The name Te Manawanui came from Te Puea. Te Rauangaanga was taken to jail because he wouldn’t sign up to go to war and the kōrero is, is she told him, “Kia manawanui…let the spirit of your father and also the spirit of your ancestors be with you. God bless you.”



Like most of the other buildings on Maungatautari Marae, the Te Manawanui that now stands had a predecessor. This original building too was called Te Manawanui and was opened on 21st October 1918. This was built by Te Ruatahapari, whom also constructed the Whareroa wharenui at Mount Maunganui and remains standing to this day. Once that whare was completed, Te Ruatahapari came to Maungatautari to begin work on Te Manawanui.

The timber used was dragged down by horse from the bush and the logs were placed in a hollow in the ground, above Pire’s home, to make it easier for the builders to work with. It had waituhi beautifully painted by Rangitaiki and other local whānau and their brushes were made from the smooth fur from a paranene dog that was running around at the time.



Although Te Manawanui was small, as the word (wharenui) suggests, it was still able to hold alot of people and Ngāti Koroki-Kahukura held many hui including dances. Over the years some parts of the main structure deteriorated and the whole building had to be pulled down. The whānau then started raising funds, and set up a network with other marae including Motakotako, Makomako, Tauwhare and Tapapa whom all supported each other in their fundraising efforts. Apparently through kōrero “…they were the good old days, with plenty of fun and making lots of money.”

By 1975 there was enough money to start the construction. All the work was done on a voluntary basis and many pakeha friends of the time came from Cambridge to assist with the build. This list included our main builder, Bert Van Doorne a bricklayer by trade, Dave Manly a local carpenter and Dick Meads a local farmer. It was a long hard slog with the majority of work being completed during the weekends because of their paid employment, “…but everyone was on board and they all worked hard.”



This second Te Manawanui was finally completed in 1979 and opened by Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu. The wharenui that now stands is twice the size of the original one, and at times is still not big enough.

Dave Manly died in the Mt. Erebus disaster shortly after the opening.

(1996). Koroki – Kahukura: Hui whakawhanaunga 23 – 30 December 1996

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