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Katherine Bay has two Māori marae (meeting house) at Kawa and Motairehe.
The Marae are surrounded by the last remaining lands of the Ngati Rehua tribe on Aotea Great Barrier Island.
It was the Ngati Rehua people that assisted with the rescue of survivors and recovery of bodies when the SS Wairarapa ran aground just north of the settlement at Miners Head on October 29, 1894.
There is a grave site at Onepoto in Kawa which marks the final resting place for some of those drowned in what is New Zealands worst maritime disaster.