Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has today announced an investment of $725,000 in the late Koro Wētere’s whānau marae near Kawhia.
“It is a great to see that Waipapa,is one of the first marae investments with Oranga marae. As a tribal and political leader, Koro led the Māori language and Māori development campaigns of his time. It is just and fitting that we can reinvest in his tūrangawaewae and his people. Three other marae in Northland have also been granted funds totalling $2.9 million for rebuilds.
“Marae around the country are places for our nation to host manuhiri from whānau through to international visitors. Many are also relied on as places of sanctuary in times of need.
“They all sit at the heart of the Māori world. Marae are a key feature of Māori society. The marae is where te reo Māori can be heard and spoken and, where tikanga and kawa is practised and debated.
Marae connect whānau through whakapapa and are guardians of mātauranga and cultural taonga.
“The Oranga Marae programme was launched in May and is a combination of Marae Ora Funding from Vote Māori Development ($10m over four years) and Lottery Grants Board funding, jointly managed by Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Tari Taiwhenua (Department of Internal Affairs on behalf of the Lottery Grants Board), “ says Nanaia Mahuta.
In 2018/19 the programme has a combined fund of approximately $17.5 million ($2.3m from Crown and $15.2m from the Lottery Grants Board) to support marae by ensuring that cultural taonga and traditions are preserved for future generations and our national identity is sustained.
In particular it assists to build, repair and restore whare while also encouraging marae to plan for the revitalisation of tikanga and te reo Māori and the transmission of mātauranga.
In 2013 nearly 400,000 Māori knew which of the country’s 800 plus marae they belonged to. The connection to marae is an important aspect of Māori culture and identity. Māori who visit their marae are also more likely to be engaged in other aspects of Māori culture (Te Kupenga 2013).