The marae, near Taupo, was completely destroyed on Saturday evening. Fire Service National Maori Advisor Piki Thomas said it was a timely reminder for marae trustees to review their fire-prevention strategies.
The fire began in the dining room and spread rapidly through the whole building.
Mr Thomas said the remote location, a limited water supply and a lack of smoke alarms meant there was little chance to save the marae.
"Sadly, witnesses could do little but watch in anguish as their community's most important building went up in smoke."
He said it was likely other marae around the country were vulnerable to fire, too. "The Fire Service strongly recommends installing sprinklers to control the spread of fire and to protect taonga.
"We also recommend hard-wired smoke alarms to provide early warning, and preparing an evacuation plan - and practising it regularly so occupants can get out quickly.
"It's also important to check wiring in older buildings, to keep an eye on tamariki, to cook safely and to test fire extinguishers and hose reels."
Mr Thomas said he had gone to Mokai on Saturday and had witnessed the distress the marae's destruction had caused Ngati Te Kohera and Ngati Tuwharetoa people.
Meanwhile Eastern Bay fire safety investigator Jon Rewi, who was at the scene of two house fires on Sunday, said there had been "too many" house fires this winter.
He said the fire at the house on the corner of Devon St and Arthur St in Rotorua was being treated as accidental and looked likely to have been caused by vermin chewing through wires. The house fire in Opotiki was caused by burning material falling from an open fire onto the floor. He said a fire screen would have helped prevent that blaze.
Mr Rewi said Devon St occupant Kris Beehre would have likely died had he not had working smoke alarms.
- Marae leaders can contact their local Maori Liaison Officer on 0800 MAHUIKA (624 8452) as a first step to assessing their safety precautions.
Fire prevention and safety tips
* Call pest control if you have vermin
* Leave keys in deadbolts at night
* Have an escape plan
* Ensure you have working smoke alarms
* Use a fire screen if you have an open fire
- Fire safety investigator Jon Rewi