Historical Background - He Hītori

Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Beginnings
He Tīmatanga

Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Incorporated was formed as a kaumātua supporting group and committee in April 1989.  Members were first drawn from Ngā Pūtōrino o Orewa Māori Culture group established in 1982.  Most members of Ngā Pūtōrino o Orewa came from several other tribal areas of Aotearoa, whom lived and worked, in the then local communities of Rodney, Te Raki-pae-whenua and Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

 Foundation members of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa gave the committee this name in recognition and acknowledgement of all past and present members, supporters and whānau.

The “Te Herenga Waka o Orewa” means:  “The tying together of canoes of Orewa”, in this, one joins their whānau (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 canoe here from distant lands to a common mooring place.


Since Te Herenga Waka o Orewa's early beginnings, members have been involved in arranging and supporting numerous community programmes, initiatives and gatherings in both their professional and committee roles.

 The committee felt it was vital to retain, manage and develop Te Reo Māori me wōna tikanga (Māori language, culture, values, its processes 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 Tūrangawaewae (A place to stand tall).  This traditional facility would promote and further enhance the succession of these taonga (treasures) to the present and forth coming generations as 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).

Over the course of the next 25 years following their incorporation, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa made numerous attempts to establish a marae.  Historically, there have been no marae in this southern portion of the Rodney District. Unfortunately, all attempts were unsuccessful and in our historic correspondence it was evident that both the Rodney Council and its officers could easily have been far more supportive. This status changed in 2012 following a significant meeting with the Local Board, Hibiscus and Bays. The then Chairperson, Julia Parfitt (and her team) gave a firm commitment to do everything in their power to see the marae realised. The rest is history!

Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Today - Āianei

Our Vision and Purpose
Ko ō mātou whāinga 


Te iwi marae kore, ehara
Te marae iwi kore, he moumou

People without a Marae, are nothing
A Marae without people, is wasted


  • To promote a Pan-tribal, multi-cultural, community facility where
    Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga underpin all facets of its operations.
  •  To offer the first point of welcome to all people of all  
    ethnicities to this area
  •  To uphold and perpetuate the language, practices and culture of the indigenous people of this land as a treasure for the entire community
    to experience.
  • To promote the marae as a traditional and contemporary learning institution welcoming community groups, organisations, schools, families, mana whenua and other tribes to use.
  •  To continue to offer cultural advice and services in collaboration with mana Whenua to local and central government, community organisations, schools, businesses and the general community at large.
  •   To promote whānau ora, health and family well-being through our health centre.
  •  To support and provide opportunities for Māori and non‑Māori who
    may want to draw physical, cultural and spiritual strength through a connection with this community marae.

Our marae will provide opportunities to explore the depth of culture and spiritual values, which are unique to our organisation.



He aha te mea nui o te Ao? Māku e ki atu. He tangata... He tangata... He tangata... 
As this common Māori phrase so eloquently puts it: What is the most important thing in the world? 
I will tell you, it is people... it is people... it is people...

An appropriate and fitting phrase to acknowledge all the people, present and past, that have contributed to the success of Te Herenga Waka o Orewa’s achievements and those yet to be conquered!