Maraenui Marae Memorials

Maraenui Marae Memorials

1905 Memorial Memorial Hall Memorial plaque

On 22 March 1905 the Hon. J. Carroll, Minister for Native Affairs, performed a melancholy duty at Maraenui Marae, near Hawai, when he unveiled a memorial to 16 children and two adults from the marae who had drowned in the Motu River on 5 August 1900, on the way to school.

The memorial was an obelisk made of white Italian marble surmounted by a funerary urn and mounted on a black granite base. The names and ages of the victims were inscribed on two sides: Mere Heni Waewae (13), Tamahou Waewae (16), Kereopa Hape (10), Waaka Hape (8), Wiremu Henare (10), Makere Henare (7), Mihi Arapeta (12), Paora Arapeta (5), Tu Puke (13), Amokura Puke (12), Rutene Topi (9), Peeti Topi (7), Tawhi Arapeta Pita (8), Hariata Akuhata (12), Iratina Mita (13), Erina Pani (8), Ani Taramea (58) and Pani Retimana (34). 

More than 600 people assembled for the occasion. The dining shelter built at the time continued to serve the marae until April 1956, when another Minister, the Hon. W. Sullivan, opened a new memorial dining hall, Tumatauenga. This was dedicated to all Māori soldiers killed in the South African War and the two world wars.

Sources: ‘Memorial Stone Unveiled: Native Ceremony at Maraenui’, Auckland Star, 24/3/1905, p. 4; ‘Motu River Memorial’, Poverty Bay Herald, 27/3/1905, p. 4; ‘Hall for Maraenui’, Te Ao Hou, no. 15, July 1956, p. 9.

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