the Native Land Development Scheme prompted the hapū’s return to their ancestral lands. With this return, the ornately carved Kearoa was re-erected at Horohoro, symbolizing a revival of the hapū’s connection to their land and heritage. This period marks a significant chapter in Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara’s history, reflecting the community’s resilience and adaptability amidst changing economic and political landscapes.


Rongomaipapa Marae

Rongomaipapa marae is situated on Rongomai Road, and is not too distant from Kearoa Marae, features three whare:

  • Maruahangaroa: the whare tupuna
  • Hine te ata: the wharekai
  • A wharepuni

During the 1930s, the community constructed Rongomaipapa Marae on Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara land, gifted to Ngāti Kahungunu settlers as part of the Māori Land Development Scheme. Named Rongomaipapa, it commemorates the whakapapa links between Te Arawa and Ngāti Kahungunu. Today, Māori whānau in the district still use the marae.

Six trustees, half from Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara and half from the whānau, who oversee the marae. For inquiries, contact: secretary@rongomaipapa.com

Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara Maruahangaroa Rongomaipapa marae
Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara Rongomaipapa marae

Tarewa Pounamu Marae

Tarewa Pounamu Marae, located on Tarewa Rd in central Rotorua, features three whare:

  • Taharangi: the whare tupuna
  • Te Tuikahapa: the wharekai
  • A wharepuni

Taharangi, the whare tupuna, was built in 1903, and today, the marae complex is governed by the Taharangi Marae Committee.  The marae is used regularly by social services agencies and is also used by the hapū for Māori language classes and other learning and social activities.