Marae Digital Connectivity is a multi-agency initiative to help more marae connect to the internet.
Marae have been a cornerstone of Māori society for generations. They are a place where Māori customs and traditions are explored and can be challenged and debated. Significant rituals and formalities, such as welcoming visitors, meeting inter-tribal obligations, or farewelling those who have passed on, can be performed. The marae is a wāhi tapu, a 'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning.
About Marae Digital Connectivity
In February 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the Government will invest $21 million to ensure even more New Zealanders in the regions can access modern and reliable digital services in their community. This builds on $80 million in funding already announced from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) – including the expansion of the Rural broadband Initiative phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Blackspot Fund (MBSF) programmes, as well as projects to boost connectivity in Southland and on the West Coast. RBI2 will increase broadband coverage to parts of rural New Zealand that have not previously had access and will connect marae to broadband now available in their area.
Marae Digital Connectivity will further assist whānau, hapū and iwi to achieve their goals and aspirations including social inclusion, cultural connections and participation in the wider community. Marae Digital Connectivity may also offer alternative ways to access health, social and education services.
Other benefits of marae Digital Connectivity include:
- an enhanced ability for Māori to access key services and skills necessary for improved economic participation
- alternative ways for rangatahi and whānau to learn the skills for a modern workforce
- increased productivity of local and emerging business ventures
- the ability to leverage tourism visitations for economic growth
- connecting with whānau living out of the region and overseas
This opportunity is available for rural marae in the following regions:
- Te Tai Tokerau
- Tāmaki Makaurau
- Te Tai Hauāuru
- Te Waipounamu
How Marae Digital Connectivity works and eligibility
As there is limited funding for the marae Digital Connectivity project, completing the four-stage process does not guarantee that your marae will receive funding under the marae Digital Connectivity project. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (“MBIE”), The Provincial Development Unit (“PDU”), Te Puni Kōkiri (“TPK”) and Crown Infrastructure Partners (“CIP”) will make the final decisions regarding funding.
The four-stage assessment process is explained below:
|Stage 1||Māori Reservation Status|
|Stage 2||Consent Form|
|Stage 3||Social and Cultural Readiness Survey|
|Stage 4||Technical and Principles Assessment|
To be eligible your marae will need to be a Māori Reservation that has been set aside for the purposes of a marae under section 338 Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. The Māori Land Court is responsible for this process and you can find more information about how land is set aside as a Māori Reservation here:
Here is a list of marae that Te Puni Kōkiri is currently aware of. The list is not exhaustive and is provided for information only. The list may also include marae that are not Māori Reservations. The list will be updated regularly.
All that is required at this stage however, is to identify which marae you are applying on behalf of, and the name of the Trust that administers the Māori Reservation. Complete the Consent Form, Stage 2 and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your marae is not listed but is a Māori Reservation under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act, we suggest you email email@example.com to let us know. Please include the name of your marae, a contact name and phone number.
All eligible marae will need to complete a Consent Form [PDF, 218KB].
Two responsible Trustees of the Māori Reservation Trust will need to sign the Consent Form, indicating the marae would like to be part of the marae Digital Connectivity project.
By signing the Consent Form, you are indicating that your marae is willing to:
- Participate in the marae Digital Connectivity project;
- Permit marae Digital Connectivity project Service Providers access to marae land and buildings, to install the necessary hardware equipment to complete the marae Digital Connectivity project; and
- Take responsibility for the ongoing management of the installed equipment, manage how the broadband connection is used and be responsible for the ongoing broadband connection costs.
Once you have completed the Consent Form please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need to fill out the survey here to provide the additional information required to assess the social and cultural readiness of your marae.
Your marae will be assessed by Te Puni Kōkiri for Social and Cultural Readiness, based on the following criteria:
- Your marae is a place where business activities or skills development will lead to improved employment opportunities for your community;
- Your marae has a stable governance structure and membership;
- Your marae buildings are fit for purpose and the facilities are safe and healthy;
- Your marae is easily accessible by road; and
- Your marae are involved in activities such as Te Kōhanga Reo, Papakāinga, Kura Kaupapa and/or Kaumātua flats.
The survey also requires contact details for a Trust-nominated contact person. The Trust-nominated person will be the primary contact for the marae Trust concerning the marae Digital Connectivity project and will engage and interact with Government officials and Service Providers.
Fill out the marae Digital Connectivity Survey.
Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) will carry out the Technical Assessment.
The Provincial Development Unit (PDU) will carry out the Principles Assessment.
This will cover matters such as:
- Whether your marae is covered under the Rural broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2) and Mobile Blackspot Fund (MBSF) programme;
- Whether broadband coverage is available for your marae;
- The existing power supply to your marae;
- Requirements for consent and access to install broadband and hardware;
- Requirements of marae Digital Connectivity service providers.
When is marae Digital Connectivity available?
Applications are now open. We will provide updates of precise timeframes in due course.
To get started complete and submit the Consent Form [PDF, 218KB].
If you would like more information or to ask questions you can either email: email@example.com or call one of the following numbers depending on your location:
- Te Tai Tokerau - 0800 875 888
- Tāmaki Makaurau - 0800 875 285
- Waikato-Waiariki - 0800 875 499
- Ikaroa - Rawhiti - 0800 875 447
- Te Tai Hauauru - 0800 875 329
- Te Waipounamu - 0800 875 839
- National office – 0800 875 663