Hui Fono Pōwhiri

26–27 Hui-tanguru (February) 2020. 

Arahura Marae, Hokitika (West Coast)

There will be a pōwhiri (formal welcome) on arrival to Arahura marae, and to begin the Hui Fono. 

Pōwhiri is the custom of mana whenua (local people) welcoming and hosting manuhiri (visitors). The kawa (protocol) at Arahura marae observes the customs of Ngāti Waewae.

  1. Manuhiri (visitors) are to gather at the entrance gates to Arahura marae. All mobile phones should be turned off at this time. An envelope will be circulated for those who wish to give a koha (monetary gift) that will be presented to the marae.
  2. Kaikaranga (local host female caller) begins the pōwhiri with a karanga (call) to welcome you. The manuhiri kaikaranga (visitor’s female caller) will reply and lead you onto the marae atea (courtyard) and into the wharenui (venue). Wahine (women) are required to lead at the front of the procession, and tane (men) to follow behind. The karanga exchange will continue as the group moves forward, acknowledging those who have passed away and extending the welcome to the group. Please move as a group staying close behind the manuhiri kaikaranga (visitor’s female caller).
  3. Karanga whakatau – after this final call of welcome, you may be seated.
  4. Whaikōrero (male speaker) from the local host will welcome you. It is usual to start with a karakia (spiritual acknowledgement or focus statement). They will also acknowledge the kaupapa (purpose) for the event. A waiata (song) shall follow each speaker to enhance and support what has been said. The opportunity to speak is then handed over to respond. The koha will be laid in front of tangata whenua by the last speaker, usually followed by an acknowledgement response by the tangata whenua kaikaranga. The whaikōrero is concluded by the local host.
  5. Hongi is where two people gently press noses together, an action that symbolises a connection of the breath of life. It demonstrates that the manuhiri has been accepted into the wharenui in peace. You may hariru (shake hands) if appropriate, generally follow the lead from the local hosts. You may acknowledge tangata whenua by saying ‘Tēna koe’ followed by their name if it is known. After the hongi, make your way to your seat and remain standing.
  6. Whakanoa is the process of removing the sacredness in the formalities of the ceremony, by sharing kai (food) with each other. This process will conclude the formal welcome.


Tikanga can be described as general behaviour in Māori culture for daily life and interaction. The concept is derived from the Māori word ‘tika’ which means ‘right’ or ‘correct’. For Māori, it is a way to behave that is culturally appropriate. Tikanga is generally behaviour and practices that have been passed down through generations. Tikanga is somewhat general across te ao Māori, however it is important to note that each iwi and hapū may have variations of tikanga specific and special to them.


Kawa refers to the appropriate customs and protocols that serve to support or enhance tikanga, and just like tikanga, can differ between different iwi throughout Aotearoa.

Waiata (Written by Pale Sauni)

Pasifika, tēnā koutou
Pasifika, tēnā outou
Le Atua, ia fa’afetai

Talofa lava, mālō e lelei
Ni sa bula vinaka, kia orana
Fakaalofa lahi atu,
Taloha ni, halo ola keta
Mauri ora