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Nau mai haere mai

Ngā Hau e Whā

Ngā Hau E Whā (the Cambridge Community Marae) is nestled on the edge of Leamington, in Waipā, Waikato. Situated on the corner of Bracken Street and Pope Terrace, it overlooks Kemureti (Cambridge) across the Waikato River. Imagined in the early 1940s, the marae building was eventually started in two stages by 1999 and completed in 2008, through the efforts of local whānau and the community.

One kilometre from Cambridge Town Centre, the complex with large dining and wharenui facilities, off road parking, spacious lawns and full kitchen facilities with walk-in chiller, provides for tangihanga, gatherings and accommodation for small or large groups.

Centrally located and minutes from Lake Karāpiro, Hamilton Airport and Mystery Creek Events Centre, the marae is a one hour drive to Tauranga, Rotorua and Raglan and 90 minutes to Auckland and Taupō.

The Marae is located within the iwi boundaries of Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Wairere and has always been supported by tangata whenua, or people of the land.

The meaning & whakapapa of the marae name

Ngā Hau e Whā trustees, working committee members, supporters and all those who have passed through it, wish to acknowledge Steven Tipene, the carver of the whakairo (carving) over the wharenui entrance.

Ngā Hau e Whā which means “The Four Winds”, is the ingoa or name in te reo Māori; in other words, it is a meeting place for all people from the four corners. 

The Wharenui (main house) is called Te Puawaitanga which means “Continual blossoming”
The Wharekai (dining hall) is called Te Reo Kāranga which means “The welcoming call to everyone”

The whakairo (carving) depicts the different carving styles of the four winds/regions of Aotearoa New Zealand.

On the left is Te Tairāwhiti, next is the West Coast
On the right is Te Tai Tonga and far right Te Tai Tokerau.

The four winds or regions are represented as follows:

  • The big round head meaning intelligence is typical of the carving style in Te Tai Tokerau.
  • The four humanistic heads represents the coming together of Māori and Pākehā
  • There are two Manaia – one to protect the Marae space and the other to protect

Te Puawaitanga is the woman in the centre of the carving. Steven Tipene, the carver, has inserted two men in this whakairo – Harry Wahapu (former Marae Chairman) and the carver’s grandfather Ropere Ropere Tipene, whose son Bully and grandson Gary have previously held the position of marae chairperson.

To ensure pro-creation is acknowledged, the carver has inserted birds and bees.