3 Aug 2011

Marae attracting interest from overseas rugby fans

8:48 pm on 3 August 2011

Rugby World Cup tourists from as far afield as Wales have expressed interest in staying at New Zealand's first Qualmark rated marae in Auckland.

Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier received the official quality mark earlier this year and will begin taking bookings next week.

Tracey Panapa, from the Ngapuhi marae, says they have also had inquiries from people in South Africa, England and Japan.

Most of the people who have tried to book are finding it hard to get accommodation in central Auckland, she says.

Tourists staying at the marae can expect to be welcomed by a kapa haka group and will take part in a traditional hakari, or feast, before spending the night in the communal sleeping area.

Ms Panapa says the marae is charging the tourists, but only intends to make a small profit.