marae7Toward the heads of Akaroa Harbour, Ōnuku is a five kilometre meandering drive from the township of Akaroa. The Marae emerges suddenly at the roadside; glimpsed through the fringe of a Harakeke bush. The craggy peak, Ōteauheke, rises up behind the Marae that nestles at the lapping shores of Tangaroa (God of the Sea). Ōnuku Marae is home to the hapū (sub-tribe) of Ngāi Tārewa and Ngāti Īrakehu. Our home has been the setting for some of the most significant and historic events seeded in the founding of our nation – including the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by our Tīpuna (ancestors).

We pride ourselves in being able to offer a high level of service and flexible catering options to suit every budget, diet and venue requirement – including: Wānanga (learning gathering), Birthday Celebrations, Weddings, Conference and Retreat.

Our Current Marae complex is made up of two Whare.


Our Whare Tīpuna (Ancestral House) is named Karaweko after a young man who was captured at the sacking of Ōnawe Pā and later returned to Ōnuku to lead our people. The Whare Tīpuna was opened on 5 February 1997. It has a seating capacity of 100 people, and can also sleep up to 50.

Amīria Puhirere

Our Whare Kai (Dining Room) is named Amīria Puhirere after a great and inspirational Tāua (elder) from Ōnuku who was also Karaweko’s Daughter. The Whare Kai was officially opened in 1990, and is made up of a dining room, which has a capacity of up to 120 standing and 60-70 seated, a commercial kitchen with outdoor preparation area, and male and female ablution blocks.


The Pōwhiri is a traditional Māori Welcome Ceremony, which takes place when going onto a Marae. The purpose of the Pōwhiri is to remove the tapu of the Manuhiri (visitors) – to make them one with the Tāngata Whenua (People of the Land). It is a gradual process of the Manuhiri and the Tāngata Whenua coming together. A Kaiāwhina (guide) will talk you through the Pōwhiri process on arrival.
Please allow time to join us for refreshments following the Pōwhiri.


Koha is a custom of reciprocity performed during the Pōwhiri. A Koha is a gift (traditionally this was food and delicacies or Taonga (treasures)), given by the Manuhiri to the Tāngata Whenua. Such a gift had the ability to uplift or diminish the Mana (a concept of prestige and strength of character) of both giver and receiver.
Today this custom is still very much alive as many people still wish to offer a Koha as part of the Pōwhiri process. This can be discussed in further detail when the booking is finalized.


In the unfortunate event that the Marae should be required for Tangi (funeral), Ōnuku Rūnanga reserve the right to cancel any confirmed booking.