Kōpinga Marae (meaning ‘Grove of Kopi Trees’ where Moriori would hold large gatherings), was opened in January 2005. It stands as a tribute to the Moriori ancestors who believed so strongly in their ancient covenant of peace that they were not prepared to break with it when their Islands were invaded in 1835.
The design was inspired by the five-sided basalt columns, where Moriori once made their adzes and other tools from the volcanic basalt. From the air the marae is shaped like an albatross in flight – a bird of great cultural significance to Moriori. Today it is used as the base for the revival of Moriori language, cultural traditions, wānanga, community and school activities. Visitors must pre-book as part of a scheduled group tour.