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Read the History of Ngāti Huri
Ngāti Huri History

Marae Policies Download PDF [coming soon]




Kia hiwa rā e ngā pae maunga, kia hiwa rā e ngā wai koiora, kia tū, kia mataara!!  E te whānau, we bring a matter of major concern to your attention and seek your support in which we believe our vision statement for Ngāti Huri has and continues to be undermined and challenged by a corporate company that is operating within our takiwā (district). Our vision for Pikitū Marae and the surrounding environment is for a welcoming, safe, resilient, vibrant and sustainable place where:

Individuals respect each other and the natural world we live in 

We know our whakapapa, histories, reo and tikanga

We honour our tūpuna and live their values in our everyday lives

We are active kaitiaki of our taonga (built and natural), taiao and  our heritage 

A recent renewal application for resource consent by Waotū Quarries Ltd was lodged with the authorities in 2020 for Pit Expansion and Overburden Placement at the existing quarry plant as well as a newly acquired farmland adjoining the plant and accessed from Waotū South Road (behind Pikitū).  For those who may not know the quarry plant is located alongside the Waikato River and lies between 2 significant historical Pā sites, Piraunui (Motukākāpō) and Pirauiti. They are but a part of an abundance of wāhi tapu situated along either side of this stretch of the Waikato River and gives visual meaning to our pepeha, "Waikato taniwharau, he piko he taniwha he piko he taniwha" ......Waikato of a 100 taniwha, at every bend a taniwha can be found ie at every bend in the river stands a chief of great mana. Within close proximity of the quarry lie 5-8 known pā sites. 

To express the aspirations of Ngāti Huri and Te Waotū the whenua, a working  rōpū of whanau members have been meeting both online and/or at Waotū to enable discussions with the company as required under the resource management act.  Raukawa, as our mandated iwi are also engaged in this process and will take guidance from Ngāti Huri who has mana whenua status.

To date, our position on upholding and maintaining our  cultural values has been time consuming, painful and fraught with tremendous restraint by the whanau. We have now reached a stage where any further face-to-face discussion is restricted including access to Pirauiti Pa site teetering on the northern rim of the quarry pit. Now we alert you that we may put out the karanga for you to come home soon and join us in taking a more active stance in protecting our history, tikanga and cultural values as Ngāti Huri, Raukawa, Tainui waka. While we continue to persue the few legal avenues left open to us we intend raising our level of profile to prove that we are serious when we say that we will continue to PROTECT what we still have, RESTORE what we had and ENHANCE our taonga tuku iho, our whakapapa, our mana motuhake, our kaitiakitanga, our whenua ora - whānau ora and our MAURI.

We will keep you up-to-date but please read the CULTURAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT report put together by the rōpū for the Pikitū Marae Trustees Ngāti Huri, Swaps Quarries Ltd, Raukawa as well as the Waikato Regional and South Waikato District Councils. 

Kia mataara! Kia tū! Mauri ora! Mauri tau!

Waipapa ki Arapuni Waahi Ahurei

the sky is the roof

Early Tainui traditions

According to genealogical reckoning, the Tainui waka arrived at Kāwhia about 1300 AD led by Hoturoa. Kāwhia remained the nucleus of Tainui settlement for several generations, and by the time of Kākāti the tupuna was born (c1400) “occupation of the country [by Tainui] had extended to Whaingaroa in the north and to Moeatoa in the south, but so far no determined effort had been made to penetrate into the interior.” While little else is known about the first seven or eight generations of settlers, we know more detailed information about Tainui’s history from the ancestor Tāwhao (c. 1475) when the oral traditions became more regular through the generations.

Tāwhao married two sisters, Pūnui-a-te-kore the elder, and Maru-tē-hiakina her younger sibling, by whom he had two sons, Tūrongo and Whatihua. Although Tūrongo was born of the elder sister Whatihua was first-born and these circumstances gave rise to intense rivalry between the half-brothers over who was the tuakana. After being outwitted by Whatihua at an attempt to win the hand of Ruapūtahanga from Taranaki, Tūrongo left the Kāwhia area and journeyed to the Hawkes Bay district where he eventually met Māhinaarangi. He returned home to Rangiātea in the lower Waikato basin to prepare for his beloved who was heavily pregnant with his child. She gave birth to their son on the western side of the Kaimai Range and named him Raukawa after the scented Raukawa leaf that she used to attract Tūrongo.  It is from Raukawa that the Ngāti Huri hapū descends from.   

Pikitū Marae was built to support the descendants of Raukawa. Those who have remained as current ahikaaroa are principally from the following ancestral line – Mere Barnett (nee Symons); Henry Hare Symons/Simmonds (aka Hare Teimana/Te Taute); Hinekahukura Ngaroma (nee Symons); Waina Erueti/Aoake (nee Symons); Hoana Hakopa/Jacob (nee Symons). The four sisters and brother are children of Rauti and Henry Morsehead Symons of Cornwall England.

Te Whare Wairua o Raukawa

Pikitū Marae is known to be part of the Spiritual House of RaukawaTe Whare Wairua o Raukawa. This metaphysical house sits across the tribal area of Raukawa and links together a large number of Raukawa marae. The physical features of a traditional whare tupuna is depicted in a ‘human form’ and Te Whare Wairua is connected via te tāhuhu (backbone or ancestral line). Te whatitoka (door of the whare) stands to the east near Rotorua at Tārukenga Marae. Te poutokomanawa (central pole) of the whare stands at Ngātira Marae. Te poutungaroa (back of the house) is located at Pikitū Marae, extending across the Waikato River to the mountain named Wharepūhunga. The maihi or arms of this spiritual house stretch from Tārukenga northwards to Te Wairere waterfall, along the Kaimai-Mamaku Range and southwards to the Horohoro Bluffs (traditionally known as Horohoroinga o ngā ringa a Kahumatamomoe). From this east-to-west lying tāhuhu or ridge pole spreads ngā heke (ribs) of the whare to the other marae of Te Kaokaoroa o Patetere. This kōrero appears to have developed in the nineteenth century with the influence of Tāwhiao, as a way to help bind the associated communities together to resist land sales and other destructive forces of colonialism.

whakapapa raukawa



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The current facilities of Pikitū marae are:

  • the Whare Tupuna – Huri (c1885): fully restored in 2018 with a rear emergency door, extensive lighting both inside and out, exceptional rimu flooring, fully insulated throughout, simple heating fans to remove the initial chill of the morning, emergency lighting as well as exit signage that is checked monthly by fire safety consultant including fire extinguisher, scatter carpets to protect the flooring as well placing mattresses on when required.

  • Akamōrunga (2001): wharekai (kitchen, dining room) erected by whānau with financial assistance from Trust Waikato, Māngaorua Land Trust, Te Raparahi Land Trust, and Lottery NZ.  The wharekai has been specifically designed using the laser-lock system with practicality and simplicity in mind. Cooking facilities consist of gas appliances of 6 ring cooker and large oven plus a separate 3 gas ring section, 2 electric wall ovens with a 40-litre wall zip for hot water. Stainless steel workbenches allow for use from both sides with two separate ones against side walls enabling food and/or dishwashing to occur. All total there are 4 extra deep wash sinks and one domestic giving ample space for large functions to be managed with ease. It is well equipped with all appropriate utensils and has large, full- length, double-door cupboards for storage of crockery, glasses, bowls etc. Stackable tables (some folding), 100 plastic and some padded chairs with wooden forms for extra seating when required compliment the dining area. The need for an upgrade of some of the kitchen facilities has been identified and will be addressed in the near future.

  • Ahiroa (2004): a large, fully carpeted wharemoe (sleepout) with currently 4 single divan beds for those unable to get down to floor level, storage cupboards for linen, pillows, and marae equipment.  Constructed in the same weatherboard as the wharekai, Ahiroa is fully carpeted with floor-to-ceiling cupboard storage for mattresses, linen, pillows and ngā kākahu tawhito (traditional cloaks) as well as other domestic equipment.

  • Kauta or traditional cookout: heritage building only with a compact dirt floor and smokestack fireplace. Today this is used by the men only when they put the hangi down next to it. It is of unique construction and pre-1900 as the timber wall slabs are pit sawn. Not for general use.

  • 3 pātaka: heritage buildings with limited use only. One was restored in 2011 and sited next to Huri. Retrieved from Matiti Marae a derelict 1930’s whare not far from Pikitū and rebuilt on 4 round poles using weatherboard remnants from one of two original hotels in the Te Wāotu district. This hotel was well utilised in the 1880s and overlooked the first Native School at Te Waotū in the Pātetere District – now known as Te Kaokaoroa o Pātetere.  Located on a hillock and subsequently called Hēterī after the ‘sentry’ who acted as ‘look-out’ for prospective travellers to forewarn the hotelier. The boards of the hotel were pit sawn with large square-head iron nails. The weatherboards used on the pātaka are all that remains of the hotel now apart from the brick fireplace and chimney which stands as a memorial to days passed. The aforementioned school, Te Wāotu, still remains to this day as one of the few successful local country schools in the whole of the Putaruru-Tirau district. This particular pātaka is available for tamariki to play on with the wooden plank used to climb onto the unique building having been a traditional piece of timber off another old building and requiring toddlers to master their climbing skills as well as a means of keeping this significant cultural building alive and an indelible impression on the up and coming generations.

  • a preparation shed (2001) beside the wharekai for large supplies of meat, fish and vegies with a walk-in chiller attached.

  • Tauroa: an implement shed (2007) named in memory of another whare built in a circular fashion and originally situated on a surrounding hillside.

  • An ablution concrete block built in 1986: currently being upgraded (2021). Built by whānau with a marshal wood burner water heater being replaced with gas, 3 shower and 2 toilet cubicles for both male and female sections as well as an extra toilet, wet wash shower for disable use being modified in the ladies area.

All of these buildings express the marae’ twenty-first-century look to help retain and restore the unique heritage aspects of Ngāti Huri.

  • We also have a 65-inch Smart TV with a mini pc attached to it with a Polycom video set up for video conferences.
  • WIFI throughout the whole marae from waharoa to urupa and wharenui.
  • Gas hot water for kitchen and showers.

the sky is the roof

Ngāti Huri Pepeha:

Ko Tainui te Waka

Ko Waikato te Awa

Ko Wharepūhunga te Maunga

Ko Raukawa te Iwi

Ko Ngāti Huri te Hapū

Ko Pikitū te Marae

Pikitū Marae is the bastion of Ngāti Huri hapū at Te Waotū. It is situated some 4 kilometres east of the Waikato riverbank and 24 kilometres from both Putaruru (due northeast) and Tokoroa (due southeast). Proudly upheld by Ngāti Huri hapū it provides a significant sanctuary for its descendants and maintains a balance of peace and tranquillity between the people and the land. Rich in history, the drive to draw the whānau back to their roots and provide opportunities to live on their tūrangawaewae in an economically sustainable way has always been a constant desire throughout the generations.