1 Dec 2022

Whakanuia te maioha a Te Rangitawaea

Hoki mai ki te kaenga

This celebration provides the opportunity for tribal members and their manuhiri to welcome in the New Year and the first rays of Tama-Nui-Te-Ra aloft our sacred mountain. It is here among these nine spectacularly carved whakairo, created for Year 2000 Millennium celebrations, where a karanga will welcome in the New Year, followed by a karakia, haka and waiata. At the conclusion of the ceremony korero will be provided about the whakairo, who represent Maui and his whanau, before everyone descends back down the Maunga to the Pakihiroa Woolshed for a BBQ breakfast.

For first-timers or returning attendees, this uniquely cultural and spiritual experience begins with a 3.30am start, assembling at the Pakihiroa Woolshed. Four-wheel drive vehicles are a necessity to make the 45 minute (or 10.5 km) journey up the Maunga where participants gather at Te Takapau a Maui Tikitiki a Taranga.


3.30am            Assemble at Pakihiroa Woolshed flat approximately 1.75km along Pakihiroa Road

Click here to see a photo of the area

Health & Safety | Register & Vehicle checks

4.15am            Depart for Te Takapau a Maui

5.00am            Assemble in parking area adjacent to Te Takapau a Maui

5.15am            Dawn Ceremony commences

Karanga |Karakia |Haka | Whakatau

6.30am            Descend from Te Takapau a Maui

7.30am            Barbeque breakfast at Pakihiroa Woolshed


Due to health and safety requirements, for all those wishing to participate, you will be required to agree to the following rules:

  1. Registrations close 12noon on Friday 30 December.  No late registrations will be accepted. 

  2. Register your intention to attend the Dawn Ceremony with to our email dawnceremony@tronp.org.nz  More information will be forwarded to complete your registration.

  3.  Participation will be limited to the drivers and passengers of the first fifty registered 4WD vehicles. Your 4WD must have All Terrain or Mud Grip tyres with plenty of tread.

  4. Registered  vehicles will be issued with a unique vehicle accreditation. This must displayed on vehicle dashboard upon entry.  NO VEHICLE ACCREDITATION DISPLAYED, NO ENTRY. 

  5. Please be on time.  Assemble at the Pakihiroa Woolshed flat, Pakihiroa Road, at 3:30am for Health/Safety and Register/Vehicle checks.  Entrance to Pakihiroa Woolshed will be restricted to service vehicles from 4:15am onwards. 

  6. The weather on our Maunga is very changeable. Please ensure that you have the appropriate clothing and footwear. 

  7. Organise your own 4WD transport that meets our requirements listed below. 

  8. Participants must comply with these rules and all instructions issued by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Trustee Limited and its staff and contractors


The track to the Maui Whakairo is for 4WD vehicles only. It is a very steep farm track with large drop-offs so extreme care whilst driving is required.


  1. Your driver must be experienced in 4WD off-road driving.

  2. All 4WD vehicles must be road legal – current warrant of fitness, registration and road user charges (if diesel).

  3. High/Low gear ratio – low ratio is required in some steeper sections.

  4. All Terrain or Mud Grip tyres with plenty of tread.

  5. Enough seat belts for the number of passengers you intend to transport.

If your vehicle and driver do not meet the requirements above, or if you do not agree to the rules, DO NOT JOIN this trip.  Your registration will not be accepted.  Please do not put yourself or your whanau at risk.

Please note that the dawn ceremony is dependent predominantly on weather conditions. If the weather forecast is not suitable, the organising committee will determine whether to cancel and those who have registered will be notified on the afternoon of the 30th December.

For weather updates check the links below.

For further information, contact:
Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Trustee Ltd
Rapaea Parata 021 863 114
Email: dawnceremony@tronp.org.nz