Boost for marae at the centre of communities

Published on Friday, 5 July 2019

Marae around the country will benefit from boosted initiatives to upgrade their buildings, bolster their emergency kits and expand their work to preserve Māori culture, Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta said.

The Government has invested an extra $12 million over four years to expand the Oranga Marae programme, as it supports whānau-led development of marae.

Minister Mahuta made the announcement alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Rehua Marae in Christchurch on July 4, a marae well-known for its key role in supporting Cantabrians following the Christchurch earthquakes.

The investment will:

  • Expand the existing Oranga Marae programme for marae development
  • Provide additional support for marae to be prepared for disaster and other emergency responses
  • Provide support for marae environmental responses such as zero waste goals

“Marae are centres of Māori identity, language, traditional knowledge and whānau wellbeing,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“My focus as Minister for Māori Development is whānau-led initiatives to develop and strengthen their connections to their heritage, identity, mātauranga, and building wider social and community wellbeing and resilience.

“These initiatives will strengthen whānau and communities, not only by investing in the physical restoration and revitalisation of marae buildings but also the protection, preservation and future sustainability of the culture and heritage of marae.”

“It means more opportunities for the use of te reo Māori and engagement with te ao Māori across the country, as part of the progress of Maihi Karauna.”

Marae around the country also often play a vital role in supporting communities all over Aotearoa during times of emergency.

For example, Whakatū Marae in Nelson opened the doors to everyone needing support, shelter or a sanctuary during the Nelson Fires earlier this year.

“The Government backs strong and healthy communities. Whānau are the fundamental building blocks of Māori society. If whānau thrive so will hapū, iwi, Māori and communities throughout Aotearoa,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

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