Kāretu Marae has three main areas. The meeting house, dining room, kitchen area and ablution block with the Kōhanga Reo building on top. The meeting house is quite small compared to modern day houses (but very warm in spirit) and would sleep 40 people comfortably, any overflows the Kōhanga Reo would be used. Ngāti Manu is not a decorated or carved house it is assumed this was due to the Christian influence (Anglican) in and around Tai Tokerau at that time. Photos of loved ones adorn our walls of the Whare Tupuna. It has always been the intention of various committees to extend or renovate the house however it has never quite worked out that way for various reasons.

This is the second dining hall for the marae. The first cooking area was located behind the old homestead just forward of the Wharenui.

During the 2nd World War it was decided to shift or build another dining hall. The hall was dedicated to the “Sons of Kāretu” who fought in this war and is aptly named “Te Kāretu Soldiers Memorial Hall’.

It was renovated and opened on the 24th February 1990 by Te Paea Rangitiaho Muru a representative of the Maori Queen. The kitchen was also renovated and has all the modern facilities required to cater for large crowds up to 200 people. A spring from the hills at the back of the marae feeds water into two holding tanks. These are utilized by the marae, Uncle Toss’s house and the homestead next to marae.

During the period that the marae was being renovated its dining room and ablutions was decided in conjunction with the National Te Kōhanga Reo Trust (TKR) to establish the Kōhanga Reo. The first problem was there was no land on the marae to put an extra building. After much deliberation approval was sought to build the Kōhanga on top of the new ablution block. The Kōhanga Reo was finally opened on the 18th February 1990 with the service conducted by the Reverends Tana Thompson and Hautika Hōri. The building was opened by the coordinator for the National Te Kōhanga Reo Trust ki Taumārere, Mrs Roimata Ruhe.