Story: Marae protocol – te kawa o te marae

Pōwhiri to welcome the 28th (Māori) Battalion

Members of the 28th (Māori) Battalion are welcomed to Ngāruawāhia marae in 1946. As the troops and accompanying band are welcomed a karanga (call) and haka pōwhiri can be heard. The words of the haka pōwhiri are 'Tōia mai, te waka. Ki te urunga, te waka. Ki te moenga, te waka. Ki te takotoranga i takoto ai, te waka', which means, 'Drag it here, the canoe. To its berth, the canoe. To its resting place, the canoe. To the final position in which it will lie, the canoe.' At the end, the soldiers hongi (press noses) and harirū (shake hands) with kaumātua from Waikato. It is noticeable that the soldiers hongi the kuia and do not kiss them. In the 2000s the protocol on many marae is to restrict kissing on the cheek and require a return to the traditional method of only hongi and harirū.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Weekly Review 232. National Film Unit, 1946

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Marae protocol – te kawa o te marae - Pōwhiri process', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/41342/powhiri-to-welcome-the-28th-maori-battalion (accessed 24 October 2017)

Story by Basil Keane, published 5 Sep 2013