50 Bridge Road

Te Aitarakihi Society Inc
P.O. Box 928
Timaru 7940

(03) 684 7906
(027) 684 7906


Te Aitarakihi Multicultural Centre in Timaru was established as a place for all cultures, “Te Wāhi Karanga Mō Ngā Iwi Katoa”. A gathering place for all within a Te Ao Māori kaupapa. A place to embrace the land. A place to be nurtured by the land. A place for hui whakangahau, a place for tangi, a place to take our sadness and our celebrations. It is a place for our children, for Rangatahi to stand tall, to be aware of their roots and heritage.
To promote, encourage and support taha Māori and Tikanga Māori with regard to the language, culture, history and traditions.
To promote, encourage and give support to the economic welfare of Tangata Whenua.
To promote, encourage and support all things Māori with regard to education, health, housing, land, marae, welfare, women’s affairs and justice.
To promote, encourage and support better understanding between Māori and all cultures in Timaru.

Te Aitarakihi

Kaiwhakahononga Hapori
Community Connector Service

Kaiwhakahononga Hapori (Community Connector)
We are avaliable to tautoko/support you and your whānau with:

  • Tautoko whānau access online services and fill out government forms/applications.
  • Make appointments with service providers
  • Refer whānau to appropriate agencies
  • Link whānau in with a range of services depending on needs
  • Kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face), hui with specialised agencies 
  • We can meet at your Whare, Marae, wherever you or your whanau feel comfortable
  • Gather imformation and promote the service avaliable at Te Aitarakihi
  • Meet regularly with the Community and government agencies
  • We have our Kaiwhakahaere who can support with Whakapapa
Our Values
Provide an affordable community-based Marae-a-Iwi (marae for all cultures and iwi) which can provide a cultural experience and education to whanau, schools, groups and organisations

MANAAKITANGA – Nurturing and respecting all mankind

WHANAUNGATANGA – Building strong relationships with whānau, hapu and iwi and the wider Māori community

WAIRUATANGA – Respecting the needs of whanau by providing a place to rejoice, mourn the passing of loved one and spiritual harmony.

WHAKAMANAMANA – Upholding the integrity of Māori culture through the development of strong relationships with the wider community and other ethnic groups.

Te Aitarakihi Society Incorporated
Te Aitarakihi History
Te Aitarakihi is the land at the end of the 90-mile beach, just south of Waitarakao (Washdyke Estuary). Before the land was eroded by the sea, Waitarakao was a large lagoon, with the mouth flowing out to the sea at Dashing Rocks, near the outlet of the stream known as Taitarakihi. The area is part of the long history of exploration and settlement of Te Waipounamu (South Island). The area is part of the long history of exploration and settlement of Te Waipounamu (South Island).

According to tradition Rākaihautū came to Te Waipounamu from Hawaiki over 1000 years ago in the canoe “Uruao” and landed at the Boulder Bank, Nelson, at much the same time Kupe reached Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island). While his son, Te Rakihouia took some of the party down the east coast, Rākaihautū led the remainder through the interior to Foveaux Strait with his magic “Kō” (digging stick). Rākaihautū dug the Southern Lakes (Te Kari Kari o Rākaihautū).

Te Rakihouia proceeded south in “Uruao” to Te Aitarakihi where he built an eel weir (the posts he left behind became known as “Te Pou o Rakihouia”), to wait for his father’s return. Rākaihautū returned up the east coast and met up with Te Rakihouia on the stones of Te Aitarakihi. The two parties proceeded on and made their headquarters at Banks Peninsula. Rākaihautū was buried at Wai Kākahi. Te Uruao lies as part of the Waitaki riverbed near Wai Kākahi, South Canterbury.

Te Aitarakihi Society Incorporated
Our Philosophy
To preserve our Tikanga Māori in an environment that allows the expression of;
  • Tangihanga
  • Pōwhiri
  • Kapa Haka
  • Te Reo Māori
  • Manaakitanga.
Te Aitarakihi