Korongata Marae is a Māori Reservation for the purposes of a Marae, a place of historic interest. Our marae is located at 9 Maraekakaho Road, Bridge Pa.
Takitimu te waka
Tamatea Arikinui te tangata
Kahuranaki te maunga
Ngaruroro Moko tuararo Ki Rangatira te awa
Te Karewarewa te wai u
Te Awa O Te Atua te whenua
Te Awa O Te Atua te puna wai tapu
Nukanoa te whare tipuna
Korongata te marae
Bridge Pa te urupa
Ngati Poporo te hapu
Ngai Te Whatuiapiti te iwi tata
Ngati Kahungunu te iwi whanui
Our pepeha acts as a cultural summary of who we are, our whakapapa and what cultural land marks define our traditional boundaries. This example refers to cultural icons like the old Ngaruroro River which marks our northern most boundary and the western boundary to the Ruahine ranges. The maunga Kahuranaki is located on the eastern most boundary but no reference identifies the southern boundary. However our whakapapa links go back to Whatuiapiti whose boundaries go deep into Central Hawkes Bay.
Te Whare Nukanoa
Te Whare Hikawera Tuarua
HISTORY OF OUR MARAE
This information was taken from a Hapū Management Report submitted by Lester White to the marae at a Korongata Marae Committee Meeting in 2007 and the Whakapapa information was extracted from a Ngati Poporo Hapu Development Plan put together by Kevin Tamati, Richard Waerea andTatiana Greening. We acknowledge that others may have information and we encourage you to register your information by contacting Ruth Wong..
Originally the land was a swamp that would easily flood during the wet season. There was no wharenui on the land. However, there were many raupo homes, with dirt floors that were occupied by whānau. Raupo homes are a form of traditional domestic housing built from a hardwood frame (normally Manuka) and Raupo (a swamp reed) cladding and lining. Over the years the swamp has been drained and filled with land fill.
There is approximately seven acres which is known as the total marae area. There were ten original blocks of land that were owned by specific whānau. During this time families lived in their own homes on their entitled blocks of land. The late 1800’s and early 1900’s saw the more modern rough sawn buildings erected. In January 1991 the land was aggregated by the Maori Land Court. This information is available on the Maori Land Court website.
In 1908, Te Whare Tipuna ‘Hikawera’ was built and is said to have been a project instigated by three Kuia, Ani Kamau, Keita Puriri and Tiniripene Hapi. It was built on the block of land known as Korongata 1B, and the original owner of that block was Okeroa Kuikui. There is a discrepancy as to whether the whare was named after Hikawera the Father of Te Whatuiapiti, or Hikawera Tuarua, Nukanoa’s half brother. Unfortunately this whare did not have proper foundations and because the wood was rotting, it was demolished and burnt.
The second whare ‘Nukanoa’ – (the whare standing there today), was completed in 1912. Back then both these whare stood side by side and between them was a whare raupo. It was in Nukanoa that hakari and celebrations were held, until the Kai Hall Matariki was built. There were also kauta for each family to do their cooking and a community hand pump was used to draw water.
Neither of these two whare was adorned with whakairo, tuku tuku or kowhaiwhai. Generally there were two reasons for this. First the people were very poor and second, the influence of Christian beliefs assisted with the decision.
There was a period of time during the 1960’s when the Marae was neglected and Matariki was used to house migrant seasonal workers. It was during their stay one year that ‘Matariki’ was burnt beyond repair. It was in the early 1980’s that a hall was donated and moved onto the Marae. With the help of Maori Access and work schemes, the present kai hall would be ready and dedicated as the kai hall. It also bears the name ‘Matariki’.
The old ablution block was a small makeshift tin shed with a dirt floor. The toilets were the old kind with chains. Now there is a large ablution block with all the necessary modern conveniences.
Whakapapa is the foundation of our identity as Ngati Poporo. It underpins whanaungatanga that must be present for any hapu activity. Our history and traditions place us on our land and tie us together as a unique people. How we engage with our land and its coasts is crucial to our identity, our culture and our tikanga. Our taha wairua flourishes and is emphasised by the enthusiasm and energy we have to carry our culture forward.
Ngati Poporo descends from Te Whatuiapiti, who himself was descended from Rakaihikuroa the grandson of Kahungunu, Kupe by several lines, Iraturoto, Awanuiarangi and both Whatonga and Popoto of the waka Kurahaupo. There is general agreement that the principal tribes of the Heretaunga district were descendants of Awanuiarangi known then as the Whatumamoa Ngati Awa and Rangitane. Although history recounts skirmishes, and waves of invasion from Ngati Kahungunu, true to old traditions they intermarried with the local people. These important intermarriages took place very soon after the invasion of Rakaihikuroa and Taraia, and reflect the entrenched ancestry of Ngati Poporo.
Nukanoa is the son of Te Whatuiapiti and Poroiti. As Ngati Poporo we are Uri of Nukanoa and his wives Te Wharemuka and Te Mouha who were sisters and granddaughters of his half brother Hikawera tuarua. It was the first two generations of Nukanoa, who originally came under the mantel of Te Whatuiapiti and were known as Ngai Te Whatuiapiti. The name Ngati Poporo may have been bestowed on the people by Nukanoa’s grandson, the Tohunga, Te Rangikawea. The Poporo is the fruit of a breadfruit tree which has quite delicious fruit that has been prized through the ages. Legends tell us that before leaving Hawaiki, Tama te Kapua made long wooden stilts so that he and his brother could pick this delicious fruit from Uenuku’s Poporo Tree (Coming of the Maori, pg 39).
Throughout our history, we have been valued uri of Ngai Te Whatuiapiti and Ngati
Kahungunu and have traversed the whenua of these great chiefs. Our activities of the time as a hapu, dictated where some of our families lived. There is no doubt that some of these whanau lived on several Pa, depending on the time of year whether it was to harvest ‘kai a te ngahere’ or ‘kohi nga kaimoana’, while several families stayed as ahi ka. There were always other hapu, brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles who practiced mana-aki-tanga as was expected. There were no borders or boundaries, it was believed that all that was in and on the earth, air and sea, was abundance for the welfare and survival of the children of Papatuanuku.
These pictures were supplied by several whānau members at a Korongata Marae Whakapapa Wananga held in August 2008.