PIRITAHI MARAE

                               Nau mai!, Haere mai!, Whakatau mai!

About Us

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OUR LOCATION

Piritahi Marae sits on the shores of Te Huruhi Bay, Blackpool , on Waiheke Island just a 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland city. The Marae sits just 5 minutes
drive from Matiatia where Fullers ferries disembark from and 10 minutes drive
from Kennedy Point where the Vehicular ferry disembarks from.

The Marae is 10 minutes walk from Oneroa, the main village on the island, and north
facing sandy beaches Oneroa and Little Oneroa which are excellent for all water
sports including safe swimming, fishing, etc. Oneroa village provides an excellent
range of retail opportunities including cafe's and restaurants

MARAE HISTORY

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Piritahi Marae stands on a Auckland Council reserve and was built through the hard work or many in the Waiheke community including both Maori and Pakeha. The Marae is a nga hau e wha in that it welcomes peoples from all the fours winds and is not a tribal Marae. Due recognition and is respect is paid to Ngati Paoa as Mana Whenua and the interests of the wider Pare Hauraki iwi. It is a relatively recent Marae that has been developed and built as a community Marae with its first building starting construction in 1981.
 
Historic Background
1833 saw the marriage of Nga Puhi chief Eruera Patuone to Takarangi (Riria) of Marutuahu/Ngati Paoa lineage to consolidate peace between the tribes. To commemorate the wedding and the symbolic coming together of two peoples in peace the stream at Te Huruhi was named "Piritahi" at the time of the wedding.
Piritahi meaning "coming together as one". The plaque at the base of the Marae flagpole commemorates this event.

At the time of the marriage between Patuone and Takarangi there was a Ngati Paoa village on the site where the Marae now sits. Patuone and Takarangi took up residence at Okahuiti (the Pa at the end of Shelley Beach Rd) in Putiki Bay shortly after they were married.

 

This sketch was drawn in 1850ca by Charles Heaphy and shows the Ngati Paoa
village nearby to where Piritahi Marae now sits in Te Huruhi Bay. This picture
is held in the Auckland Institute and Museum.

During the mid 1800's the Te Huruhi flats had extensive gardens and orchards farmed by Ngati Paoa that
provided supplies for Auckland. The Ngati Paoa chief Wiremu Hoete returned here to the bay to establish a village and live after his release from captivity by Nga Puhi in the 1830's. As part of the last remaining land block, Te Huruhi, owned by Māori on Waiheke was a productive land block with crops grown and sheep and cattle run.

Through the marriage between Mr Brown, a European farmer and a woman of Ngati Paoa descent  the land  passed into the Brown family ownership in the early 1900's. The land was being worked as a dairy farm and orchard until the 60's when the land passsed into the ownership of the local Waiheke Road Board due to disputes within the now expanded Brown family over who was responsible for paying the land rates. 

With the ever present need for a Marae again on the island the then Waiheke County Council granted the "Piritahi Maori Marae Committee"  a lease to part of the old Brown farm in 1976. The lease states " that the membership of the Marae shall be open to those of all races".

Naming of The Marae
With the land falling within the rohe (area) of Tainui, Te Atairangi Kahu was invited to name the Marae and she
offered the name "Piritahi" with direct reference to the stream that passes through the site and in remembrance of the event that gave the stream its name, the peaceful joining of Nga Puhi and Ngati Paoa/Marutuahu on the island.
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Recent History
Whilst Piritahi Marae did not have land until 1976 the Marae committee existed from 1971. The  early Marae meetings were held at the eastern end of the island. Fundraising commenced in the early 70's spearheaded by MereBurson, and Ngakata Keetels and after 10 years the $20,000 raised was matched dollar for dollar by
the Department of Internal affairs and with that $40,000 the first building of the Marae was built.

In 1981, prior to commencing building of that first building the land was blessed by Sir Paul Reeves who had the honor of turning the first sod as an indication of the intent to develop the land as a Marae.
That first building, the Whare Kai, "Ngakata" was completed in 1982. The Whare
Kai was named after Ngakata (Dorathea) Keetels who along with Joy Alison
provided meals for the volunteer workers throughout the project and used the
Whare Kai to fundraise towards the building of the Wharenui. The Whare Kai was
further extended in 1986.

Another 10 years of fundraising from the date the Whare Kai was opened saw the building of the Wharenui in 1992. The building was blessed with the understanding an opening would a occur once the Whare was
dressed. Again a group went from the Marae to ask Te Atairangi Kahu for her advice on the naming. She replied with the name "Kia Piritahi" thus consolidating the Marae name.

1995 saw the building of the Kohanga Reo
Building which was opened in 1996 by Te Atairangi Kahu. This was followed in
1999 with the building of the Hauora (Medical Clinic) which from 1996 had been housed in the Marae pantry and hotwater cyclinder room. Today sees a thriving Marae as a hub in not only
the Maori community but the wider community also.

 

Piritahi Marae Trust was formed as a charitable trust in 2008.


2016 marked the 40th anniversary of the Marae gaining the land at Te Huruhi and on 5th June 2016 the fully carved whare whakairo was unveiled.