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Marae History
Arohanui Ki Te Tangata

te Runanganui o Taranaki Whanui ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui Inc.



MUCH of the fund raising for the new meeting-house was carried on in the old residence of Mr. Puketapu which unlike the other old houses was not pulled down when the new houses went up in Waiwhetu. It was to have been pulled down but again the old man's stubbornness won the day. He wanted it left to use as a meeting-house-community centre. For 12 years, for three and four nights every week it has been that. That old house became the centre of all things. There the people have been welded closer. There the idea of the new house matured. Now the old house must go. With all the magnificence of the new house the people will miss the old place. It will be with a tinge of sadness that they see the house pulled down. No more will be heard the call: "Come on, there's something doing at 'Paddy's' old place." (Paddy is the name by which Mr. Puketapu is affectionately known).




"With all the magnificence of the new house, we will miss the old place."

"Paddy's " old house which has been the centre of all things for the Maori community at Waiwhetu, now to be pulled down.








Overall £17,000 was raised by the people and donated in grants. In addition a £6000 government subsidy was received.

The final cost of the meeting-house will be £27,000 but the organisers are optimistic that the relatively small de­ficit will be raised in the near future.

In recent years the emphasis has been on combined Maori and pakeha effort in a drive to complete the pro­ject. It would be wrong though to minimise the Maori vision, energy and impetus which spear-headed the scheme and without which the house would not have been built. For over 20 years the Maori people of Wai­whetu have laboured and struggled in a sustained drive to achieve their ambition.

At one time the Waiwhetu people taxed themselves a weekly levy to build up the meeting-house funds. Fund raising went with a swing. The people were pulling together.

This voluntary effort has been main­tained during the construction of the meeting-house and the organising of the great hui to mark the official opening of the building.

The Maori people have given thou­sands of pounds of voluntary labour and suffered personal hardship and sacrifice to reach their goal.

Representatives of many tribes have laboured to bring the meeting-house dream to life.


When organised European settle­ment began in the Hutt Valley, Wai­whetu was occupied by Te Ati-Awa-­No-Runga-i-te-Rangi of Taranaki. These people still form the nucleus of the settlement. But in recent years people "from the four winds" have settled in the district.

Though the planning of the house and the initial inspiration to build it came from Te Ati Awa, people "from the four winds", including the pakeha people, have played a full part in the project.

Thus an old Maori prophecy has been fulfilled.

"Ko ta te rino i wawahi ai

Ma te rino ano hei honohono; Ko ta te kakaka i haehae ai

Ma te kakaka ano hei tuitui." ("What the pakeha sought to


The pakeha will seek to restore; What the Maori has lost

The Maori will strive to regain.")

Though the pakeha people have dis­turbed and destroyed much that is

Maori, here it has been restored, the two people pulling as one.

The dream of Arohanui ki te Tangata (Goodwill to All Men) has come to life.


                ". . . kia haere mai

                Te Atakura

                He tio, he huka

                He hauunga . . ."

                ("Let the red tipped dawn

                Come with the sharpened air

                A touch of frost

                And the promise of a glorious day.")



The best known counsel given to the young Maori people of modern times is contained in a message which Sir Apirana Ngata wrote in a little girl's autograph book not long before he died.

Herewith, reproduced for the first time, is the original message.

This message is widely and frequently quoted as Sir Apirana's final message to young Maoridom.

It can be well applied to the spirit in which young people have centred their hearts on the treasures of their ancestors at Waiwhetu in the building of Arohanui ki te Tangata.

Sir Apirana's message has been given various translations.

The following is the translation given by the Rt. Rev. W. N. Panapa, Bishop of Aotearoa.





 (Translation)   to Rangi

                                Grow up oh tender plant

                                To fulfil the needs of your generation;

                                Your hand clasping the weapons of the pakeha As a means for                

                                 your physical progress,

                                Your heart centred on the treasures

                                Of your Maori ancestors

                                As a plume upon your head,

                                Your soul given to God

                                The author of all things.




Some people have been privileged to devote many hours of their time to work on the house in varied forms. We especially acknowledge the generosity of the following in this respect: the late Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Blake Kelly and Mr. G. Warden of the Government Architect's Office, Mr. S. R. Morris, Manager of J. M. Construction Company, the Rt. Hon. Walter Nash, Mr. L. C. Winslade, Mr. J. D. Cable and members of the Hutt Valley Junior Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.


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Except where otherwise stated the photos in this publication are by the National Publicity Studios.




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