Mel Opie and Sarita McLean

Rotary NZ

Our District Governor Sarita wanted to have a conference with a difference. With Ōnuku Marae as the venue, she and her conference committee, after months of planning, certainly achieved that.

We were blessed with good weather at just the right times for the arrival of 130 attendees on Friday evening. While waiting outside people could take in the scenery and ambience. We were called onto the marae early as the welcome-on cannot be conducted in darkness. Many people spoke of the warmth and atmosphere of proceedings and of the excellent offering of kai to end the impressive powhiri. Just to mention too, that the food (kai) was excellent on every occasion, thank you.

The conference committee were committed to the theme “the one world of Rotary making difference” underlined with celebrating our cultural diversity which was one of the key reasons for holding the conference at a marae. It was also a chance for our Rotary family to learn a little more about our shared cultural heritage. Thank you to everyone at Ōnuku for making our conference a success; this certainly will be a conference that everyone will talk about for years to come!

Wayne Heath

OHS Consultants Ltd

Thank you for the opportunity over these past 3 years to assist Onuku Runanga establish a strong and robust health and safety management system that helps provide a safe environment for whānau and manuhiri while at Onuku Marae.

Keep up the good work, for as you will be aware, safety in the community is not about a destination where we arrive and relax; rather about a journey where we stay alert and pro-actively pursue continual improvement.

DOC Testimonial

Andy Thompson

Operations Manager

Department of Conservation


DOC and Onuku are working together for a better environment.  Both Onuku and DOC work together on our marine monitoring programme both inside and just outside the harbour. 

Onuku named and blessed the DOC boat ‘Kahukura’ and it’s a delight to work together on the Waitangi Day celebrations.  DOC really values the strong working relationship we have with the folks at Onuku.

I just wanted to say a huge 'ka pai' for hosting us at Onuku Marae over the last few days.

The tikunga was fantastic,  For us it struck the right balance between formal, pushing us to grow our knowledge, but still making it comfortable, welcoming and allowing us to try and try again when it wasn’t quite coming together.

The staff Mary, Peter, Toby and Rae were absolutely fantastic, it was really nice to spend some time with them, they were good teachers as well. 

The venue is brilliant, not only the facilities but being able to look our the windows and see so much of your home but also the areas we manage make it very meaningful and it was a really good insight for our staff from other districts.

The kai – unbelievable! 

Thanks so much once again!

Melbourne University

Professor Marie Connolly

University of Melbourne

In July, Aboriginal students and staff from the University of Melbourne visited Ōnuku Marae to engage with and learn from kaumatua, and the rich local stories of history and place. We had a splendid time at the marae, and were warmly and generously welcomed.

We felt very privileged and the visit was a highlight of the team’s visit to Aotearoa. Cultural exchanges such as this are immensely valuable and we are grateful for the experience.