Story: Moriori

Kopinga Marae

Kopinga Marae

Kopinga is the only marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Island) and an important central meeting place for Moriori. It was officially opened in January 2005 by Prime Minister Helen Clark at a ceremony attended by over 700 people, including the Māori queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu. The building has a central pou which bears the names of over 1,500 ancestors who were alive in 1835, compiled by Moriori elders in 1862 and sent to Governor George Grey.

Kopinga marae was designed to reflect elements of Moriori culture, and from the air the two arms of the building mimic the shape of human figures as seen on rākau momori (tree carvings). They also resemble the outstretched wings of the hopo (albatross), a bird whose feathers are a symbol of peace. The building has become an important facility for hosting hui and wānanga as well as general community events.

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How to cite this page:

Denise Davis and Māui Solomon, 'Moriori - The second dawn', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 January 2022)

Story by Denise Davis and Māui Solomon, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2017