Te Kohinga Mārama Marae

Te Kohinga Mārama Marae, established in 1987, embodies Te Ao Hurihuri, Te Otinga, and rich cultural practices of Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Wairere.

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'The gathering of diverse understandings and enlightenments'

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The original carvers of the marae were from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, who participated as a part of their carving classes at the time and the revival of the art of carving back in the mid 1980’s. The carvings were last renovated by Bill Te Kanawa in 2012. Although most marae are named after tīpuna, there are examples of marae that aren’t named as such e.g. Kī Kōpū at Ratana Pā or Kimiora at Tūrangawaewae. Te Kohinga Mārama is another marae named after a kaupapa rather than a tīpuna. It was named accordingly as a whare kaupapa, with the main kaupapa being Mātauranga (education). The pieces that are depicted on the whare are that of geographical and traditional landmarks or things that symbolise the acquisition of knowledge. The mahau of Te Kohinga Mārama marae is said to be a map of the Waikato-King Country, as well as the Bay of Plenty-Rotorua-Taupō regions.

The marae of the University of Waikato is Te Kohinga Mārama. The Meeting House is Te Ao Hurihuri and the Dining Hall is Te Otinga. The marae was opened in 1987 as part of the College of Education, and comes under the mantle of Kīngi Tūheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero VII , the Māori King, who resides with his people here in the Waikato region. The marae is under the stewardship of the people of Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Wairere, and the University community of staff and students.

Te Kohinga Mārama Marae provides a place for students and staff of the University of Waikato to uphold and maintain the use of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori. It is an integral part of the University, where occasions such as formal welcomes, graduations, wānanga and celebrations take place.

Ngā Whare e Tū Nei

Wharenui - Te Ao Hurihuri

Te Ao Hurihuri can comfortably accommodate up to 45 adults. All mattresses, pillows and linen are provided for your use.

Wharekai - Te Otinga

Te Otinga has the capacity  to provide for up to 72 people for meals. Catering services are available and is a specialist function of Te  Kohinga Mārama Marae. Whatever the  occasion, catering can be provided on request through the Marae Manager.

Kawa Pōwhiri

The customs pertaining to the marae have been developed and nurtured over many generations. It is therefore essential for visitors to have an understanding of the culture, ritual and protocols.

In preparation for the Pōwhiri (welcome), the Manuwhiri (visitors) require one Kaikaranga (female caller) and  at least one Kaikōrero (speaker of Māori – male) to respond to the mihi (greeting) on behalf of the visiting group. Manuwhiri should also support their kaikōrero with a waiata (song).

Te Kohinga Mārama Marae follows Tainui kawa (marae procedure) in the following order:

  • Karanga (call of welcome) from the Tangata Whenua (Marae hosts).
  • Karanga (call in reply) from the Manuwhiri (visitors). Move on the Marae for whakamaumahara (remembrance). Manuwhiri pause and stand in front of the   Wharenui, heads bowed in remembrance to the Hunga Mate (Ancestors whom have   passed away). Tears are often shed by both manuwhiri and tangata whenua.
  • Whakatau (sit on seats provided). Manuwhiri seated first. Kaikōrero and other males only to sit on the Paepae (front seats).
  • Whaikōrero (speech) from the Tangata Whenua.
  • Whaikōrero from the manuwhiri.
  • Tauutuutu - speakers alternate between hosts and visitors.
  • The last Kaikōrero for the Manuwhiri will lay the Koha (gift) on the Marae. This indicates to the Tangata Whenua that the Manuwhiri speakers have finished.
  • Karanga from the Tangata Whenua for the Koha. The Koha will be acknowledged and picked up by the Tangata Whenua.
  • Whaikōrero from the Tangata Whenua – the hosts will provide the concluding   speeches.
  • Ruru (hongi and shake hands) or the physical greetings where the Manuwhiri file past the Tangata Whenua, Hongi and shake hands.


Contact us

Te Kohinga Mārama Marae

Patricia (Pat) Gage, Marae Assistant