Our History


The History of Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust and Te Puna o Te Ora

The Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust was established in 1997 by a group of  Kaumatua that identified a need for Kaumatua culturally focussed and accessible health, social and community based activities and services.


The overarching aim of Rauawaawa is to enhance the quality of life and well-being of Kaumatua. Rauawaawa is a ‘not for profit’, registered charity (CC20570) with donee status. We provide services, programmes and activities to over 600 Kaumatua within the Hamilton boundary.


Since 1998, Rauawaawa has been based at a facility that occupies over one acre of land in Colombo Street, Frankton, Hamilton called “Te Puna o Te Ora”. This year Rauawaawa celebrates 19 years of service delivery, but Te Puna o Te Ora celebrates 75 years of service to the community.


The lack of accommodation for Maori in Hamilton during the 1930’s lay the grounds for active members and organisations in the community to advocate for the establishment of a Maori hostel. The birth of the complex Te Puna o Te Ora was initiated in 1938 with the incorporation of the Waikato Maori Hostel Society (WMHS). Foundation members specified in the WMHS Trust Deed were Princess Te Puea, Eliza Oraihi Whatu, The Hamilton Borough Council, the Waikato Hospital Board, the Hamilton Rotary Club, the Waikato, Waipa, Raglan, Kawhia, Otorohanga, Matamata, Piaka and Waitomo County Councils, the Te Kuiti Maori Association, Sisters Frances and Nicholl, Dr Turbott, Mr Valder, Mr Findlay, Mr Dillicar and many more significant change makers to the history of Maoridom in Hamilton.


Te Puna o Te Ora has served Maori from throughout Aotearoa during its history, firstly as an accommodation facility for Maori moving in to Kirikiriroa from rural areas for work (1941 – 1970), then as an accommodation and training centre for Trade Trainees (1971 – 1990). After that initiative ended Anchorage inhabited Te Puna o Te Ora and ran its residential alcohol and mental health service (1991 – 1997). After Anchorage, Rauawaawa acquired the management of Te Puna o Te Ora. The Waikato Maori Hostel Society then led by Dr Hare Puke, a renowned Kaumatua gifted the land and assets of Te Puna o Te Ora to Rauawaawa on 30th May 2006.


Since taking up guardianship of Te Puna o Te Ora, Rauawaawa has with the support of Hamilton City Council, Lotteries, Trust Waikato, Wel Energy Trust, DV Bryant Trust, Gallaghers, Southern Trust, Norah Howell Trust and many many more generous contributors completed partial upgrades to make the facility more suitable for Kaumatua. Although Te Puna o Te Ora is no longer an accommodation complex it continues to be a gathering point for Kaumātua and their whanau.


 Click here for a  presentation or here for a brochure on the History of Te Puna o Te Ora kindly compiled by Tuti Nikora, Dr Mary Simpson and Dr Sandy Morrison through the University of Waikato.




Ph: 07 847 6980

Fax: 07 847 6981

Em: reception@rauawaawa.co.nz




50 Colombo Street, Frankton



Wow what a blessing to our kaumatua. So inspiring, and so timely.

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Another great day and another wonderful experience at Rauawaawa Today!

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