Te Puna o Te Mātauranga

Our Raumanga Campus marae, is a beautiful, contemporary space used for formal events, welcomes and informal meetings. When open during the day, it can be used as a quiet place for study.

Our Marae complex includes:

Te Puna o Te Huinga Manu (The Spring for the Gathering of the Birds): This tomokanga, together with the ātea (forecourt) and meeting house form the official entryway into NorthTec.

Te Puna o Te Mātauranga (The Spring of Knowledge): The Whare Hui (Meeting House) is available for lessons, lectures, wānanga and events.

Te Puna o Te Oranga (The Spring of Wellbeing): The Whare Kai (Dining Room) can be booked alongside the Whare Hui, or separately.  It is fully equipped to host hui and events.


Te Puna o Te Mātauranga Marae operates under the tikanga of Ngapuhi Nui Tonu, with the use of paeke in powhiri as outlined below:

All manuhiri (visitors) assemble at the tomokanga.  The ope (group) decide who will be responsible for the whaikorero (the speaker/s) to represent the group.

When the ope is ready the women move forward so that the tangata whenua (home people) know that the ope is ready for the powhiri to proceed.

The tangata whenua begins the process with the karanga and the manuhiri will reply and move slowly towards the whare hui.  This is a solemn process to allow people to gather their thoughts and pay homage to the people who have gone before us.  There is often a slight pause before you cross the marae atea (courtyard in front of the wharenui), where most formal occasions are usually held.

Shoes are removed before entering the wharenui, as a sign of respect.

The ope follows the kaikaranga to the front of the whare hui, where they pause to pay respect to the whare, and recognising those ancestors who have gone before use.

Under the guidance of the kaikaranga the ope then turn and walk to the taumata where you hongi first the tangata whenua before being seated for the mihimihi.  It is through the hongi that tangata whenua and manuhiri become 'of one breath'.  A hariru (handshake) is acceptable for those who are unable to press noses for cultural, religious or other reasons.

Whaikorero (speeches) of welcome then take place - paeke - that is, the speakers of the tangata whenua will start and the manuhiri respond.  Upon completion of the manuhiri responses, the tangata whenua will then complete the process and outline next steps in the powhiri process.  Each whaikorero is concluded with a waiata.  Generally the song indicates where the person is from and aligns with what has been said.

The formal welcome is completed when manuhiri and tangata whenua partake of food and drink in the dining room, Te Puna o Te Ora.

Kai and kōrero

Māori learners are invited to join informal monthly get-togethers on the marae. The focus of these lunchtime events are for Māori learners old and new to connect, meet key Māori staff, share kai and discuss issues and happenings.


Day hire of the marae complex are welcome. However overnight bookings are limited to Friday – Sunday only. No block bookings on long weekends.

​For bookings refer to our Guidelines for booking the Marae facilities.


When a whare is built or refurbished the concepts are decided collectively after careful consultation. The whare has cosmological narratives which we can only allude to. The decision was made to not reflect representation of ancestors, but instead to reflect the programmes delivered by NorthTec. As the major tertiary education provider in Tai Tokerau it would be considered a ‘house of learning’, a ‘Whare Wānanga’.

The concepts encompass the narratives of ‘ngā kete o te mātauranga’ the journey of two to the twelve heavens for the attainment of knowledge. There are three kete and there are versions of what they represent. What we wanted to capture without the figurative form was the desire to learn, share, and grow ourselves towards opportunities to support the dreams and livelihood of our whānau.

The patterns and designs in whakairo rākau, rāranga, tukutuku, and kowhaiwhai have been utilised to support the design concept for the whare.

Mahi rāranga (Weaving)

Mahi rāranga retains pattern and design through making process and the repetition of methodologies embedded in mahi rāranga, whatu and whiri. New materials introduce new qualities and impact positively on the representation of mahi tukutuku. The new material of plastic tubing produces a transparent effect within the structure exposing the kakaho/toetoe, which is not usually seen.

Whakairo Rākau (Carving)

Concepts have generally been sourced from pattern and design found in whakairo rākau, raranga, whatu, tukutuku and kōwhaiwhai. These are spread through the whare from the marae ātea to the poutūārongo. Watching the blend of the customary art forms with the contemporary has been uplifting, empowering and a challenge.

Rauangi (Visual Art)

We start from nothing but a blank canvas. We source the inspiration and we begin to create. The observer has rite of passage to interpret what they observe, from the pāpaka to the tāhuhu.


In 1979 after consultation throughout Tai Tokerau, the first Maori class was established in Te Tai Tokerau Wananga. Te Puna o Te Mātauranga was formed to provide te reo, tikanga, waiata with an emphasis on Ngapuhi nui tonu.

Dedication Ceremony (1990)

On 30 April 1990, a dedication ceremony was held to set aside the site of the Marae. The ceremony saw representatives from Iwi across Tai Tokerau meet at Raumanga. This ceremony was overseen by Founding CEO Noel Harrison, with speakers including Sir Graham Latimer and Mayor Stan Semenoff. There were ministers from different religions led by Charlie Kake, along with Winiata Morunga and Hoori Niha.

The ground breakers were selected to represent the Whare Tapu o Ngapuhi: Mutu Karena (Te Aupouri), Simon Snowden (Te Rarawa), McCully Matiu (Ngati Kahu), Manga Tau (Ngapuhi) and Hugh Kawharu (Ngati Whatua).

Marae Opening (1991)

Te Puna o Te Mātauranga Marae Complex was opened on 3 August 1991, as a focal point for Maori within Te Tai Tokerau Wananga. Pat Irving was Chief Executive Officer at the time.

Leadership from Northland Polytechnic consulted with the wider Tai Tokerau iwi and community, and confirmed the names of the whare hui being Te Puna o Te Mātauranga - The Spring of Knowledge, and the whare kai being Te Puna o Te Oranga - The Spring of Wellbeing.

The Ruahine selected for the event were former Polytech Council Member Kath Munn, Council member of the time Violet Pou and CEO Pat Irving.

At the time of the opening, acknowledgment was given to the founding CEO Noel Harrison and Kevin Kelly (Director) and members of the community who maintained the vision to have a Marae established at our Raumanga Campus.

The Polytech Council Chair of the time was Mike Raimona, and Maori Liaison Committee Chairman was Toka Totoro, Moetu Davis was Maori Studies Centre Coordinator, and Moananui a Kiwa Anaru was a tutor and spokesperson for Northland Polytech at the time.

We pay tribute to our ancestors and elders who contributed to the establishment of Te Puna o Te Mātauranga at NorthTec.

Redevelopment (2015)

The whare hui at Te Puna o Te Mātauranga was recently re-opened following refurbishment on 7 December 2015. The decision was made not to reflect representation of ancestors but instead reflect the programmes delivered by NorthTec.  As the major Tertiary provider in Tai Tokerau it would be considered a 'house of learning', a 'Whare Wananga'.

The concepts encompass the narratives of 'nga kete o te mātauranga' and the journey through the twelve heavens for attainment of knowledge and enlightenment.  The creative team sort to capture without the figurative form was the desire to learn, share and grow ourselves towards opportunities to support the dreams and livelihood of our whānau.

The patterns and designs in the whakairo rakau, raranga, tukutuku and kowhaiwhai have been utilised to support the design concept for the whare.

Over time with every new whare, one can observe that the 'whare' as a cultural paradigm keeps evolving and growing.  The 'whare construct' provides a framework that reflects the people and their world view.  Te Puna o Te Mātauranga is a part of that journey of continuum.

We acknowledge the whare keep evolving, are redefined and readapted to reflect the people and the environment.  The departure from tupuna whare brings us closer to who we truly are.  The whare will always honour whakapapa, whakawhanaungatanga, mātauranga and the importance of te reo me ona tikanga.

Tomokanga (2021)

A new carved tomokanga (entranceway) at the front of NorthTec’s Te Puna o te Mātauranga marae was officially blessed, named and opened at a dawn ceremony on 9 February 2021.

The tomokanga was officially named Te Puna o Te Huinga Manu, meaning The Spring for the Gathering of the Birds. The name was chosen by a group of Kaumātua, Kuia and rangatira who represent the mana whenua of inner city Whangārei.

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