In the late 1980s the concept of the Awataha Marae complex was devised. It was proposed that Awataha will include the following:
Whare Whakairo (Carved Meeting House)
Centre for traditional ceremonial activities, decorated with the finest Māori arts and crafts, with accommodation for 150 sleeping adults.
Whare Kai (Dining Hall)
A centre for conferences, concerts and all general social activities with catering facilities for 300 eating adults.
Kokiri (House of learning)
- Skills centre for teaching traditional arts and crafts using both traditional Māori and modern materials. Arts and crafts will include: tukutuku (lattice work), taniko (weaving), raranga kete, whatu whariki (the working of flax), Māori jewellery made from bone, stone and wood.
- A creative centre for all visual expressive arts such as painting, drama, poetry and creation of audio-visual aids for teaching of Māoritanga elsewhere in the country.
- Work experience centre where vocational skills could be taught.
- Kohanga reo a pre-school centre where young New Zealanders could enjoy an environment enriched with Māori and European cultures.
- A tourist centre for displayng arts and crafts.
- A marae enterprise where the best quality articles made on the marae could be sold.
Wāhi Whakatupu Rākau (Plant Nursery)
- A centre for the integration of all school and youth programmes of culture, arts and crafts on Auckland's North Shore.
- For the identification and propagation of tree and ferns for the marae nature park.
Ngahere Takahanga (Nature Park)
- To provide natural materials for the Kokiri programmes.
- To provide trees and ferns to schools, groups and societies interested in native plants.
- To provide a natural environment for the marae.
Kainga kaumatua (Housing for the elderly)
- To provide aesthetically pleasing access to the manmade structures of the marae complex for participants and visitors.
- To provide shelter for the marae from neighbouring residential area.
- To beautify this part of the Northcote Borough.
- To keep the marae warm and secure.
- To pass on wisdom and knowledge of Māoritanga to all interested New Zealanders and visitors.
- To act as tangata-whenua when appropriate.
Local housing for complex workers, groundsman, cleaners and park attendants.