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Ngā Mara Ātea – A Marae-Centred Programme

Available in Hamilton

Ngā Mara Ātea – A Marae-Centred Programme is a day programme with a cultural difference for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, aged 16 to 65.

People participating in this programme are introduced to Tikanga Māori (living by Māori values) and Te Reo Māori (Māori language) in a safe and supportive whānau environment. It is a programme based on Mara – a place of nurturing – and Ātea – a place of belonging – where participants can ‘stand inside the Marae’ so that their ‘distress may cease’.

This programme provides participants with a total cultural experience where they can become a valued member of Kirikiriroa Marae.

Activities Include:

  • Learning activities for life skills, daily living, and personal hygiene
  • Individual plans with one-on-one support to achieve goals
  • Music / Dance, Hip Hop / Zumba
  • Sports and recreation
  • Te Reo Māori, Waiata and Kapa Haka – singing and action songs
  • Harakeke / Weaving–Whakairo / Carving
  • Gardening / section maintenance
  • Cooking and budgeting
  • Arts and crafts
  • Participation in marae activities such as powhiri and hui for total Marae and community involvement
  • Sensory programme – for men and women

The Benefits Provided by This Programme Include:

  • Increased confidence and social skills
  • Involvement in the community
  • Learning about other cultures
  • Exploring new skills
  • Building and maintaining friendships


The programme operates for 49 weeks of the year at Kirikiriroa Marae, 951 Wairere Drive, Hamilton East, Hamilton

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Phone: 07 856 1639


There are day or weekly rates for attending this course. There are also potential funding options. Please contact us for full details. 


Your Way | Kia Roha is contracted by Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People to deliver the Ngā Mara Ātea programme. Access to the programme is started by an assessment that is conducted by Disability Support Link, the Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination agency (NASC) located in Hamilton. If you have Enabling Good Lives or ACC Living My Life funding, you can use this to pay for the programme.

Talk to our friendly team to find out more by calling 0800 008 011 or fill in the form below.

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"Nga Mara Atea gives Krystle a space where she has whānau and she can be herself. She has learnt life skills and is supported to be independent with her community cooking classes outside of Nga Mara Atea. She loves her Kaiako and the Tikanga that they have taught her. We are lucky to have a Marae programme for our whānau."
Joan Raroa – Krystle’s mother
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