Māori architecture tells our stories and displays our artistry. The Rotowhio marae is a stunning example of traditional Māori architecture, while Heketanga-ā-Rangi is an exciting contemporary structure. See the site of the ancient Te Puia pā (fortified village) and, at Pikirangi village, find out how we lived hundreds of years ago.
Heketanga-ā-Rangi, which can be translated as ‘Heavenly Origins’, is an exciting contemporary Māori artwork standing at the entrance of Te Puia. It is inspired by the different spiritual realms in our Te Arawa culture and combines carving, sculpture and decoration.
Te Whare Wānanga-a-Hātūpatu
Te Whare Wānanga a Hātūpatu is a smaller meeting house than Te Aronui-ā-Rua, and sits to its left. A whare wānanga (‘wah-nung-a’) is a house of learning, and was built so that our history, stories and whakapapa (genealogical links) could be passed on to future generations. It was built in 1901 and was part of the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition held in Christchurch. The house is named after Hātūpatu, a playful and mischievous ancestor who was chased into this valley by Kurungaituku, a magical bird-woman.
A marae is a traditional gathering place. Te Puia’s Rotowhio marae contains beautiful carved buildings. Here, visitors are welcomed and entertained. Te Puia pā is the site of an ancient fortified village and Pikirangi village shows how our ancestors lived in earlier times.
Te Aronui-ā-rua is our carved meeting house. This is where ceremonies and concerts are held. It features stunning carvings, intricately decorated panels and impressive weaving. It was built between 1967 and 1981 by students and graduates of our carving school. This was a great honour for those involved, as carving a sacred meeting house is considered the pinnacle of your career. Meeting houses are usually named after a tribal ancestor but because our carving school embraces all New Zealand tribes, it is named after a ‘basket of knowledge’ in Māori belief.
Te Puia Experiences
You can book a Day Tour or an Evening experience of Te Puia. Or enjoy the best of both and make it a perfect Rotorua experience with our combo package deal.
Compare the Experiences