Events focus for Te Manuka Tūtahi Marae, Not Tourism
A house built fit for Royalty or more specifically a queen, the Mataatua Wharenui will become the home for events of significance rather than focusing on a tourism visitors experience at Te Manuka Tūtahi marae.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Chief Executive Reuben Araroa said a decision had been made to review the operating model for Te Manuka Tūtahi marae and as a result it would cease the Mataatua Visitor Experience and no longer be providing a tourism offering for people walking in off the street or for those who are visiting the area as tourists.
Mr Araroa said after conducting a financial analysis of Te Manuka Tūtahi, it became clear that the original model was significantly challenged given how the tourism sector was performing across Aotearoa, which required the Rūnanga to adapt in a climate of rising costs and low revenue.
“As a result, a decision was made to change the focus on how people and the general public would interact with Te Manuka Tūtahi Marae. The well-known wharenui narrative was that it was built fit for a queen and this new approach will enable us to concentrate on allowing Mataatua Wharenui to be the place for events of greater significance from now on.
Mr Araroa said the Rūnanga was still working on the details of the new model, but Te Manuka Tūtahi marae would no longer be taking tourism bookings as of March 1, however, would be available to Ngāti Awa.
He said the Rūnanga was working with those who had already had bookings for later in the year to communicate the change and its impact on them.
“Our strategic development plan, Te Ara Poutama o Ngāti Awa, acknowledges the importance of Mataatua Wharenui in enhancing the mana of Ngāti Awa and uplifting its people.
“This thinking has helped galvanize the change in focus for Te Manuka Tūtahi marae and so we are also working with our iwi and other stakeholders to understand how they can support the new approach.”