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 between 10-20,000 people visit 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 in the Wharenui"
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"
However our Kaumatua also understood that for whatever reason some Urban Maori had become disconnected from their tribal homelands and would probably be buried in the Rohe where they had made their homes.
Does the Awataha Marae support the establishment of other 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" says Anthony Wilson.
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.
Apart from various community groups, schools and whanau groups such as AUT, Maori Womens Development Fund-Te Wero Pakihi, Ideas Group (disability services) use the Marae on a regular basis to name a few.
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 venue advocating the bridging of cultures, offering a range of services to unify the community.
Photographs credited to © Paul Scot Smith and Awataha Marae
AWATAHA FESTIVAL ROCKS THE NORTH SHORE :6 February 2020
Well what we can we say?? The Summer Vibes Waitangi Day Festival 2020 went off with a big bang and everyone on the north shore felt it! If you didn't make it its OK were doing it again next year..but those who turned up (over 5000 of you) were treated to a star studded cast of local, national and international talent. Not to mention a whanau vibe that really permeated the event.
Headlining the day local north shore superstars "Kings" (a Marae baby) and "Savage": brought a real professional show not usually seen at this type of festival. with Shasta laying down her LA vibes with special guest Levani Vosassi on percussion. Not to be out done the ex babes (with local Maori boy RJ), Chubby Fly and Creative Native (ex north Shore native Riqi Harawira) completed the massive line up. A special acknowledgement also goes out to the Chinese dancers who performed.
No argument from anyone..the north shore community showed up in force to support our kaupapa and they were not let down the food and craft stalls were amazing thanks to the wonderful ladies at Coatsville markets. Big ups to the organising team, sponsors, funders and all the volunteers who helped out.
We are looking forward to more people and a bigger event next year!!!
HE AITUA!!! :24 February 2020
Sadly Awataha mourned the recent passing of our Kuia Doreen Farimond at 96 years of age. Nani Doreen was much loved by te whanau whanui o Awataha and is remembered as being one of the OG originals. Staunch, Fearless and sharp minded Doreen was the back bone of the Marae committee in the early years. Many talked about helping but few can claim to have done the hard yards like she did.
Doreen laid in state at Awataha until she was buried in a private ceremony with the whanau pani. Moe mai ra e kui. Haere ki te taha o Arnold, Grey, Titinga, Nani Cash, Betty, Jean, Te Maiti ma..ratou ki a ratou, tatou ki a tatou.
Awataha goes no Hongi!!:11 March 2020
In an attempt to help stop the intentional spread of the COVID-19 VIRUS..Marae elders have placed a temporary restriction (tauparuru) on Hongi and shaking hands. Chairperson Maria Amoamo said with the high volume of visitors we get every year in excess of 10-20,000 people.. it is important that we are seen to be doing the best we can to protect our Manuhiri as well as our own people from contracting the disease.
Although strange to us not greeting in our normal fashion..we are doing our bit to keep everyone as safe as possible. Kia mataara e hoa ma.
AUT Psychotherapy Visit: 12 March 2020
Senior Lecturer Wirimu Woodard is spearheading this years annual visit to the Marae by Masters and new entrants to the programme. Over the years we have had the opportunity to help input to the students understanding of a Maori worldview, something we feel is important considering many of the graduates will go on to work with Maori and pacific peoples.
The visiting circus!! March 2020
After visiting the Summer Vibes Waitangi Day Festival and giving a glowing report card to the Awataha Marae, Dan Bidois local MP dhas now written to the Minister for Land Information with alleged “Community Concerns” about Awataha Marae! He must have forgotten what he said about Awataha only 2 weeks earlier. Anei ra matakitaki mai...
The Marae committee are incredibly angry with Dan and no doubt the over 5,000 people who attended the Waitangi Day festival would find it hard to understand Dan’s position now, given the success of the event.
"How dare he (Dan Bidois) come to the Marae enjoy our hospitality, shake hands with all our guests and tell us to our faces how great it was only to tiko on us later" says long time serving kaumatua Dena Leonard. "We are sick and tired of people using us to gain political points. . We are the ones here every day looking after manuhiri doing the dishes cleaning up cooking the kai, manning the paepae...where the bloody hell are they!! They have no Mana here.
Dan you got it wrong! :(
"See letter here; Marae responds to Dan Bidois March 2020"
Kia Hiwa Ra!!! Kia Hiwa Ra!! Kia Mataara!!!
COVID Lockdown Level 4 Hits Aotearoa
As Covid 19 grips the world Jacinda Adern announces the country will go into lockdown.
For Awataha this means effectively shutting down until we are able to resume or normal activities.
Stay safe whanau and catch you all on the other side. Kia haha kia maia kia manawanui.
North Shore Maori Wardens seek to Breakaway from Maori council rule. 12 June 2020.
At a hui held at Awataha the North Shore Maori Wardens along with many other wardens from the Tamaki region voiced their concerns over the current structure of the wardens under the Maori council. A call for autonomy was voiced and supported.
One attendee said the Maori Council structure is outdated and needs an overhaul. Plus the people running it are a bunch of bullies and are out of touch with our community. Sack them all he said.
Te Arataua Goes Off with a Bang: 14 June 2020
Due to Covid Lockdown we had to postpone our launch of Te Arataua. But I'm pleased to say Te Arataua Wananga went off with a Bang on Sunday with over 30 participants attending our very first session. Matua Carmen Hetaraka had everyone glued to their chairs as we listened to his korero. He covered many issues pertaining to our ancient wananga and gave them a relevance in todays context. Many who attended are practitioners in the Mental Health field, addictions and our suicide. A total of 10 sessions for the first part of the wananga are continuing. Get along and listen, everyone welcome. Kai a smile and an open ear is all you need to bring.
Matariki heralds a new future for Awataha Marae; 13 July 2020
It’s Matariki the Maori new year and Awataha is celebrating this along with the outcome of the commissioner for lands decision to renew its perpetual lease with the crown for another 33 years.
“We find the decision both justified and sensible” says CEO Anthony Wilson. Although we have some matters to sort out we thank the commissioner for lands for the decision. The news has come at a very special time of year for us as Maori. A time where we look forward to the future and reflect on the past. “A Tohu or sign”.
We are satisfied that the commissioners review has sought to apply matters of law and common sense in their decision and has put much conjecture and political postering to one side.
The land tenure has always remained the paramount issue for our organization to have resolved so we can develop and utilize the land to its fullest potential and forward our goals and objectives.
Our plans for the future include expanded health and social service facilities, education facilities, completed wharenui, accommodation and dedicated tangihanga space. All of this requires adequate funding.
The granting of the lease renewal is a very positive step towards reaching our goals however the land in fact still remains subject to our own WAI 187 treaty claim along with other tribal interests. Says Wilson.
Our Matariki prayer is “to unite the various interests into a cohesive well informed well resourced representative body as we move forward in the future and reach our goals together”
Something we have been pushing for now, for many years. Says Mr Wilson.