Waipapa Marae

Te Maru o Hikairo

Image: Te Maru o Hikairo

Situated on the main road into Kāwhia, Waipapa Marae is the heart of Ngāti Hikairo – a place for communal gatherings and a storehouse for iwi traditions.

Waipapa Marae Trustees

Marae Trustees: Tony Spelman, Jack Porima, Hone Edwards, Gerrit van Tol, Marlene Edwards and Ngaro Te Hae (Chair)

Waipapa Marae Committee

Chairperson: Whetu Simon
Secretary: Vinnie Daniels
Treasurer: Tiki Ryan


Whanau, friends and organisations may book the marae for events. If you would like to make a booking, please call:



About Our Marae

There are three main  whare  that make up the Waipapa Marae complex.

Ngā Tai Whakarongorua / Our Whare Tūpuna

Built in the early 1900s, our whare tūpuna is now over a hundred years old. The original name of the house was Te Whānau Pani. It was later renamed Te Mihinga.
In 1991, after a slight relocation, the whare was finally named Ngā Tai Whakarongorua. The name Ngā Tai Whakarongorua relates to the sound of two tides.
There are three key kaupapa that influenced the naming of our whare tūpuna:
  • Ngā Tai Whakarongorua was the name of a house  that stood at Ōpārau in the 1870s
  • Ngā Tai Whakarongorua was the name of a battle at Kārewa (Gannet Island)
  • Ngā Tai Whakarongorua alludes to the sound of the ocean waves on the coast and the lapping of the tide in Kāwhia Harbour


Image: Ngā Tai Whakarongorua


Takuhiahia / Our Wharenui

Takuhiahia is a large carved whare that can sleep up to 300 guests. A notable feature of the wharenui is that it has a large mahau (porch) and door on its side – rather than at the front. The design is based on the whare rūnanga that stood at Whatiwhatihoe in the 1880s. The name Takuhiahia reflects the desire of King Korokī’s daughter, Te Atairangikaahu, to have house built in this style.

Image: Tamariki in front of Takuhiahia


 Te Maru o Hikairo / Our Wharekai

Ngāti Hikairo long dreamed about replacing the old wharekai and kāuta at Waipapa Marae. This  was realised when Te Maru o Hikairo was opened by Kingi Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII  on 12 March 2019. The new dining room is expected to feed twice as many people as the previous wharekai in one sitting, with half the number of ringawera required to help feed guests during important annual events such as Poukai. Featuring extensive glass windows the building has also been designed to provide a breathtaking view of  Kāwhia Harbour.

The wharekai project was made possible through iwi fundraising efforts and help from the Oranga Marae programme, a co-investment initiative of Te Puni Kōkiri and the Department of Internal Affairs.