E Pā Ana Ki A Mātou

About us

Manawhenua.com is a website to help our whanau to connect to their identity as Maori, as whanau, hapu, iwi. This is to help our whanau connect back to their roots, their whenua, their tupuna. The holistic vision of Manawhenua.com to address the physical (whenua), the mental (tangata) and the spiritual (atua) parts of our Maoritanga is our motivation.

Rueben Taipari; Nga Puhi, Te Rarawa, Tuhoe

Environmentalist, Community Leader, Organic Producer and Builder

Tena koutou katoa, ko Rueben Taipari taku ingoa, ko Ngapuhi, Ngatikahu me Te Rarawa, ko Tuhoe oku iwi. I whanau au i Te Muriwhenua, i tipu au i Te Tai Rawhiti, e noho ana e au i Te Taitokerau.

I have lived on our whenua in Ahipara for 30 years, practising organic gardening with my father Herepete growing kumara, peruperu, bananas, wormfarming, pinetrees, drystock cattle and many other varieties of products for the local markets. It was about independence, more than money, why we raised to work hard.

Herepete taught me the basics of Maramataka to grow by the Maori moon calendar which is passed down through generations.

10 years overseas in the building, transport and event management industries has given me a wide range of experiences to give me a wide range of skills and perspectives. I am continually learning new skills everyday.

This mixture of professions, dialects, cultures and philosophies gives me an interesting perspective of the world. My tupuna embraced, the world and its innovative technologies, without losing their own proud identity. I hope to emulate them and pass these experiences onto to our next generation. Hence the creation of this website, to share my alternative perspectives of the world with you.

I hope there is something in here of value to you.

Tihei mauriora

Rueben Taipari


Our visions is to build 1000 Whare Uku | Rammed Earth Homes


To provide whanau and communities with the support to navigate the building process and build quality sustainable homes for their whanau.

To support whanau to occupy whenua Maori in a sustainable and planned approach to ensure tamariki have a safe and healthy upbringing based on Tikanga Maori values.

  • Development of whanau plans that include housing aspirations
  • Facilitation of whanau hui and pros and cons of establishing trusts
  • Matauranga Maori used to connect whanau through whakapapa, history and land
  • On-site visits to provide advice on papakainga development
  • Infrastructure- Roading, water, waste and power knowledge
  • Energy – solar power, wind, hydro, and mauri model advice
  • Support to navigate external agencies – local government (councils), Maori land court, banks
  • Planning support to receive building and resource consents
  • Financial literacy training and alternative economy knowledge
  • Permaculture and organic production advice for whanau and whenua Maori.
  • Interior design for inter-generational living and hazard proofed
  • Housing, land and whenua efficiency
  • Rammed earth housing experts in construction, training and design
  • Geotechnical earth testing
  • Maramataka Maori template for planning and productivity
  • Architect and engineering plans for 1, 3 and 5-bed rammed earth homes
  • Templates – mainstream planning and financial models
  • Formwork to build rammed earth housing
  • Mobile soil testing laboratory
  • Access to building machinery and equipment
  • Unaiki Mare papakainga – Ahipara 3 rammed earth homes with independent energy sources
  • Motu whanau, Pukepoto – 5-bedroom home for whanau in need
  • Hepi whanau, Whatuwhiwhi – 4-bedroom home
  • Maunuel whanau, Whatuwhiwhi – 1 bedroom home
  • Popata whanau, Oturu – for papakainga
  • Mataparua whanau trust, Motatau – Roading and solar power

Advisory groups

Ahikaaroa Trust has a Kaumatua Kuia advisory group to ensure we maintain Tikanga Māori and work with whanau within a Maori world view.

We have a team of expert practitioners, who provide advice and support to our trust.  These consist of engineers, architects, planners, energy experts, trade technicians, Roading and infrastructure specialists.  We have extensive networks with alternative building and energy efficiency experience. This information is voluntary in support of our kaupapa.


Ahikaaroa has presented at all three Maori housing conferences 2010-2016 on sustainable living on whenua Maori. The trust participated in the productivity commissions housing report 2012 and recommendations towards the Maori housing strategy 2014.

The trust advocated to Treasury on behalf of the Northland Housing Forum in Moerewa 2014 for Te Taitokerau to receive 10 million per year for housing (as reported Northland Age).

Ahikaaroa is active on a national level advising communities on housing on Maori land and energy efficiency.

In Te Taitokerau, Ahikaaroa travels regularly to meet with whanau wanting housing and land advice and to participate in regional hui.
Te Hiku, Hokianga, Whangaroa, Whangarei and Ngati Hine are some of our communities we work with.

We have a relationship with our people and have first-hand knowledge what is happening in our region.

Ahikaaroa Trust has a following of over 3000 subscribers. Our Facebook video Living off the Grid on Whenua Māori received over 207,000 views. Our other videos have averaged over 80,000 views. The trusts audience is 70% Maori. We respond to emails, private messages and with regular follow ups, ensure whanau are supported during each stage of their building.

Ahikaaroa Trust work is regularly featured in the Northern News, The Northern Age, Te Hiku media, Te Kaea, Te Karere, Maori TV, Indigenous documentaries including appearances on the Nigel Lata show featuring housing.

Whakapā Mai

Get In Touch


22 Bahama Place, Parahaki, Whangarei, 0112, Aotearoa