Four Rongowhakaata Marae, Manutuke, Whakato, Te Pahou and Ohako will receive a total of $1 .96million from the PGF Marae Improvement funding. This investment will be the largest single capital investment into Rongowhakaata marae. Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust Chair and Whakato Marae Chair, Moera Brown said “Our marae can really do with this capital funding as several them have had to defer much needed repairs and maintenance”.
Earlier this year the Government announced a $230 million funding package for immediate worker redeployment as part of their COVID-19 economic response. $70 million was allocated for the renovation of Marae, Pasifika Churches, town halls and war memorials.
The four Rongowhakaata Marae joined with fifty-five other Tairawhiti Marae, under the banner, Ma Wai Ra E Taurima, an integrated Tairawhiti Marae capital works, training, and employment initiative. Tairawhiti Marae, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngati Porou received a total of $14.6million, just over twenty percent of the national allocation.
The Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust will be the Contracting entity for the four Rongowhakaata Marae and will be responsible for ensuring approved marae work programs are managed in scope, on time, in budget and all reporting requirements are satisfied. The Trust will work with the Marae to develop an integrated Marae Improvement work schedule across the four marae, engage Project Leads, coordinate contractors and training programs and negotiate best prices for services and supplies. The Trust, General Manager, Amohaere Houkamau, said the Trust will also invest a percentage of the budget that they have set aside for the Marae Takawaenga role, towards recruiting Marae Project Leads and additional financial and contract management back-office support.
This funding will be in addition to the annual Marae grants of $20,000. That the Trust pays along with marae insurance premiums and financial assistance to help Marae with their annual audits. In the last financial year, the Trust set aside approximately $200,000.’s of its own funding to invest in our Marae.
The Trust recognises the leadership of Turanga Ararau who along with other Ako Tairawhiti Training Providers have developed a comprehensive marae training programme to support trainees recruited by marae. Every Marae that participates in Ma Wai Ra E Taurima can recruit a couple of trainees to work on marae improvement projects, while upskilling themselves for future employment prospects in construction and other trades.
Trainees will also be able to access pastoral care support from Turanga Ararau, and MSD approved Pastoral Care provider. Ma Wai Ra E Taurima is premised on rebuilding, improving and growing marae capital, cultural and people resources. We need to grow the workforce on each of our marae to ensure that we have sustained cultural capability on all our marae.
We also wanted to support local businesses, by providing twelve months work, thereby giving them a level of work security for the next twelve months, which as we know is going to be hard for a lot of businesses. Over the next year, Rongowhakaata and other Tairawhiti iwi will be looking at housing developments. The local businesses, employees and trainees coming through Ma Wai Ra E Taurima will be well placed to assist with these developments.
Finally, acknowledgement needs to be given to the local PDU for their support and the previous Minister for Regional Development, the Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Development for his tenacity in securing the level of regional development funding that Tairawhiti has received”.
“The funding for Marae Improvement is the icing on the cake”, said Ms Brown.
Ma wai ra e Taurima te marae e waho nei,
Ma te tika, ma te pono me te aroha.