Ahikaaroa Trust was established in 2012 to support whanau and communities to live in quality sustainable housing with a focus on papakainga living.  Our trustees are experts in the fields of engineering, building, design and energy efficiency.  The trust is registered with the charities commission and legally incorporated.

Ahikaaroa promotes the use of Te Reo me ona Tikanga to as a guide to achieve our aspirations


Rueben Taipari, Chairperson

Dr. Kepa Morgan

Dr. John Cheah

Rueben Taipari - youtube
Rueben Taipari

Rueben Taipari has over 30 years building experience and more importantly a demonstrated commitment to improving the resilience of his communities, particularly of Te Taitokerau.  Rueben has had chairperson responsibilities with the Far North environment center, Taitokerau Organic Producers Ltd and Ranginui Te Whare Akoranga Reo.

Dr. John Cheah wrote his Ph.D. on Whare Uku as a sustainable option for Maori living on Maori land.  The Asian Malaysian lived with the Ahipara community while building the first Whare Uku and learned the importance of incorporating Maori values and culture into house building.

Cheah has published several works and is a practicing civil engineer.

Dr. Kepa Morgan
Dr. Kepa Morgan

Dr. Kepa Morgan is Head of Department of civil engineering at the University of Auckland.  Kepa is a full bright scholarship recipient and has published extensively his research on Whare Uku and the mauri model.  Kepa encourages engineering students to develop a social conscious to assist community development.

Kepa is from Ngati Pikiao.

Ahikaaroa Trust provides ongoing information and support to individuals, whanau and communities that is not exclusively limited to Te Taitokerau/Northland – NZ.


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.


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
  • click to pre-order our 2017-2018 Wall Planner
    click to pre-order our 2017-2018 Wall Planner

    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


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.

More information about Services, read our Blog or make an Enquiry