Kōpinga (which means a “grove of Kōpi trees”) Marae was opened in January 2005.
It is a base for all Moriori on Rēkohu and a welcoming, peaceful place for visitors to experience Moriori hospitality.
Kōpinga is a tribute to Moriori ancestors’ legacy of peace.
The central Pou (Rangitokona), which sits on the Tūahu in the centre of the House is a dedication to them and the sacrifices they made in holding fast to the covenant of peace in the face of the greatest provocation they had ever faced.
The main whare is called “Hokomenetai”, which means to gather together in peace.
The design of the marae is based on traditional values and concepts but built with contemporary materials.
The pentagonal design is inspired by the 5 sided basalt columns on Rēkohu where Moriori made their adzes and other tools.
The shape also reflects that Moriori traditionally met in large circular open air gatherings among Kōpi trees (such as those at Te Awapatiki).
The ‘arms’ extending either side of the main whare (for kitchen/dining on the left and office space and bathrooms/laundry on the right) represent the arms of a carved ‘rākau momori’ tree figure of a human as seen on old tree carvings.
From the air the building looks like a large hopo or albatross in flight.
The hopo is culturally significant to Moriori as a source of food, but also a source of spiritual inspiration.
Moriori wore the feathers of the hopo in their hair and beards as symbols of peace.
Stone patu were also made in the shape of young hopo.
Kōpinga is a 5-sided building so there is no designated space for visitors or home people.
People staying the night can sleep on whatever side of the whare that they prefer.
The marae can sleep up to 85 people comfortably, although it is recommended that 60 people is the upper limit for school groups.
The marae is centrally heated and is always warm, whatever the weather. There are well-appointed bathrooms, laundry facilities and a commercial sized kitchen and dining area, as well as wet-room for processing seafood.
Wheelchair access is provided for most areas of the marae.
Outside footwear must be removed as you enter the marae.
The marae is a non-smoking and alcohol free venue.
Have a look at the official Moriori website (www.moriori.co.nz) for more photos of the facilities and people enjoying Kōpinga
Much of this information was sourced from www.moriori.co.nz