Conference 2014 Pre Conference Hui – Rehua Marae

The hui is an opportunity to be with one another (whakawhanaungatanga) within Te Ao Māori (the Maori world) for two days on Rehua Marae. This will include an overnight stay.

The hui will be led by Mairehe Louise Tankersley, Sheryl Horomona-Gardyne, Helen Phelan and Phil Carter. The Māori members of Ohomairaki will hold the tikanga (protocol) over the days of the hui. Helen and Phil will guide us with the psychodrama process and as a group we will weave the two together. There will be between 20 and 25 participants.

Dates and Times

9:30am Tuesday 20th – mid afternoon Wednesday 21st January 2015.

Meals and overnight stay on the marae

The hui includes lunch and dinner on Tuesday, an overnight stay, and breakfast and lunch on Wednesday.




We will be welcomed onto the Marae by the tangata whenua (home people) who are of the iwi (tribe) of Kai Tahu (Ngai Tahu). The Tangata Whenua are the local people who by whakapapa (genealogy), and sometimes by association, claim a connection to the local area. This welcome will take the form of a powhiri which is a traditional ceremonial welcome conducted in the Māori language.

Tapu and Noa

The powhiri process has as its intention the coming together of two groups to unite as one. In a traditional Māori sense the visitors’ status as tapu (sacred) is transformed to a state of noa (common, free from tapu) through the various processes undertaken including the karakia, hongi and sharing of food.

The following steps outline the powhiri process:

    1. Preparation
      Our ropu (group) will be the manuhiri (visitors). We will gather together outside the Marae half an hour prior to the start of the powhiri. Here we will prepare ourselves by practising our waiata (song), having a karakia (chant /prayer) and forming up as a group with the women in the front and the men in behind. Dress for the powhiri includes trousers, not shorts, for men and a skirt, sarong or wrap for women.
    2. Karanga
      We will be called onto the marae with a karanga. The karanga (call of welcome and responding call) are the first voices to be heard in powhiri. The karanga was traditionally carried out by Taua (women elders), although today it is sometimes done by younger women (with permission and training from their elders). The purpose of the karanga is not only to welcome the manuhiri on to the marae; it is also to bring the elements of the spiritual world alive, and weave those who have departed from this world together with those who still remain.The karanga is a unique form of female oratory . It is a high pitched cry or call that penetrates beyond the confines of the physical world and into the spirit realm. The home people will begin the karanga and there will be a responding karanga from our group. The karanga can be likened to weaving, with the calling from each of the women building strand by strand to form a figurative rope for pulling the visitors inside. Those who have passed on and the kaupapa (purpose for the gathering) are acknowledged.

      As the karanga begins our ropu will move towards the Wharenui (Main House) where the Tangata Whenua will be waiting inside. As we progress forward there will be a place where we will pause to remember those that have passed on. As we move together on to the mahau (verandah) we will remove our footwear outside the door and then enter the house. Once inside, the men will move to the front seats and the women will sit in the seats behind them.

    3. Whaikorero
      We stay standing until instructed to sit. Once we are seated the whaikorero ( formal sspeech making) takes place. This oration is usually the role of men and is often metaphorical. Traditionally only the experts in the art of whaikorero would stand to speak, although today this has been extended to a wider group. This role will be fulfilled for us by someone from the local area who has been acknowledged as an orator, and who will speak on our behalf.The purpose of the whaikorero (oratory) is to acknowledge and weave together the past, present and future, by acknowledging the creator, guardians, the hunga mate (the dead), the hunga ora (the living – those present at the powhiri), and laying down the take or kaupapa (the reason) for the powhiri or event that is taking place.

      In Ngai Tahu, the protocol of paeke is used, whereby all the speakers for the Tangata Whenua speak first, followed by all the speakers for the Manuhiri.

    4. Waiata
      At the conclusion of each speech, the speaker’s group will stand and sing a waiata. The purpose of the waiata (song or chant) is to show that the people support the speaker and what he has said. Sometimes it is said that the waiata adds “relish” to the speech. It should uphold the mana (prestige, influence, dignity) of the speaker and the group.The waiata we will sing is ‘Ohomairaki’. The words for this waiata are available on the Ohomairaki website. We will rehearse our waiata when we gather outside the Marae prior to the commencement of the powhiri.
    5. Hariru
      The Tangata Whenua will signal the Manuhiri to move towards them for the hariru (the shaking of hands and pressing of noses). This practice originates from the dawn of time and is a symbolic reference to the first breath of life that was ever taken by a mortal being, Hine-Ahu-One. It shows the “coming together” of the two groups to be united as one, joining the mauri (life force, essence) of both the Tangata Whenua and the Manuhiri. The Tangata Whenua and the Manuhiri are now united as one.
    6. Kai
      Sharing kai (food) the final stage of the powhiri, returning everyone from the state of tapu (sacredness) that has been experienced during the powhiri, back to an everyday state of noa.A blessing is always said before the kai is eaten, to acknowledge and be thankful that we are the recipients of the bounty of Creation.