O Wairoa Marae is nestled in the grounds of Emilia Maud Nixon’s Garden of Memories, providing the perfect experience to support your learning. 

During your time at O Wairoa Marae, ākonga (students) will experience te ao Māori through te reo Māori (language), tikanga (customs) and kawa (protocols). Learning about Māori history through the inspiration of pūrākau (stories) and waiata (song). The session will begin with a pōwhiri.

Pōwhiri - Welcome

The kawa (protocol) of O Wairoa Marae is Tainui - Tū atu, tū mai.

Traditionally, tangata whenua (hosts) welcome manuhiri (guests) into their spiritual meeting place called the marae. Ākonga (students) and kaiako (teachers) will experience the different stages of pōwhiri, from the first karanga (a call of welcome led by a female kuia (elder) of the hosts ensuring safe passage into the marae). This is followed by karakia (prayer), whaikōrero (speeches), waiata (song), koha (gift), hongi/harirū (connecting nose to nose and forehead to forehead) and kai (food) to whakanoa (remove tapu), completing the pōwhiri process.

Te Wharenui - Matariki

Programmes delivered in the wharenui are directed at enhancing tamariki's (children) knowledge of te ao Māori in a stimulating and creative way. Concepts of whakawhanaungatanga (getting to know each other) allow the tamariki to introduce themselves through a short pepeha (introduction connecting genealogy), done with manaakitanga (care and support) to help tamariki to become more understanding of tikanga (customs). With a focus on waiata (song), pūrākau (storytelling) and te reo Māori (language/diction) being incorporated into the programme, tamariki become more familiar in the cultural knowledge.  

Te Ngahere – The forest

Māori are intrinsically and inherently connected to the environment. This is represented in whakapapa (genealogy), pūrākau (stories) and ngā atua (gods/deities). During the O Wairoa Marae programme, ākonga (students) will take a guided tour exploring and identifying native plant life, plants used for rongoā (medicine) as well as the native bird and insect life and the effect each have in keeping te ngahere ecologically sound. Ākonga (students) will also learn about kaitiakitanga (guardianship), ngā atua (gods) and the significance each of these hold in te ao Māori.

Te Whare Taonga - The Museum

Te Whare Taonga contains a collection of taonga (historical treasures), some of which are more than 100 years old. Through the O Wairoa Marae programme, ākonga (students) will learn the history of the Tainui waka, migration of Māori to the local area and about the life of Emilia Maud Nixon, founder of the Garden of Memories. These gardens were established to promote harmony and goodwill between all peoples by fostering understanding of the early settlers, pioneer women and the traditions of Māori, particularly Ngāi Tai. Pūrākau (stories) are woven into the content of this programme.

Click here to plan your visit.