Ka oho te wairua, ka matāra te tinana, ka aroha ki te aroha, ka kā te rama. September 2012

Whakataka te hau ki te Uru Whakataka te hau ki te Tonga Kia mākinakina ki uta Kia māhanahana ki tai E aō rawa ake te ra He tio, he keho, he hauhunga Tihei mauriora
Let the cold west and south winds That assail the land and sea, desist Let the red-tipped dawn come with a touch of frost A sharpened air The promise of a glorious day Here we stand


Ko Whitireia te maunga Ko Raukawakawa te moana Ko Kenana te awa Ko Hongoeka te marae

The Hongoeka Community Plan has been developed through a series of 15 community hui held between September 2010 and August 2012 at Hongoeka Marae. The Hongoeka marae committee has led this process, actively supported by Porirua City Council through its Village Planning Programme. The marae committee, of which all Hongoeka Whānau are members, is the contact point for the plan and will oversee what needs to be done. The working committee will consult with the Hongoeka community through marae meetings, e-mail and special hui. Some of the work will be undertaken by the marae community itself and will form part of marae planning and action. With other more complex tasks we look forward to working with PCC and other organisations, to ensure that the vision for our community is carried through.


Hongoeka and its Community
Hongoeka is situated at the northern, coastal end of Plimmerton. It consists of six large land blocks, an area which these days extends from the urupā (cemetery) boundary at the end of Moana Road, to Haukōpua (commonly known as Big Bay). The residential area is situated in Hongoeka Bay itself and takes up flat land and lower hillsides. It is bordered by bush clad hills and farmland, and looks out over a broad sweep of rugged coastline towards landmarks Whitireia and Mana Island. Beyond the island on a clear day, the South Island is outlined, dominated in the winter months by excellent views of the snow clad mountain known as Ngā Tapuwae ō Uenuku. Hongoeka was originally part of one of three Ngāti Toarangatira reserves set aside “for the perpetual benefit of Ngāti Toa” (Porirua Deed 1847) following the Crown’s acquisition of Porirua in 1847. This reserve originally encompassed an extensive area from the northern end of Mana Esplanade through to the Wainui Stream which passes through Queen Elizabeth Park. Today, however, Hongoeka is the last remnant of all three Ngāti Toa reserves that has remained in Ngāti Toa hands (though now in individual rather than iwi ownership). All front properties in Hongoeka, whether residential sections or coastal blocks, cross the formed road and continue down to mean high water. Therefore the beach is private property and public walking access is provided by generosity of the landowners. Prior to the introduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Act, riparian rights extended well out beyond mean high water into Te Moana o Raukawa (Cook Strait). These customary rights have been utilised and handed down over successive generations from the time Ngāti Toa first settled at Hongoeka in the 1820s. Hongoeka was an important fishing and food gathering area and remains so to this day. Ngāti Toa’s traditional home was in Kāwhia, where the Tainui waka originally made landfall. In 1820, because of ongoing conflict, and under threat of annihilation by more numerous traditional enemies, Ngāti Toa left Kawhia – their centuries-old home. Under the leadership of Te Rauparaha, safe passage out of Kawhia was negotiated and thus began an arduous, dangerous and eventful trek where many lives were lost. The whole journey from Kawhia to Te Moana o Raukawa was named “Te Heke-mai-i-raro”. By 1840 Ngāti Toa had become the dominant iwi on the Kapiti Coast. They had also conquered territory in the South Island, and controlled large areas on both sides of Te Moana o Raukawa from their island fortress of Kāpiti. But after European settlers arrived Ngāti Toa was seen as a threat to the Crown whose ambition was land acquisition. 3

So in 1846, by order of Governor Grey, Te Rauparaha was kidnapped from his principle residence at Taupo Pā, where the Plimmerton Pavilion now stands. He was held captive aboard HMS Calliope for ten months and then imprisoned in Auckland without trial for an additional eight months. It was during this time, with Te Rauparaha being held to ransom by Grey, that most of Ngāti Toa’s land was acquired by the Crown, as under duress Ngāti Toa negotiated his release. Hongoeka Marae is one of two Ngāti Toa marae in the Porirua area. The other is Takapūwāhia Marae in Elsdon. There are two Ngāti Toa marae in the South Island: Wairau Pā Marae in Blenheim and Whakatū Marae in Nelson. The South Island marae are not solely Ngāti Toa.

Hongoeka Whānau
In recent times, knowing that it had been a dream of former generations, we at Hongoeka decided that a wharenui (meeting house) and marae complex should be established in order to provide a gathering place for the community, as well as a cultural repository of Ngāti Toa’s history and traditions. We believed that a wharenui, and all the understanding that goes with it, would benefit future generations. Three decades of planning, fund-raising and voluntary work culminated in the purchase, renovation and alterations of a residence that eventually became the kitchen and dining room. Following that came the building of the carved and decorated wharenui. The wharenui was given the name “Te Heke-mai-raro” in commemoration of those ancestors who made the epic journey from Kāwhia to the Cook Strait area. All contributed to this work and it was fortunate that we had among the whānau, most of the skills, expertise and generosity needed to achieve what we had set out to do. The gifting of additional land by one of our whānau gave us the required space. Other voluntary contributors included leaders, elders and organisers, planners, designers, fundraisers, historians and genealogists, builders, plumbers, labourers, cooks, carvers, weavers and artists. Many, many spare-time hours were dedicated to the multiple tasks.
Te Rauparaha Hongoeka Marae


The wharenui was opened by Te Arikinui Dame Te Aatairangikaahu on 19 April 1997 at a dawn ceremony, made all the more dramatic on that early morning by gales, heavy rain and a thunder storm! About a thousand people came to celebrate this event.

The wharenui is a place of learning for our Hongoeka whānau. Exterior and interior carvings tell of history and ancestry. Woven tukutuku panels, some traditional and some contemporary, have stories and proverbs attached to them which extol values and philosophies – and also denote the land and sea environment. The painted kōwhaiwhai panels likewise have whakatauki (proverbs) attached to them, and embody history, beliefs and principles by which we may live our lives.


Our own use of the marae is various. It is the venue for monthly meetings, special meetings for the discussion of family matters, land meetings, fund raising, youth activities, the teaching and learning of te reo, waiata and traditions. Computer classes are held there on a weekly basis. It is also the venue for celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, Christmas dinners for the elderly and children’s Christmas parties. Most importantly the marae is the place where our dead lie during tangihanga, as mourning, ritual and ceremony take place.

However, our marae is a shared facility which accommodates many hundreds of visitors each year. This is a very important aspect of its use.


As a campus for Whitireia New Zealand, it provides a weaving course. It is a conference venue for government departments such as Health, Education, Corrections, Fisheries, Inland Revenue and Tourism. Such groups may wish to enhance their understanding of Māori tikanga, language, life and customs, or discuss Treaty issues, especially where relevant to their places of work. Scientists, researchers and members of the medical profession have found our marae a conducive place for seminars. It has provided overnight accommodation for those on their way to present their causes to parliament. Our marae has hosted many local schools, pre-schools, community groups and associations. In the company of a variety of artists, performers and sports teams, as well as groups of indigenous people from other parts of the world, we have been able to take part in many kinds of cultural exchange. The marae has been the venue of film shoots in which whānau members have been involved in a range of ways. Art exhibitions and workshops have been held here, and in partnership with Te Papa, tāonga workshops have been organised. The term “marae” in the context as used above, refers to the whole complex which includes the wharenui, the area of land in front of it, the urupa, the dining room, the ablutions and other related buildings.


The traditional meaning of “marae” refers to the courtyard in front of the meeting house. This is the “Marae Ātea” or the marae proper, which is under certain restrictions in regard to its use and function. In Hongoeka we often refer to the whole area as our marae. We may say for example that we “live at the marae.” It is a manner of speaking. The marae complex is the only communally owned land but no one resides there. In the residential area we own our own homes and sections on individual titles. The coastal blocks and blocks to the rear of the residential sections, owned by some of the families, are in multiple ownership. For official purposes the marae is an Incorporated Society viz “Hongoeka Settlement Inc.” of which we as Ngāti Toa landowners are all members by right of genealogy. This membership of course, includes many land owners and land beneficiaries who now live outside of Hongoeka, perhaps in other parts of the world. Along with spouses, who also may be landowners, we make up Hongoeka Whānau. Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is very important to us. We see ourselves as caretakers, not only of the land and sea environments, wildlife and resources, but also of tribal and family knowledge, history, traditions, values, arts and language.


Hongoeka is unique, not only in its history and environment, but also because it is one of the very few places where tangata whenua - the home people – are able to live on their land in close proximity to their home marae. Also it is the largest area of Māori owned land in the Porirua district. It is our purpose to retain this uniqueness, and to continue our connectedness to this very special place.

Our vision for our community is that:  our descendants will continue to live in Hongoeka on their own lands as owners and caretakers of it  the bay, waterways and foreshore will remain clean and protected  the native bush will be preserved for current and future generations  the marae and wharenui will continue to function as the cultural and spiritual centre of the community  our community will become more self-sustaining.

Priorities for action: Zoning and storm water issues are highlighted in the action plan. Difficulties of access and ‘run off’ have been identified as barriers for those wanting to build on their land. Some of these problems are historic and will require creative solutions. Terms and concepts used in this plan which may have various interpretations are to be defined by the community. The community will be involved in decision making on all issues which affect Hongoeka.


"Toi tū te whenua, whatungarongaro he tangata."
People come and go, but the land remains. 1. Our descendants continue to live in Hongoeka on their own lands as owners and caretakers of it Action a) Zoning to suit needs. o Need zoning that allow whānau to use and live on their land, eg. that will allow people to build off private, and/or paper roads o Papakāinga status, (collective titles). Would this be relevant/useful to some land blocks? Who to work with PCC Environment and City Planning First steps  Work with a planner to prepare for the District Plan review including: o Preparation of a physical concept plan for Hongoeka. o Consider whether other councils’ policies on papakāinga are relevant or useful. District Plan review o An updated plan of the roads and sections to be generated by the community with support of Council. District Plan review.

b) Roads and lands remain private. o Legalisation of private, formed road. o Issue of road width should take into consideration the limited amount of traffic in Hongoeka.

 PCC Environment and City Planning; Asset Management and Operations

c) Development is balanced with maintaining the uniqueness of Hongoeka e.g. o Zoning should not allow building on foreshore. o No cellphone towers. o Development of access to the old urupa. o Road maintenance and walking access to be settled.

PCC Environment and City Planning


"Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia teretere te karohirohi e."
May the days ignite, as sunlight on greenstone waters.

2. The bay, waterways and foreshore are clean and protected
Action a) Creeks and waterways are clean, flowing and safe. o All current and future storm water issues are addressed. o Culverts repiped. b) Public accessing the foreshore to know they are on private land and to respect the area e.g. through signage, markers etc. c) Marine preservation. Regeneration of marine life through reserves etc. Who to work with PCC Environment and Regulatory Services (Porirua Harbour & Catchment Strategy); Asset Management and Operations, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira First steps  Meet with Council officers to discuss issues.

PCC Environment and Regulatory Services; Leisure Assets and Services

Discussions between community and Council as required.

Department of Conservation; Ministry of Fisheries, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira, PCC Environment and City Planning

Consultation and input to relevant plans (on-going).


"Hutia te rito o te pū harakeke, kei whea te kōmako e kō?"
If you sever the roots of the flax bush, from where will the bellbird sing?

3. The native bush is preserved for current and future generations
Action a) Noxious plant and animal control. (e.g. of wasps, possums, wild cats, stoats, asparagus fern) b) Value and significance of the bush is evaluated and documented. Who to work with Greater Wellington Regional Council; PCC Asset Management and Operations; Local residents PCC Environment and City Planning; Greater Wellington Regional Council First steps  Meet with relevant people from PCC and GWRC to discuss and get assistance. 

PCC study underway. Information will be brought to the Marae Committee.


"Mā mua ka kite ā muri. Mā muri ka ora a mua."
Those who lead give sight to those who follow. Those who follow give life to those who lead.

4. The marae and wharenui will continue to function as the cultural and spiritual centre of the community
Action a) The marae is seen as an asset to Plimmerton, Porirua and Aotearoa b) Development of marae frontage. c) Beautification of entranceway. Parking. d) Have a marae manager. e) Archiving of historic documents. Pataka, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira Who to work with PCC Economic Development; Plimmerton Residents’ Association First steps  Build on relationship with Plimmerton Residents’ Association.         f) The marae continues to be used as the base for community learning. Training of our own, to undertake necessary roles. Wananga, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira, Whitireia NZ, Plimmerton school and community  Build into Marae Strategic Plan. Build into Marae Strategic Plan. Build into Marae Strategic Plan. Job description and funding. Build into Marae Strategic Plan. Investigate potential funding sources. Contact Pataka, Rūnanga and Historic Places. Create archive room. Build into Marae Strategic Plan.

g) Emergency preparedness.

Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, Plimmerton Residents’ Association

Representative of Wellington Region Emergency Management Office to attend Marae Committee meeting.


"Mā whero, mā pango, ka ōti te mahi."
By the efforts of all, the work will be completed.

5. Our community will become more self-sustaining
Action a) Skills for self-sufficiency, e.g. fishing, gardening, food gathering, to be passed on. b) Infrastructure to support people working from home. c) Opportunities for development of small industries e.g. weaving, carving, furniture making, film-making etc. d) Development of an accessible webpage. e) Alternative energy e.g. wind source. PCC Economic Development PCC Economic Development Who to work with First steps  Build into Marae Strategic Plan.

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Build into Marae Strategic Plan o Part of role of Marae Manager. Discuss possibilities with whānau and identify possible partners.


Ahakoa iti whetū Ranginui pōkēkē aō Ūhia kia ngaro E kore e ngaro
Marangaipāroa son of Toarangatira