Greytown Heritage Trust
Greytown Heritage Trust byline


Read more about the news, issues and projects we have been involved with at the Trust.




Pāpāwai has become the first marae in New Zealand to be listed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga as a wāhi tūpuna. Pāpāwai Marae sits at the heart of a quiet Māori community, five kilometres east of Greytown, in South Wairarapa.  It is a place imbued with the mana of its rangatira (chiefs) and tūpuna (ancestors) and is associated with the surrounding papakāinga (village).  The whare tūpuna (ancestral house) is Hikurangi, and the whare kai (dining room) is Te Waipounamu.  The marae is where the hapū and iwi of Pāpāwai, led by Ngāti Moe, Ngāti Kauhi, Ngāti Pateika, Ngāti Muretu and Ngāti Kahukura-awhitia, all Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, give life to the concepts of kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, whakapono, tikanga, and kawa.

Historically, this was most evident in their hosting of large multi-iwi Kotahitanga hui in the 1890s and early 1900s.  These nationally significant events were attended by thousands of Māori and by leading Pākehā political figures, in order to discuss critical social, political and cultural issues.


Pāpāwai had a national Māori newspaper, Te Puke ki Hikurangi, which published from 1897 to 1913. It promoted Kotahitanga, Treaty of Waitangi issues, and a range of cultural and political matters. This newspaper was managed for a time by Niniwa-i-te-rangi, a mana wāhine, a woman of high standing in the community who, working with her cousin Tamahau Mahupuku, played a leading role in Kotahitanga and at Pāpāwai.


Although the largest parliament buildings were lost to damage from a storm in 1934, the marae buildings and unique carved figures of rangatira standing around its perimeter (whakapakoko) still remain.  The whakapakoko reflect the unique tikanga of Pāpāwai.  The marae and its community continue to carry its legacy today.

Papawai news from Greytown Heritage Trust


Pāpāwai Marae is vested in elected trustees who administer the marae on behalf of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa. The marae trustees set out their broad aspirations to ensure Pāpāwai Marae is nationally recognised and to restore and upgrade the marae and its taonga.


Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga will be providing further technical advice to assist the marae in the conservation of these important taonga and explore other ways to express their kaitiakitanga and share their stories. This article appeared in the Heritage NZ newsletter August 2019 and has been reprinted with the publisher’s permission.


Above: Amiria Te Whaiti and Linda Tyler at Papawai, October 2019.


Every year, the Trust invites an eminent New Zealander to present his/her research at this public event in October. The theme is different every year, but heritage is always the common thread in the presentations. The events are always highly enlightening, stimulating and therefore very well received.  You are invited to browse the presentations below.

2016    Gareth Winter, Wairarapa

2017    David Clarke, Arrowtown

2018    Jock Philips, Wellington

2019    Linda Tyler, Auckland

2020    Jeremy Salmond (see right and our Home page)


Sunday 15 March, from 3pm – 5.30pm


Our fundraising event which coincided with the Trust’s jubilee was held in brilliant weather in the grounds of Cobblestones Museum on Sunday 15 March.  A huge thank you to all those who helped make the day such a success; the wonderful artworks sold well, thanks to our generous bidders; the presentation of an Honorary Life Membership to founding trustee Alisoun Werry was a highlight. Nga mihi nui.

Visitors at Cobblestones enjoy the Garden Party
A coupel enjoying the Garden Party at Cobblestones
Alisoun Werry receives her Honorary Life Membership of The Greytown Heritage Trust
A busy volunteer at the Garden Party
Guests enjoy the Greytown Heritage Trust's Garden Party and Art Auction
A volunteer working at the Garden Party


Jeremy Salmond speaking to Greytown Heritage Trust


The Greytown Heritage Trust signage team continues its work on developing new signs for many of Greytown's historic properties and sights. Some existing signs are being updated. Many of our visitors to our town want to know more about our rich history.


The introduction of QR codes will enable those who are keen to know more, to dive deeper into our website and uncover more historical detail about the property where the heritage sign is displayed. We’ve now developed a heritage walking map, along with QR walking signs along Main St and on the noticeboard next to the Workingmen’s Club.  Also along Main St, locals and visitors will be able to read about the history of buildings which formerly stood on six different sites and have now been replaced by modern structures.



Our QR codes are enabling those who are keen to know more, to dive deeper into our website and uncover more historical detail about any property where a heritage sign is displayed. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a mobile phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it into your mobile phone.


The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, modern 'smart' phones can do the same - just open up your camera and hover over the QR code and with one click it will take you to more information. The QR code above will take you direct to the Greytown Heritage Trust website.


In future each property of the 40 that already have a heritage trust sign will feature a QR code in the bottom left hand corner which will take you to more detailed information about the property and its history.


Three of many remarkable buildings in Greytown’s Heritage Precinct which have been restored by their owners with both historic integrity and street appeal in mind (clockwise from top right): Wakefield Antiques, WCM Legal and Oddfellows Hall.  The hall is now home to a fabrics store, with the interior fit-out cleverly weaving old with modern.

Greytown's WCM Legal, Main St, Greytown
Restored Wakefield Antiques on Greytown's main street
Greytown's Manchester Unity building
Maude fabric shop in Greytown
Restoted Oddfellows Hall, Greytown


© Greytown Heritage Trust 2017 | P O Box 169 Greytown Wairarapa 5712 |  Site by BoulderBay Design