26 May 2021

Marae renovations have been well underway since January of this year, with a number of marae near completion of all renovation work. There are 20 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), supported by funding managed by the Provincial Development Unit.

10 marae are underway, with the remaining four to commence over the coming months.

MMTB Chair Keith Ikin says that one of the key priorities for MMTB and whānau of the marae, is to ensure they provide employment opportunities as well as skills and training opportunities for the people.

“We have advocated for 22 whānau members to attend a Work Readiness Wānanga, partnering with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. This 5 day course introduces participants to first aid, health and safety, use of power tools, and shared information from a number of industry specific agencies covering workplace aspects such as driver licensing and people management” says Keith.
Taarewaanga Marae Chairperson, Tom Roa, is thrilled to see how the hard work and commitment of all involved has benefitted whānau and rangatahi seeking employment.

“The work under way not only will increase the capacity for us to provide a first-class facility for our hapū and wider community, but also has a profound effect on the immediate and future prospects of employment for seven of our whānau, hapū members, and has also provided a further opportunity for a number of our pākeke/kaumātua to be on hand to help supervise and mentor these young people.”

Work Readiness participant, Te Korae Magner is proud to be able to support his whānau through the kind of work he really enjoys.
“I’m learning heaps after going into a job and can start to think about an actual career. Understanding how big this actually is for our marae and our people, I take a bit of pride knowing the small hand I have in that.”

To date, it is estimated a total of 133 people are working on these renovations across the Maniapoto rohe. A majority of those whānau who completed the Work Readiness Wānanga have now been redeployed into marae renovation work.

Given current timeframes, MMTB estimate a completion date of all marae renovations by the end of this year.