Kia ora tatou katoa
FAQ (frequently asked questions)
What is the difference between Awataha Marae and other Marae.?
Formed over 30 years ago Awataha is described as being a Urban or Pan tribal Marae.
At the core of its existence lies its founding vision to;
Preserve promote and nurture Maori culture language and tikanga while at the same time opening up our culture to non Maori through innovative education outreach programmes and cultural exchanges.
The founding vision has led the organisation to be actively supportive or involved with the establishment of most major Maori initiatives on the North Shore. Including Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Rakipaewhenua, Te Puna Hau Ora, Te Rakipaewhenua Maori Wardens, Te Wananga O Taipari and Te Taua Moana Marae.
It has also led to the establishment of its hugely successful schools programme and cultural induction programme. Every year several thousands of participants attend the Marae and experience the warmth and hospitality of the (hau kainga) home people whilst learning at the same time.
How is the Awataha Marae funded?
The Awataha Marae is currently not Government funded or funded by Auckland City Council.
Instead the Marae relies on commercial revenues it generates to maintain itself. From time to time it has recieved some grant funding however the modern approach for MNGO is to rely less on hand outs and find ways to become more self-reliant.
The Marae generates revenue from leasing land and facilities, cultural induction and schools programmes as well as tourism.
What is Tangihana?
The term Tangihanga or Tangi is given to generally describe the process we as Maori people go through when grieving for loved ones. Sometimes this can last for several days. Different Iwi and Hapu observe varying cultural practices or Tikanga around Tangi. It is a opportunity for whanau, hapu and friends to strengthen their bonds of whakapapa/kinship as they lay their loved ones to rest in their tribal homelands.
Does Awataha hold Tangi?
The late Dr Arnold Wilson Kaumatua for Awataha stated that; "keeping in line with Maori tikanga until the Wharenui is completed that no Tangi be held there"
He also stated that; "Awataha Marae should not replace the role of the Marae in the tribal homelands. Instead Awataha should only be the staging ground for tangi in the local rohe and for those ones to be returned to their tribal homelands and people as per Maori custom and protocol"
Consequently Awataha has hosted Tangi at the Marae but not in the wharenui.
Does the Awataha Marae support the establishment of the Beachhaven Marae?
The Marae has publicly supported the idea of a Marae in Beachhaven being established. We feel there should be more Marae not fewer to support the dreams and aspirations of Maori in that area.
In fact the original Marae committee that went on to become the Awataha Marae committee tried in vain to establish the Marae in Beachhaven in the late 70's.
How do I become involved with Awataha Marae?
Just like any other Marae Awataha Marae has a home people (hau kainga) that keep the home fires burning so that when Manuhiri (guests) visit there are people to host them. Often the best way to be involved is to help out at hui by doing dishes, sweeping the floors, cleaning the toilets etc and as with most Marae these jobs are all done by volunteers. Once the hau kainga get to know you and you have proven yourself opportunities will open up for greater responsibilities.
What happens on a daily basis at the Marae?
Awataha is often fully booked throughout the year with visits from schools coming from as far away as South Auckland and as near as our local schools in our community. Every year the Marae also hosts several wananga or noho (stay overs). These groups come from our local national and international communities wanting to learn more about Maori culture.
To give a general idea groups such as AUT, Maori Womens Development Fund-Te Wero Pakihi, Idea Group (disability services) use the Marae on a regular basis.
North Tech are currently running their Elementary Construction and Painting courses on site and are looking to expand. The Maori Wardens also have an office on site.
Awataha unifies traditional heritage with a creative urban vibe. Located on Auckland's North Shore, Awataha is a cultural venues advocating the bridging of cultures, offering a range of services to unify the community.
Photographs credited to © Paul Scot Smith