Te Herenga Waka marae

Te Herenga Waka is the University's marae and a place to learn, study, and connect with others in a whānau-like environment.

In 1980, Te Herenga Waka marae was the first marae to be established at any university campus in Aotearoa. Six years later, Te Tumu Herenga Waka (the wharenui) was opened. It is difficult to overstate how incredibly ambitious these initiatives were in their time, or the profound effect they have had on the generations of students who have graduated with their qualifications at hui whakapūmau (Māori graduation) at the marae.

As an urban, pan-tribal marae, Te Herenga Waka has acted as a bastion for Māori students at the University. It is a place to connect in a whānau-like environment, to learn and study, and to forge connections and friendships.

Contact and bookings

The marae and wharenui will remain closed until the Living Pā building opens in late 2024. During this time no bookings can be made for teaching or other activities. Contact Tu Temara if you require information about mihi whakatau.

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Tu Temara

Mata Awhinuke (Marae Operational Manager)
Marae o te Herenga Waka

Living Pā

This extension of the marae will be one of the most advanced, sustainable buildings in the world.

Find out more


The first marae ever established at a university, Te Herenga Waka was opened in a refurbished building on Kelburn Parade in 1980. Professor Hirini Moko Mead, along with Wiremu Parker and the tohunga Ruka Broughton, were instrumental in the construction of a newly carved meeting house, Te Tumu Herenga Waka. This was opened on 6 December 1986.

You can read the booklet produced for the 1986 opening in the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection.