Te Timatanga - Our beginnings

In the early 1960's, Maraenui, Onekawa, Pirimai and Napier South were settled as people moved from rural areas into the city. By the end of 1999, many of the families in these areas had a history spanning four or more generations and the dream of having a marae in Napier was born.

While the dream was still strong in the 1970's and 1980's, there had been little progress with the actual construction.

A concerted effort at the end of the 1990's provided the foundation for the construction of Pukemokimoki Marae.

The Maraenui Marae Establishment Trust was formed in 1996 to build the marae. They sought funding from the Napier City Council, Eastern & Central Community Trust and the Lotteries Marae Heritage and Facilities Fund for the majority of the construction costs. Other funders also provided support for the construction and outfitting of the marae.

In 2005 the Pukemokimoki Marae Trust was formed by the Maraenui Marae Establishment Trust. The Marae Trust was established to enable the marae to be operational from the first day after the opening.

While the Establishment Trust was focused on building the complex, the Marae Trust was developed to set future strategies and develop the systems to support the marae long term. The trustees were elected at a hui-a-iwi. They included a tangata whenua representative, a Councillor (representing the Napier City Council's long term investment) and community representatives with a specific interest in the marae. The trustees also brought with them a set of skills to engage with the community and develop the infrastructure.

Although there are few left, who were involved with the marae vision in the 1960's and 1970's, their whānau have undertaken to fulfil their dream..

Ko Pukemokimoki te ingoa - How the name came to be

Heitia Hiha opening

Kaumātua Heitia Hiha - Ngāti Matepu

" The community, now with the blessing of the relative representatives of existing marae in the wider Kahungunu area, has chosen the name Pukemokimoki.  

Pukemokimoki - a hill which was once off the western corner of Mataruahou, the land-mass known in early European settlement as Scinde Island, colloquially known as Bluff Hill, or more locally as Hospital Hill.  It stood in the area of the Carlyle Kindergarten, between Carlyle and Thackeray Streets.  An isolated and historic hill which was in the early days washed on three sides by waters of the Inner Harbour, was once a fortified pa site belonging to the Ngati Parau subtribe who ceased occupation after the battle of Taitimuroa between 1810 and 1820. 

In 1872 the Pukemokimoki hill was removed during railway construction and the earth placed in Te Whare o Maraenui (Napier South and what is now known as Maraenui).  The marae site was part of this reclamation.

Pukemokimoki hill was the only place in Hawkes Bay where the mokimoki fern, a sweet scented small fern grew, which was much prized by the tribes from miles around. "

 - Heitia Hiha, a kaumatua from Ngāti Matepu (Petane Marae) gave a korero to the trustees so that they would understand the significance of the name.

An interesting article about the land purchases and further reference to Pukemokimoki can be found in the following article Click Here