Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Incorporated was formed as a kaumatua supporting group and committee in April 1989. Members were first drawn from Nga Putorino o Orewa Maori Culture group established in 1982. Most members of Nga Putorino o Orewa came from several other tribal areas of Aotearoa, whom lived and worked, in the local communities of Rodney, Te Raki Pai Whenua and Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Foundation members of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa gave the committee this name in recognition and acknowledgement to all present and new coming members, supporters and whanau.
The “Te Herenga Waka o Orewa” means:
“The tying together of canoes of Orewa”, in this, one joins their whanau (family), cultural heritage, ethnicity, hopes, aspirations and dreams. Regardless of how long one has lived in the area, your canoe is still tied to Orewa until such time you may journey on.
The Te Herenga Waka o Orewa logo represents;
The four strong winds which carried our canoes and brought them here together.
Since the beginning of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa members have been involved in arranging and supporting a number of community programmes, community initiatives and various gatherings held over many years since its establishment.
The committee felt it was vital to retain Māori language, culture, values and identity for the benefit of future generations.
The committee identified that they needed to focus and direct their energies to plan, build and establish a Marae, a Turangawaewae, (A place to stand tall) that would promote and further enhance teaching Maori tribal protocols, values, language, waiata and culture to the present and forth coming generations, which is an integral part of our New Zealand heritage.
For these reasons the committee became a registered Incorporated Society providing more opportunities for future development purposes. The committee members of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa have voluntarily given much of their time and aroha to the project over that period. They have tried to express their hopes, dreams, ideals and gratitude in the process. (No financial benefits).