“There is poverty in our community and they can’t get over how we could have such a beautiful marae. They have hopes and dreams of holding whānau celebrations, tangi and wānanga at the marae, and it becoming the central hub for Kakanui.
"That’s what the Cultural Initiatives Fund has done for our marae. It has lifted our people to have pride, have hope and a neat place to gather.” Te Kia Ora Marae
Last week the council’s Community Development and Safety committee approved the allocation of funding from the 2019/2020 Cultural Initiatives Fund; a fund for marae and papakāinga/Māori housing development in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Councillor Cathy Casey, chair of the committee, says that marae development and papakāinga development are priority outcomes for Māori in the Auckland Plan and in the council’s Long Term Plan.
“The purpose of this fund is to enable thriving and self-sustaining marae and to support the establishment of papakāinga across Tāmaki Makaurau. We are supporting important projects, and we know that our contribution makes a positive impact and noticeable difference to recipients,” explains Councillor Casey.
What has the funding achieved?
To date, 26 marae and six papakāinga have successfully applied to the fund since it was started in 2013. Nearly half of these successful applicants have received funding more than once, helping to significantly progress projects requiring a staged approach.
Marae whānau from Te Kia Ora Marae in south Kaipara, a previous recipient of the Cultural Initiatives Fund, say they are grateful for the support from the council to progress their marae building project
“The Cultural Initiatives fund has allowed us to put in a septic system and part of a fire sprinkler system. We have also received funding for much-needed upgrades to our wharenui, wharekai and bathrooms. It was then that things turned around for us; our trustees and beneficiaries believed we could finish our marae.
We believe this fund is a tāonga and about much more than giving money – it’s helping to give Māori mana, pride and a safe place to learn and use all those things of value to us, like our reo and our tikanga. It gives us a place to stand tall in our community.
The staff at Auckland Council have all been respectful, helpful and really understanding. We are thankful for their patience, encouragement and generosity they have shown to us at Te Kia Ora marae.”
Successful applicants for the 2019/2020 Cultural Initiatives Fund
The following nine applicants received funding totalling $1,212,800. The applications in this round support marae and papakāinga planning and design, professional fees, capital infrastructure, marae maintenance and repair, business planning and asset management.
The council’s Cultural Initiatives Fund directly supports marae and papakāinga development, which are key to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Māori across Tāmaki Makaurau.