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Partnership Funding - Marae for Taiharuru

This page contains information about the Taiharuru Marae reaching its funding milestone and preparing for construction.
Updated: 20/12/2019 11:09 a.m.

​More than half a century of work by generations of hapu at Taiharuru, Whangarei Heads mean developments at Taiharuru Marae, first planned in the 1950s, can get under way.

Funding granted by the Lion Foundation, the Ngati Wai Trust Board, a $150,000 grant from Council’s Community Partnership Fund, a $500,000 grant from Foundation North, over $100,000 worth of research, reports and design work funded by Oranga Marae as well as other funds raised by the Marae mean excavation on the $1.5M complex is planned to begin in early 2020.

Picture of the Wairua river.

Taiharuru Marae will include a Whare Wananga (house of learning), fulfilling a generational desire to have a have a Marae to service local whanau, hapu and communities in the Whangarei Heads area. Spokesperson for the project Trina Hadfield said the $1.5million development will enable manawhenua to practice tikanga and kawa, traditional practices, reo maori and teach tamariki and mokopuna important concepts and principles to ensure the indigenous traditions of the land are secure for the future. 

“The build project will include your typical marae buildings of wharenui, wharekai and an ablution block that can cater for 250-350 people at any one time, as is typical of tangihanga and whanau gatherings. We see Taiharuru Marae as a valuable community asset for the future for community events, to cater to visitors coming to Taiharuru and the Whangarei Heads area. We would also like to establish a tourism hub for local businesses to offer authentic experiences in the unique coastal area of Taiharuru and are future planning the facility by including such things as electric vehicle charge stations in the carpark. We also want Taiharuru Marae to be a kaitiaki site to build knowledge and sustainable practices to manage our moana, whenua and waterways.

Trina said the Ngati Korora hapu have wanted, planned and fundraised for many years to build their marae at Taiharuru. 

"When the other coastal marae at Takahiwai, Ngunguru and Whananaki were built in the 1950s, Taiharuru was on that list to be built by the combined labour of all the hapu that whakapapa to those marae.  Taiharuru, in its humble attitude said it would be the last. However, by the time the last of those marae was built, the labour force was depleted and tired and Taiharuru was not built then.

“Taiharuru whanau and hapu have continued to fundraise for the Marae, keeping faith and hope that it would happen. In 2009, at a cost of more than $100k, the marae Committee paid for architectural and engineering drawings and plans and both resource consents and building consents, geo tech reports and even went to the Environmental Court after neighbours in Taiharuru challenged things like "the loud noise the karanga would make".

The marae’s consent was approved, with landscaping conditions. The Department of Internal Affairs then declined its application for funding saying it was not building new marae. Several years after, Taiharuru applied again and got the same response, however Oranga Marae has now been established, and gives new build marae equal right to apply for funding to build. 

“Building Taiharuru Marae also provides Te Waiariki, Ngati Korora hapu the opportunity to lay our dead in our wharenui and hold tangihanga according to our custom, rather than having to lay our dead in whanau garages or other marae. It provides Te Waiariki, Ngati Korora the opportunity to share and teach their future generations of leaders for the marae in their Whare Wananga to provide that place of learning for them to embrace their Te Waiarikitanga. This will also provide a place for the community and Whangarei district to learn the tikanga and kawa of Te Waiariki customs and traditional practice in their whare, on their whenua and amongst their traditional landscapes. This is truly a gift to the future where we can help build confident and knowledgeable young tangata whenua, comfortable to walk in two worlds and contribute to both."

“It will also be a beautiful facility, built in what has been an under invested rural coastal community, providing multiple uses from being a search and rescue base, a Civil Defence centre, a venue for community celebrations and a place for school activities like marae noho that help to build relationships and understanding among Maori and non-Maori.”




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