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Mataatua: The House That Came Home

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Address: Mataatua, Te Manuka Tutahi, 105 Muriwai Drive, Whakatane 3120, New Zealand
Phone Number: +64 7-308 4271
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Description:

After more than 130 years away, Mataatua Wharenui - New Zealand's only...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 68 reviews
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Fantastic!

I cannot recommend this highly enough! Our guide was friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. We were taken through a moving Maori greeting ceremony before being shown around this... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 29, 2016
Lynn0712
via mobile
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68 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 65: English reviews
Greve, Denmark
Level Contributor
297 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,158 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2016

Nice and very informative display. An extraordinary building with lots of history and stories of the region from the early settlers day. Did not attend the show, the tour, but I understand the tour is worth seeing.

Helpful?
1 Thank springbank
Coromandel, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2016

This was a great way to experience and learn about Maori Culture and the impact of white settlement . While the story of the house is very moving. The guide was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge. You don't often get to understand how a culture is connected not only to other members of the tribe but... More 

Helpful?
Thank JENNZ54
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2016 via mobile

I cannot recommend this highly enough! Our guide was friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. We were taken through a moving Maori greeting ceremony before being shown around this wonderful house, we were actually encouraged to touch the carvings and really get to know them. The light show is slick, informative, and entertaining. This place lives and breathes. The food at the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lynn0712
Level Contributor
122 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2016 via mobile

Mataatua is amazing. If you wish to immerse yourself in a local Maori experience, this is the place to do it. This is a genuine Maori experience and an amazing story. Even the Maori guest (from a different tribe) in our group was impressed. It takes over an hour and it is well worth it, both in money and time... More 

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Thank Ieme d
Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

The guides (2) provided a total experience of this amazing meeting house. Their approach is to involve the visitors in the experience in a very respectful way. Some understanding of Maori culture may be drawn from the guide's way of introducing the visitors to the interior of the meeting house. An extraordinary building which it is a privilege to enter.... More 

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Thank kiwikitty2015
Pembroke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2016

A much more personal experience than the Rotarua shows. Shown around by a guide on the tour and felt very welcomed into the community. Lovely light show which gave a good balance between the guide talking and digital wizardry. Excellent refreshments - if the yellow pickle had been for sale in jars we would had bought some - lovely!

Helpful?
Thank kiwitaf
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2015

Well presented by elders, and an accompanying light show. Really felt welcome and learned a lot even though I thought I knew the story.

Helpful?
Thank Jocej
Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

Visited Maatatua as part of NZSG Regional Meeting. An absolutely wonderful experience hearing the story of how Maatatua Meeting house had journeyed over the world for 130 years before finally returning home to Whakatane, the history of how Whakatane came to be settled by Ngati Awa. Seeing the beautiful carvings and then an absolutely wonderful light show which told more... More 

Helpful?
Thank 763anne
Whakatane, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2015

Visited this facility and really liked the light show and how it depicted how the local iwi got to Whakatane. Good cultural experience for Tourists and certainly worth visiting.

Helpful?
Thank Jackie D
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2015 via mobile

We had hoped to go to White Island but the wind blew for two days and made it impossible. Beside the motel was Mataatua. We wanted to touch on Maori culture but were a bit anxious about plastic Maori in Rotorua. We were told of this cultural centre and the knowledge forest and welcome ceremony. The staff were warm and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Dave Q

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