The Te Mara Story...
‘Te Mara’, (which translated from Maori means ‘The Garden’), is the home of Michael and Judy Barker and is positioned in protected native bush 300 metres above the township of Te Aroha overlooking the Hauraki Plains in the Hauraki district of New Zealand.
In purchasing the property in 1991 Michael thereby returned to the land of his ancestors, the Maori chiefs Rina and Mokena Hou and is an associate of the local iwi or Maori tribe the Ngati-Tumutumu.
Street names of Te Aroha township at the foot of the mountain such as Ema, August, Rewi, George and Lipsey reflect family names and the town’s famous soda water geyser in the Te Aroha Domain ‘Mokena’ commemorates the old chief.
Since 2002 Michael and Judy have been building their home and developing their property in association with the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust, an organisation established to enhance and protect the natural attributes of privately owned land by a way of a covenant.
As well as being a home ‘Te Mara’ also serves as a studio and workshop for Michael as an artist and craftsman and is being developed as an environmental learning centre with activities particularly associated with 'Te Aroha Mountain' (which translated from Maori means 'The Beloved Mountain') and its environs.