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“One of the Best Cultural Tourism Attractions in the World” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mataatua: The House That Came Home

Mataatua: The House That Came Home
Mataatua, Te Manuka Tutahi, 105 Muriwai Drive, Whakatane 3120, New Zealand
+64 7-308 4271
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Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Whakatane
Type: Specialty Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only repatriated and most travelled Maori meeting house - stands once again as the unifying soul of the Ngati Awa (one of the Maori tribes of the Bay of Plenty) New Zealand. Built in 1875, it travelled to Sydney, Melbourne, Victoria & Albert Museum and South Kensington Museum (London), Dunedin and Otago (South Island) before being rebuilt back in its place of origin, Whakatane, in 2011. Your journey at Mataatua (The Face of God) will Ignite the Soul within, as you discover the extraordinary story of the house that has travelled through time. Mataatua is a living and breathing being and our experience provides an opportunity for intimate engagement with the people of Ngati Awa. Be enthralled as the carvings and legends of Ngati Awa are brought to life through world-class digital technology. A spine tingling experience, HIKO; Legends Carved in Light, is the 2011 GOLD Nga Aho award winner from the New Zealand Designers Institute.
Wellington
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“One of the Best Cultural Tourism Attractions in the World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

We took the tour of the Mataatua wharenui as a family group and found this to be a really authentic cultural tourism experience that provided the right amount of history - creativity - vision. I've been to many places around the world and would have to say this ranks in the top 5 for authenticity and experience. I won't describe the whole event as it would spoil things, but suffice it to say, there are many elements to the tour, cultural, audio-visual, interactive and reflective. I'd strongly recommend this for those interested in Maori culture, history of Ngati Awa people of Whakatane and an extraordinary story of cultural misappropriation and the determination of Ngati Awa to have their ancestral house returned to them.

Visited December 2013
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41 reviews from our community

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English first
Tauranga, New Zealand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Maori Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

The Maori Experience was very good, genuine and we felt totally welcome and at home. The story telling was excellent, and so was the light show and the little platter afterwards. Some technical difficulties were solved and while waiting we heard a few more stories, which we thoroughly enjoyed, because that was why we came here. We redemed a GrabOne Voucher, so we thought it was very good value for money ... not so sure about the full price though ... but absolutely enjoyable and a very good experience and insight on the local iwi.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotorua
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“ataahua”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

beautiful place to visit and awesome lighting show. would recommend if you want history of area and wharenui.

Visited October 2013
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Whitianga
1 review
“White Reunion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

This was an awesome experience.I would recommend that all visitors to Whakatane see this marae.The three people who took us through our guided tour cannot go without mention. They were helpful and passionate about their marae.The light show is beautifully done and next time we are in town we will be back as there is so much information to take in. 12 out of 10 Whakatane. Great to have Mataatua home.

Visited October 2013
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Napier, New Zealand
1 review
“Gave me chills.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

I didn't come as a tourist to Whakatane. I came to see my ancestors and to learn more of their stories. As part of the White whanau reunion, I know we were all very moved and left feeling so up-lifted. To know that you are part of something historic and amazing. I felt very proud.
It was exciting and visually, absolutely beautiful! I will definitely be recommending it to anyone heading to Whakatane and I will definitely be coming back for many visits.

Visited October 2013
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