te manukanuka o hoturoa marae
Carvers
Under construction

Beginnings

The building of Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa was a vision fostered between Auckland Airport and Tainui. Since 1988 when the airport was first corporatised this relationship has gone from strength to strength.

Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) and Tainui, the local tangata whenua developed a special relationship when the airport was corporatised in 1988. The dream of having a Marae at the airport was formalised by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Auckland Airport and Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu (The Maori Queen) and the local tangata whenua on 18 March 2003. Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa, was constructed in the spirit of goodwill between Auckland Airport and Tainui as part of this special relationship.

The MOU ensured the construction of a Marae within the airport environment with contributions from Auckland Airport and Tainui. The airport provided the land, substantial financial resources, support with administration and staff. Tainui provided the carvings, tukutuku, adornments, and support from kaumatua (elders).

The Marae will provide a cultural heart for the airport where all people will be welcomed under the tikanga (protocols) of Tainui.

Building the Marae

It was built to be a focal point for staff working at the airport, as an introduction to the Maori culture for visitors, and to symbolise the close relationship between the tangatawhenua (Maori for the Tainui tribe) and Auckland Airport.

The Maori Queen asked the pre-eminent Tainui carvers to adorn the wharenui. They have created a wonderful example of indigenous art. In addition further weaving skills of Tainui women enhanced the beauty and majesty of the wharenui with tukutuku (woven) panels.

A unique and rewarding relationship developed between the carvers, weavers and the construction team. This relationship complemented the commercial disciplines and provided the necessary cultural integrity to complete the Marae. All those involved have participated in a very special experience.

Marae names

The blessing included the official naming of the Marae and whare tupuna. All names were offered and agreed to by Te Roopu Kaumatua who represent local Marae and Tainui.

Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa Te Marae (The Marae)

This name describes the journeys and movements by Hoturoa, the captain of the Tainui waka, as he navigated around harbours and waterways.

Te Kohao o Te Ngira Te Waharoa (The Gateway)

There is but one eye to the needle through which the white, the black, and the red threads must pass.

Kahupaake Te Wharenui (The Meeting House)

Kahupaake Rongonui was born about 1868 and was of Te Akitai descent, a subtribe of Te Wai o Hua of which her father was chief. She had a commanding presence and was well respected and regarded as an expert on historical matters relating to her people.

Manaaki Te Wharekai (The Dining Room)

This means to welcome, to embrace, and to share food with all people and especially visitors to the Marae.

Hua Kai Waka (Flagpole Base)

Hua Kai Waka is a mokopuna (grandchild) of Hoturoa and an ancestor of Te Wai o Hua.