Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 22. 14th September 1972
The Urban Marae:
The Urban Marae:
I feel that the term 'marae' is often used far too loosely. The way I have heard people talk about the 'urban maraes' often leads me to understand that they are talking about community centres. The marae, which people often forget, is also used for the laying of bodies in state, and where people who know the deceased can go to pay their respects. These huis continue for three or four days and have been known to continue for much longer. An 'urban marae' in Auckland, Te Unga Waka, is in my eyes a failure. On one occasion, there was a tangi being held upstairs while a dance was held downstairs which is making a mockery of both the marae and tangihanga. Another problem that I have observed with the 'urban marae' is the site on which it is placed. For example, the Mangere marae in Auckland has received numerous complaints from local residents about 'all the noise that goes on'. When the women welcome people onto the marae, and it is a still night, their high-pitched voices carry for a considerable distance. So, a site for a marae is most important. There is more to a marae than just a carved meeting house. You will notice that nearly every site that a marae is erected on, it has a historic background. So, if you intend erecting an 'urban marae', I would suggest that you contact the local kaumatua[unclear: i] of the area and seek his guidance, and also spend a week-end on a marae.
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