thumbnail TRM lesson plans levels 3 and 4
Ngā tikanga o te marae - Marae customs

Ngā tikanga o te marae - Marae customs

Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools

Achievement objective

4.3 Communicate about obligations and responsibilities.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • list behaviours that are expected at the marae
  • discuss the roles that different people have on the marae.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

WhakaatuWhakaatu - Presenting: Communicate information, ideas, or narrative through texts in which visual and verbal features interact to produce particular meaning and effects.

KoreroKōrero - Speaking

  • Engage in short personal conversations
  • Make plans with friends, face to face and by telephone.

Lesson sequence

The teacher initiates a discussion with students about a planned marae visit.

Students develop a pakiwaituhi, a story board, about hui held on the marae, selecting and illustrating important processes and activities that occur on the marae, for example, pōwhiri, laying hāngi, and other roles carried out on the marae.

Brainstorm the activities that occur on marae: How do we behave on the marae? Why is it important to consider marae customs like taking your shoes off, not sitting on tables and supporting speeches with waiata? How is tikanga Māori practised in our homes?

Each student will:

  • Write about the process or activity that they will portray on their story board, using the construction ‘Ka (verb) (subject).’
  • Draw a circular frame for each idea.
  • Draw a picture of each main point in the frame.
  • Write a caption under each frame.
  • Draw a final frame using the caption ‘Kua (verb) (subject)’, for example, ‘Kua hariru ngā manuhiri’.
  • Present the picture story to the class, or to a small group.
  • An example of captions for a story board is listed under ‘Language to use’ below.

Language to use

Example of story board captions:

Ka karanga te kuia ki ngā manuhiri. 
The elder woman calls to the visitors.

Ka eke mai ngā manuhiri.
The visitors come onto (the marae).

Ka whaikōrero te koroua.
The elder makes a formal speech.

Ka waiata te tangata whenua.
The home people sing.

Ka whaikōrero ngā manuhiri. 
The visitors make a formal speech.

Kua hariru ngā manuhiri ki ngā tāngata whenua.
The visitors have shaken hands with the home people.


Students may wish to develop their story boards into posters or pānui.

Remind students that the roles that we play on marae have an important part in our learning

Further learning

Discuss the concepts of learning that occur on the marae, from the work of ringawera to how we ‘graduate’ to other roles.

Other resources

Harawira, W. (1997). Te kawa o te marae: a guide for all marae visitors. Auckland: Reed.
Tauroa, H. & P. (1993). Te marae: a guide to customs and protocol. Auckland: Heinemann.

Rauemi tūhono