This is where our iwi has come for hui, weddings, tangi, poukai, reunions, wānanga and simply to be together. It’s the place our tūpuna went for the very same reasons. The old fireplace in the wharekai is the same one our tūpuna sat around and cooked on and Nga Tai Whakarongorua is the same whare in which many of them slept while here, or lay when they passed on. Now many of them look down on us from the walls. It is truly a special place for Ngāti Hikairo.
Waipapa is made up of 3 principal whare. Ngā Tai Whakarongorua – our whare tūpuna, Takuhiahia – our wharenui, and our wharekai which doesn’t have an official name. It is quite simply ‘the wharekai.’
Everyone travelling into Kāwhia sees our marae as it’s on the main road in.
Ngā Tai Whakarongorua was named for the fact, that when you stand on the site, at certain times and in certain conditions, you can hear 2 harbours / tides. There are three different kaupapa that apply to the naming of this whare:
- It was the name of a wharepuni that stood in Ōpārau in the 1870s
- It was the name of a battle at Kārewa (Gannet Island) and
- It was from that location you can hear the ocean and the lapping of the tide in Kāwhia at the same time
Ngā Tai Whakarongorua is over a hundred years old. The original name was Te Whānau Pani, then Te Mihinga, and only recently named Ngā Tai Whakarongorua.
Takuhiahia was named because Te Atairangikaahu (King Korokī’s wife) ‘wished’ there to be a whare of this shape – with the door on the side (which is a little unusual – usually the doors are at the end of the whare). The whare is a replica of the style of the whare rūnanga that stood at Whatiwhatihoe in the 1880s, which in turn is said to have been a replica of the whare that stood at Raroera in the 1840s. Takuhiahia is a huge whare and sleeps up to 300 when necessary. At other times this whare is used for wānanga, hui or simply a place for our Iwi to meet and share.
On the road opposite Waipapa can be seen the hills upon which, at one time, many marae and whare, were situated. Many of our tūpuna lived in this actual area.
To the back of Waipapa is the wharekai. When you step out the back door of this little whare you are met with a breathtaking view of the bay. Te Wharu is the name of the Bay. Pupu, flounder and watercress can still be gathered in this bay. Some of our Iwi have also planted kamokamo and vegetables for marae use along the grassed area at the back that leads down to the sea. There is nothing better than to be able to go to your own whenua and moana to find food to feed your iwi and manuwhiri.
Mere Gilmore, Jack Cunningham, and Hinga Whiu
Chairperson: Kīngi Pōrima
Secretary: Hinga Whiu
Marae Trustees: Meto Hopa, Roger Pikia, Tony Spelman, Jack Pōrima
Chairperson: Roger Pikia
Secretary: Hinga Whiu
If you are Ngāti Hikairo then Waipapa is your marae. You might want to arrange a whānau reunion, or a wānanga or other event. You can apply to book the marae at any time through contacting Hinga Whiu for details
New Wharekai Project:
Some of you may have noticed the sign outside the wharekai at Waipapa. The Wharekai Fundraising Committee are looking to raise money for the new wharekai and have developed a plan to help us achieve this goal, in a timely manner. Please take a look at their website to see further information, as well as how you can assist with the programme. Ngāti Hikairo Wharekai Project