Situated on the main road into Kāwhia, Waipapa Marae is the heart of Ngāti Hikairo. It is a place for communal gatherings and a storehouse for iwi traditions.
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There are three main buildings that make up the Waipapa marae complex.
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.
Taku Hiahia 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 Taku Hiahia reflects the desire of King Korokī’s daughter, Te Atairangikaahu, to have house built in this style.
Te Maru o Hikairo is the name of our wharekai, dining room officially opened by King Tuheitia at the Waipapa poukai, March 12, 2019. The wharekai was named by Te Ariki Tamaroa, Whatumoana Paki, the eldest son of King Tuheitia.The concept of the wharekai was based on the aspirations of the King’s mother, the late Māori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu whose wish was to create a modern kitchen and dining room facility with a 280 degree view that included vistas of the Kāwhia harbour with the kitchen located at one end. The wharekai features a state of the art kitchen equipped with catering facilities to feed 250 people in the adjacent dining room with stunning panoramic views of the Kāwhia harbour on the eastern side and local images of the marae to the west and rural landscape to the north.
One of the huge challenges for rural marae like Waipapa that lie outside the local township boundary is water, so the marae is now equipped with 4 large tanks each with the capacity to hold 30,000 litres of water, 120,000 litres in total. The new wharekai has been future-proofed to incorporate solar panelling in due course with heat pumps and dining room lighting currently running on electricity and cooking facilities connected to gas. Modern roller blinds add to the interior design of the dining room as a stylish alternative to drapery. You’ll love the simply chic look featuring neutral tones on light-filtering and room darkening fabric. The exterior is bathed in soft lighting in the evenings that give the wharekai an unique status on the marae to compliment the two wharenui.