Marae renovations are now in progress, supported by funding managed by the Provincial Development Unit. There are 15 marae across the rohe that have received funding to help create jobs and support local businesses respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. 14 of these marae have clustered together with the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB).
“Although the application review process took longer than expected, we are very excited to be able to support our people in renovating their marae, some of which are long overdue” says MMTB Chair, Keith Ikin.
MMTB and the clustered marae received over $4 million in total, with an expectancy of creating 65 jobs to complete the work required. All renovations are required to be completed by December this year.
“Not only will this benefit our whānau and marae, but the local community too, through wages and into local businesses supplying building materials and fittings. One of the key priorities for MMTB and whānau of the marae, is to ensure we provide employment opportunities as well as skills and training opportunities for our people. This ranges from trade training, to financial literacy and budgeting, health and safety, people management and development.”
Mōkau Kohunui Marae trustee, Kristen Pari, is excited for the year ahead.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to not only renovate our marae but to support our whānau with employment and a chance to reconnect with their marae.”
Mr Ikin believes it’s important to ensure marae facilities can cater to the requirements of our communities. “Marae are often the focal point for our people, reflecting our culture, identity and mātauranga.”