Marae Procedure (Kawa)
1 The Beginning of a Marae Hui
2. Karanga (call)
Normally a woman from the host side calls first to indicate to the manuhiri to move forward on to the marae. This is normally answered by a woman's response from the manuhiri. It is a shrill high pitched call of welcome and acknowledgment. It can also be an identifying call from the manuhiri indicating where the group has come from. At a tangi where groups follow one another this becomes more crucial.
3 Manuhiri Movement
While the host will stand during the karanga, the manuhiri move forward to the puku (centre) of the marae (about 20-30 metres) in front of the meeting house. Before the welcome can proceed, the manuhiri must have the tapu (or alien element) in them removed by a tradition ritual.
4 Acknowledgment to those who have passed on
Once the manuhiri have approached some 20-30 metres in from of the wharenui, the pause and with the tangata whenua bow their heads for two or three minutes in remembrance. Immediately after, the tangata whenua will sit and at a given sign, the manuhiri move to take up the seats provided on the right hand side of the marae, with the speakers sitting in the front row seats.
5. Whaikorero procedure
There are two methods by which the speakers interact.
6 Waikorero Format
While there are a specific variations there is a common pattern. The following is a pattern of a whaikorero of a visiting speaker. The host speaker follows the same format except that he rarely addresses the house buy emphasises a warm welcome.
7. Presenting a koha (money gifts)
Normally the last speaker on the manhiri side presents the koha, A koha is an amount of money collected from the manuhiri. It is money of love and respect to the tangata whenua for their impending hospitality. It is used to offset the costs of accommodation, foods, electricity, laundry expenses, breakages and an additional amount for any further development the local people may wish to make on the marae.
It is normally the prerogative of the manuhiri to decide how much to give and an assessment can be made on the basis of how much is costs to accommodate people per day for the number of days they are staying. It is also the obligation of the manuhiri to lay a koha down no matter how long the visitors remain even if it is for one or two hours, The moneyed society around the marae is not built on aroha and the marae requires financial support to maintain it.
Many schools have not appreciated these points and consequently local people have had to take from their own pockets to offset the costs. To increase the mana of the manuhiri it should be remembered that the assessment of the size of the koha should err on the liberal side.
The koha, in an envelope, is laid down in front of the manuhiri on the marae. Ensure that it has coins in it so it will not blow away. Do not put your prized mere down on it, as has been done, because you are presenting the mere as well to the marae.
A local person will pick it up. It is normally accompanied by a chant of gratitude.
8. The hongi
The tangata whenua then will indicate to the manuhiri to come in a certain direction, in line, to shake hands and to hongi. Generally the left hand is placed on each others shoulders and in the case of the Raukawa tribe for instance it is two presses of the nose, In other areas it is one nose press, eg Taitokerau. In any encounter situation the hongi brings all the senses into close contact - the touch, the sight, the hearing, the smell and even as a total whole the taste of human contact.
The formal welcome and reply protocol are over and the tapu has been removed form the outsider.
It is at this point and with the inevitable meal to follow that the tangata whenua and manuhiri merge as one and become the whanau (family) of the marae for the occasion. They are therefore addressed in the meeting house as the whanau and all that the word family implies especially in terms of interpersonal relationships. Even in welcoming newly arrived visitors thereafter they are considered as part of the tangata whenua and they assist in the welcoming of further arrivals.
It must be stressed, however, procedure on any marae is GOVERNED BY LOCAL MARAE OR TRIBAL KAWA.