Te Miringa te Kakara

The Crosshouse built in 1887

Te Miringa Te Kakara

This famous house was built on a site used by Maori since the 1600's.  In 1887 Te Ra Karepe and Rangawhenua constructed the unique cross building. It was designed to match a house Ngaharakeke, of Ngati Pare, saw in her dreams. It was used as a Whare Wananga or House of Learning.


It was rebuilt sometime after 1932. In 1958 members of The Archaeological Group of the Waikato Historical Society studied the site and in 1983 the house was destroyed by fire. 


Martin Doutre claims the crosshouse was built by a pre-Maori Celtic Culture. These claims are false. The building's history is well documented in letters, Maori Land Court records and first hand testimony from the late 1860's.


" Pao Miere

In the Rohe Pōtae o Maniapoto (the King Country), another movement developed as protest to surveying. In 1887 Te Rā Karepe and Rangawhenua directed the construction of a cruciform house named Te Miringa Te Kakara, built on the site of an earlier house of the same name. This later house was burnt down by its keeper in 1983. The faith was called Pao Miere (refuse honey), referring to the sweet taste of money paid for land. The teachings were a mixture of Pai Mārire and the worship of Io, the Māori supreme deity acknowledged by the Kīngitanga. The movement was strongly associated with peace."

Te Miringa Te Kakara, about 1905. Photograph by Leslie Hinge. Auckland Institute and Museum

This image of Te Miringa Te Kakara meeting house was taken in the 1920's showing considerable damage.


Te Miringa Te Kakara meeting house, near Tiroa and Bennydale. Godber, Albert Percy, 1875-1949 :Collection of albums, prints and negatives. Ref: APG-1941-1/4-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

This photo was taken in 1931 before it was restored  in the 1940's.


Ferrar, Hartley Travers, d 1932 :Niu pole and Te Miringa Te Kakara meeting house, Tiroa. Best, Elsdon, 1856-1931 :Photographs. Ref: PAColl-4249-03. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

The building was in a rundown state in the 1930's, however, it was renovated sometime between 1930 and 1983.

"Pao Miere' meaning 'Refuse Honey', or the sweet taste of land money. In 1887 two tohunga, Te Ra Karepe and Rangawheiiua, directed the construction at Tiroa of a cruciform-shaped house, which became their centre of teaching.


Te Miringa Te Kakara, about 1905. Photograph by Leslie Hinge. Auckland Institute and Museum

It was called Te Miringa Te Kakara, the name being taken from an older house of learning, dedicated to the worship of lo, which had been built on the same site in the 1860s. The movement combined elements of the worship of lo, the Mdori supreme deity accepted by the Kingitanga, with some Pai Mai-ire beliefs. It is said that the four doors were to admit the four winds of the world to iiiiity. Niu poles were erected outside the four doorways. "


Ancestral Voices Maori Prophet Leaders - Judith Binney
in The Oxfored Illustrated History of New Zealand 1990, Sinclair, Keith (ed.), 
Oxford Univ. Pr., Auckland. ISBN 0-19-558209-8


An image from 1983 before it was destroyed by fire. 

An interrior shot of Miringa Te Karaka after it was restored and before it was destoryed by fire in 1983.


The interrior shows it was constructed using the same construction techniques as other houses of the same period. 

Circa 1982

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