Marae in Tasman District 

Ancient pa and kainga scatter Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui (top of the South Island). This page provides a brief overview of marae in the Tasman District.

Māori lived communally, usually in kainga or in fortified pa. In more settled times communities lived close to cultivations, tauranga waka , water supply, and food and other resources (in rivers, estuaries, forests, the sea). When their security was threatened they resorted to pa on sites chosen for their view of surrounding countryside and/or sea, their defensibility, and their strategic value. Access to food, water, and waka transport was still important, but adaptations, such as storage pits for food and waka hulls to collect water, could be made.

Today there are two established and 'working' marae in Tasman District:

Te Āwhina Marae 

Te Āwhina Marae is situated in Motueka and stands under the two mountains: Pukeone and Tu Ao Wharepapa. The Motueka river runs swiftly, bringing life and nourishment to the district.

The mana whenua iwi are Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rārua and our wharenui is named after the ancestor Turangaapeke.

As the name indicates, Te Āwhina Marae was created as a place that openly welcomes all people to come and learn, seek shelter and find hospitality.

The vision of Te Āwhina Marae is to uphold Tino Rangatiratanga and to embrace all people under the concept of Tikanga Maori. To have a Marae that is strong physically and spiritually and where all involved are proud participants of Te Āwhina whanau.

As a community focused Marae, Te Āwhina offers a number of services, including: Kohanga Reo, Health Services, Te Reo tuition.


Te Āwhina is located at 133 Pah Street, Motueka, New Zealand

Phone: 03 528 6061

Te Awhina Marae website

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Onetahua Marae 

Established in 1986, Onetahua Marae in Golden Bay is used by the whole community for tangi, hui and wananga, and as an educational base.

It is the home marae for three local iwi: Ngati Rarua, Ngati Tama, and Te Ātiawa, but it operates as a multicultural marae with the wider involvement of the whole community. The protocol there is Taranaki Kawa.

"Onetahua" is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means "heaped up sand".

The wharenui (meeting house) was opened in January 2001, and is named ‘Te Ao Marama' meaning a new light, referring to a new (inclusive) way forward. The inside of the wharenui is a mix of traditional and modern styles, as befits a relatively new, multicultural marae.

Onetahua Marae specialises in hui (workshops) involving natural materials and has become a leading centre for making and playing traditional musical instruments. The marae has a weekly weaving hui usually using local harakeke (flax).


Onetahua Marae is located at Pohara Valley Rd, PO Box 113, Takaka, New Zealand

Phone: 03 525 9484

Fax: 03 525 9522

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Some information from 'Pa and Kainga' by Hilary and John Mitchell on the Prow website.