The Reverend John (Hoani) Laughton speaking during the Māori Synod in front of the whare whakairo Te Maungarongo at Te Aka Puahi (then Ōhope) marae in 1965. Laughton had long dreamt of establishing a Presbyterian marae as a point of contact between Māori and Pākehā. When a derelict stables became available in nearby Whakatāne in 1947 he had it shipped to Ōhope, where it was rebuilt and named Te Maungarongo. By 1971 it had become too small and a new whare whakairo, also called Te Maungarongo, was erected and opened in 1979.
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