3100 jobs created through marae upgrades

77 marae across the Bay of Plenty are set to receive funding. Photo: File Image/SunLive.

Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced.

“A total of 351 marae all over the country will receive much-needed upgrades while more than 3100 local jobs will be created through this investment which totals $96.5 million. It is not only the marae that will benefit. It also means close to $100 million will filter into communities, through wages and into local businesses supplying building materials and fittings,” Jones says. 

The funding is in addition to $12.4 million announced last month for upgrades of town halls, war memorials and other community facilities around the country and close to $10 million for upgrades and renovations on Pasifika churches.

”This latest government investment in our economic recovery recognises the role of marae which are often the heart of their communities and what they provide. Marae are the centre of faith, sport, and family and community gatherings. They often do double service as accommodation, conference centres, health and welfare hubs and host some of our country’s most important events.

“This once in a lifetime investment will help bring people back into work in the regions and at the same time upgrade this critical wellbeing infrastructure. I would also add that the overwhelmingly positive response from marae to our call for applications has been humbling,” Jones says. 

Nanaia Mahuta says marae are the focal point for Māori – for whānau, hapū and iwi.

“Marae reflect and represent Māori identity, language, mātauranga and whānau wellbeing.

“These initiatives will strengthen whānau and communities, not only by investing in the physical restoration and revitalisation of marae buildings, but also through the protection and preservation of the culture and heritage of marae.

“New Zealanders who have spent time at a marae will know the special places they are, will have enjoyed the hospitality offered by their hosts and appreciate the role they play in our shared identity. 

“This investment is a game-changer for these marae and their communities. Many marae are in desperate need of repairs and maintenance work, like other community facilities, and this funding is realistically the only financial investment some of them will ever receive. In these uncertain times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to provide this vital funding." 

The types of upgrades that will be funded include plumbing, carpentry, electrical, painting and landscaping. In practical terms this includes work on covered walkways and shelters, resealed carparks, installation of ramps and safety rails, the repair of water boilers, guttering and spouting, installation of fire sprinklers and the completion of carvings.

Labour MP for Waiariki Tamati Coffey says he is mightily proud to be part of the Coalition Government making this equity finally happen.

“I want to deliver a big mihi to all iwi and Māori organisations that applied, committed to working in partnership with our Government to strengthen protections around the heritage and culture of te ao Māori. Together we are making it happen, we can’t risk slowing down now.

“This is the type of action you get when you have the strong Māori voices, not sitting outside Cabinet as in previous Governments, but inside the Labour Māori Caucus actually sitting at the decision making tables.

“We need to better value who we are as a region and a country. Re-elected, I promise to continue to work hard alongside today’s recipients, to ensure this pūtea creates jobs and delivers for our Waiariki people the more equitable future that we have always deserved.”

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@Peter Bowler

Posted on 11-10-2020 23:14 | By morepork

If you hadn’t already voted Labour, this probably wouldn’t be happening... your comment seems a bit like closing the door after the horse has bolted to me. Don’t feel bad. This is a good thing and much good will come from it. I don’t think it is vote buying; but even if it is, sometimes unexpected benefit can come from something that is technically wrong. BTW, I’m personally on the fence and won’t know which way I’m voting until next Saturday...


Posted on 11-10-2020 10:05 | By

This money should be going to education and nursing. Where has the millions $$$$ already given gone ! If this goes through we will never vote labour again. VOTE BUYING !

This is.........

Posted on 10-10-2020 21:02 | By groutby

....seriously desperate stuff from Mr Jones here, anything at all to hang on to a seat or retain one will do, at the ongoing expense of the sad..

@Tom Ranger

Posted on 10-10-2020 12:42 | By morepork

I agree with you 100%. Provincial Community Halls, maraes, and war memorial maintenance are a good way to spend these funds and it ISN’T race based. Even if the jobs created are not permanent, at least somebody gets something, and the rural communities are often overlooked in favor of the inner cities.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 10-10-2020 10:44 | By

Well...I am maori and It would be nice to have the marae upgraded as it does need it. I’d like to point out. 1) Marae are essentially community halls now, available for use by anyone who would like to pay to use it. Just like a community hall. So I’d encourage any country based community halls that need work to apply. Race is not an issue here until people make it one. It’s a PGF (Provencial growth fund) not a MGF (Maori growth fund) and not a (City dweller Growth Fund) For your own house. But I don’t see why community halls in the provinces couldn’t apply. Just so happens a lot maori live in the country. 2) In saying that. It’s VERY possible this whole thing is going to be just a band-aid and which does not necasarilly create a long lasting jobs. So the economic advantage small.


Posted on 10-10-2020 08:29 | By dumbkof2

The Caveman Please let me know when you find out where you apply. I am exactly the same as you, desperately in need of funds to upgrade my marae ( my house ) I thought all the money they have already been given should cover this. Silly me


Posted on 10-10-2020 06:37 | By

First off, it creates very few new jobs. Existing firms bid for the work. And my god, they bid high when the fulla from the Government and Councils rock up with the bag of money and start throwing it around like confetti. Then there is the question of whether public money should be spent on this. They are essentially private clubs for a small section of the community. But other community facilities receive public money. Only they are open to everybody to use. We will be giving money to religious groups next. Oh yeah, just remembered - Mary Poppins and co have done just that. The Great Covid 19 Giveaway. Choo Choo

More lollies

Posted on 10-10-2020 00:15 | By Johnney

I thought it would be illegal to make such announcements a week out from elections. Creating more jobs when kiwifruit industry trying to fill 14,500 vacancies. When will the lolly scramble stop?


Posted on 09-10-2020 22:02 | By The Caveman

NOTHING MORE THAN VOTE BUYING !!! My marae (read house) needs an upgrade !! Where do I apply for the funds ??? AND YES I am a ratepayer AND taxpayer in this country and YES -- I am European !!!