OUR marae

Ngā Marae

The ancestral lands of Ngāti Kea 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. Within our rohe we have three marae: Kearoa, Tarewa Pounamu and Rongomaipapa.
Kearoa wharenui
Kearoa Marae Te Uira

Kearoa Marae

Kearoa Marae is situated on Apirana Road, 14 km south of Rotorua nestled between our maunga Horohoro and our awa Pōkaitu. Kearoa Marae includes three whare:

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

Kearoa is one of the older Te Arawa meeting houses. The skilled carving work on the wharenui was completed in the year 1881 and was officially opened in 1888 at Horohoro. There are several known carvers who carved the wharenui, however, in some instances only their first names are known:

  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, the tupuna whare Kearoa underwent significant transitions. Around 1921, Kearoa was relocated 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, the introduction of the Native Land Development Scheme by Sir Apirana Ngata around 1929 prompted the hapū’s return to their ancestral lands. With this return, the ornately carved Kearoa was once again re-erected at Horohoro, symbolising a revival of the hapū’s connection to their land and heritage. This period marks a significant chapter in the history of Kearoa and Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara, reflecting the resilience and adaptability of the community amidst changing economic and political landscapes.

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

For any marae bookings please email: kearoamaraecommittee@gmail.com

Rongomaipapa Marae

Rongomaipapa marae is situated on Rongomai Road, 14 km south of Rotorua. Is it on Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara land and is not too distant from Kearoa Marae.

Rongomaipapa Marae includes three whare:

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

Rongomaipapa Marae was built in the 1930s on Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara land given to the Ngāti Kahungunu settlors who came to Horohoro as part of the Māori Land Development Scheme and was named Rongomaipapa in remembrance of the whakapapa links between Te Arawa and Ngāti Kahungunu. Today the marae is still used by Māori whānau living in the district.

Rongomaipapa has six trustees; half from NKNT and half from the families who use the marae.

Rongomaipapa Marae contact: secretary@rongomaipapa.com


Maruahangaroa Rongomaipapa marae
Rongomaipapa marae

Tarewa Pounamu Marae

Taharangi Marae is situated on Tarewa Rd, in central Rotorua. Taharangi Marae includes 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.