Tangihanga & unveilings


Temporary closure of Marae

From 23 March to 31 May 2020 Otamatea Marae is closed. This means that during this time Marae facilities will not be available for use including for tangihanga, kawe mate and hura kōhatu . The decision will be reviewed at the end of May. The urupā will remain open.

Tangihanga will need to be held within the home of whānau or at the funeral directors. If whānau wish to hold a burial at the urupā, you must take the tūpāpaku directly to the urupā. Please contact our Chair Bill Paikea well before the day of arrival on 021 027 36136 to discuss and arrange a location within the urupā.

Whānau will need to organise kaikaranga into the urupā, kaikorero and grave diggers from within your whānau. Local minita or āpotoro may be available to conduct the burial, but again you will need to make your own arrangements. If you have any questions or need further advice please contact Whaea Hazel Kaio on 09 4318 566.

We understand this process will be inconvenient for some of our whānau especially at a time of grief and distress. However, safety must be our priority particularly for our kaumātua, kuia and hau kāinga most of whom are in the group most at risk of developing complications from coronavirus. The urupā holds many whānau that were among the 9,000 people who perished during the 1918 Spanish flu. We don’t want to experience that again.

Local police will be keeping an eye on all Marae activity to ensure that government restrictions are being maintained. In the interests of safety for all New Zealanders we ask whānau to obey all government directives during these difficult and uncertain times.

Tangihanga & unveiling (after 31 May 2020)

Find out about having tangihanga, unveilings and kawe mate at Otamatea .


Please contact either Whaea Hazel (09 4318 566) Kim Phillips (09 4318 521) as soon as possible if you wish to bring your loved one back to Otamatea.

Booking charges do not apply to tangihanga but a koha is appreciated to help cover running costs such as power, gas, water, laundry, telephone and basic supplies.

As the marae needs to be prepared to welcome your loved one please consider sending some whānau ahead to help prepare the wharenui and wharekai. You will also need to prepare refreshments and the first meal for those who accompany your loved one onto the marae and stay the first night.

Please see important information about staying at Otamatea Marae.

Hura kōhatu (unveiling)

As these are planned events, standard booking charges will apply.

You will need to arrange your own unveiling cloth.


You must arrange your own minister. In the local community there are ministers representing the following religions:

  • Anglican
  • Catholic
  • Christian
  • Ratana

Kawe mate

Kawe mate are very rarely held as an individual hui but are brought in with tangihanga or another whānau hui such as an unveiling.

You should let the kaikaranga or the taumata kaumātua know before start of the pōwhiri.