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Mihi Whakatau – welcome ceremony off the Marae

A mihi whakatau is a speech (or speeches) of greeting made during an official welcome to acknowledge those gathered together for a particular purpose. While a pōwhiri is a ritual of encounter used on the marae, a mihi whakatau is reserved for a welcome which is conducted off the marae (for example, to open an event or conference at the University). There is an understanding between the University and the three local Papatipu Rūnanga that in instances where there is a welcome for manuhiri (guests) which occurs off the marae, a mihi whakatau will be performed. In the South, a pōwhiri remains the ritual of encounter preserved for the marae only.