Tuesday, November 9, 2010
A Ngati Pikiao Marae
It was late afternoon on a grey winter's day when I pulled off the highway 14 kilometres north of Rotorua at the tiny village of Mourea. I'd spotted the sign to Te Takinga Marae and I was keen to get a closer look.
I drove down beside a slow moving river and parked my car for a while to take in the pretty buildings - the cute-as-a-button Maori church, complete with urupa (Motutawa) and the marae complex itself, set back from the road against a backdrop of thunderous grey clouds.
Te Takinga (Hohowai) Marae is home to the hapu Ngati Te Takinga of the iwi, Ngati Pikiao, which in turn is an affiliated member of the Te Arawa confederation of tribes. Ngati Pikiao occupies the land of the Okere and Rotoiti Lakes near Rotorua and Te Takinga, is on the western shores of Lake Rotoiti. there was no one about on the marae itself; in fact the only person I saw in all of Mourea, was a man fishing on the side of the river.