• He hokinga mahara...

    Looking back...


    1953-1994 Marae established at Waiouru Military Camp

    The original buildings for the first Waiouru Marae were barrack-block dwellings gifted by Major General (Maj Gen) Bruce Tikitiki-o-Rangi Poananga to the soldiers of Waiouru Military Camp to serve as their Marae. The first Waiouru Marae Chairman was Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Matt Edwards.


    In 1994, Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Anthony Leonard Birks CB, OBE sought formal confirmation from Te Hokowhitu a Tu, the 28th Maori Battalion, to build a permanent Marae for his soldiers and their families.


    Easter Weekend 1994

    Lt Gen Birks was invited to a 28th Maaori Battalion reunion in Rotorua where on the Good Friday, he sought confirmation from the Te Hokowhitu a Tu members, that he was able to construct a permanent Marae for his soldiers - the soldiers of the New Zealand Army.


    That Easter Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Sir Charles Moihi Te Arawaka Bennett DSO PMN on behalf of the 28th Maori Battalion, confirmed to Lt Gen Birks that the Marae could be built, and gifted him the name 'Ngaati Tumautauenga' to be the Te Reo Maaori name for the New Zealand Army.


    Lt Gen Birks along with WO1 Des Ratima ONZM, JP and Padre Bill Grey (two of five founding Leaders of 'The Tight Five named below) met with and sent messages to Iwi across Aotearoa, New Zealand, to inform them of the new Marae kaupapa (project). The Maaori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu gave her assent, and the iwi that surrounded Waiouru, gave their support.


    1994 the Whare is carried on the mighty hearts of the soldiers

    Hui, preparation and precision planning lead by the 'The Tight Five' WO1 Des Ratima, Padre Bill Grey, Brigidier Roger Mortlock, WO1 Peter Hemopo and Henry Mate, enabled the people of Waiouru Military Camp to uplift their beloved wharenui and move him by the sheer strength of their bodies, to where it now stands as the wharenui named Te Whare Tuu Taaua a Tuumatauenga of Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha Marae.


    Typically, Marae face west-to-east in respect of greeting the rising sun. However, Te Whare Tuu Taaua a Tuumatauenga and Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha Marae stand east-to-west as while every other Marae faces the east, who will guard and protect the rear of our country? As Ngaati Tumatauenga hold a responsibility to protect Aotearoa as part of the New Zealand Defence Force, so is one of the reasons why the New Zealand Army National Marae faces the opposite way.


    1995 21 October - Grand Opening

    The Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha wharenui Te Whare Tuu Taaua o Tuumatauenga was officially opened by The Maaori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu ONZ DBE OStJ.


    Paramount Chief of Ngaati Tuwharetoa Taa Hepi Te Heuheu Tukino VII KBE, officially broke the first flag flown on Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha Marae on a flag pole kindly 'loaned' by the Royal New Zealand Navy that is named after HMNZS Irirangi, the Navy Communications station in Waiouru.


    Ngaati Tuumatauenga officially becomes a recognised Iwi (tribe) with Iwi status.

  • Key Founding People

    Maj Gen Bruce Poananga

    First Maori Chief of General Staff

    Gifts the first building to serve as a Marae in Waiouru Military Camp in his role as the first Maaori Chief of General Staff

    WO1 Matt Edwards

    First Waiouru Marae Chariman

    WO1 Matt Edwards received the first building in Waiouru Military Camp to serve as a Marae for the soldiers.

    Lt Gen Anthony Birks CB, OBE

    1994 Chief of General Staff

    Sought confirmation and permission to build a permanent Marae for all of his soldiers and their families. He posed this question to the 28th Maaori Battalion during their Easter weekend reunion in 1994

    Lt Col

    Sir Charles Bennett DSO PMN

    28th Maaori Battalion

    Confirms to Lt Gen Birks to build a Marae for the New Zealand Army, and gifts the name 'Ngaati Tuumatauenga' as the Te Reo Maaori name for the New Zealand Army.

    At the opening of the wharenui

    Te Whare Tuu Taua a Tuumatauenga on 21 October 1995, Ngaati Tuumatauenga was officially recognised as an Iwi with Iwi status.

    WO1 Des Ratima


    One of the 'Tight Five'

    Served as one of the five founding Leaders and Founding Fathers who helped plan the move of the Wharenui in 1994, and the establishment of Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha Marae.

  • Marae DIY


    Rongomaraeroa o Nga Hau e Wha

    received a much needed renovation in 2015.



    Awhina Te Rau Aroha

    The Wharekai received an extensive interior and exterior

    renovation with the addition of a covered, outdoor dining area to accomodate extra people.





    Te Maraenui Aatea o Tuumatauenga

    Two shelters for the Paepae are constructed

    One for the Tangata Whenua

    And one for the Manuhiri




    Te Maara o te Whai Whakaaro

    The Garden of Reflection was constructed to serve as a space and sanctuary for people to reflect on the journey that lead them to Waiouru.


    The centre feature is a kohatu (stone) named Kapohia te Waa or 'seize the moment'. Kapohia te Waa is surrounded by four kaitiaki (guardians) the represent the four compass points; Te Tai Tokerau (north) Te Tai Tonga (south) Te Tai Raawhiti (east) and Te Tai Hauaauru (west).

  • Marae DIY 2015

    Credit: Maori Television AIA Marae DIY (2015)


  • Maa te whakaatu, ka mohio
    Maa te mohio, ka maarama
    Maa te maarama, ka matau
    Maa te matau, ka ora

    With discussion, comes understanding
    With understanding, comes light
    With light, comes wisdom
    With wisdom, comes life

  • Ngaa Mihi

    My sincerest thanks

    WO2 Aaron Morrison

    NZ Army Marae Manager

    Mr Steve Bethell

    NZ Army Marae Educator and Cultural Advisor


    D.J Frost

    Taku pou-tautoko

    And a special mention to

    WO1 Matua Des Ratima

  • Whakapaa Mai

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    The information on this website and in this assignment document are the findings of the author's research and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company.  Assumptions made in the analysis are reflective of the position of the author and since we are critically-thinking humans, these views are subject to change, revision and rethinking at any time.
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