At February’s Kaipātiki Local Board business meeting, the board unanimously voted to support a marae development destined for coastal Beach Haven into resource consent stage.
Uruamo Maranga Ake Beach Haven Marae Committee, the community group behind the marae initiative, has undertaken consultation with the community, community groups and clubs surrounding the approved Shepherds Park location since November 2015.
Following a presentation by the committee group to the Kaipātiki Local Board in June 2016, the board agreed to grant funding for a feasibility study to be undertaken to assess location options in Beach Haven and Birkdale.
The study, received at the February 2018 business meeting, concluded there was strong support for marae facilities to be built in a portion of Shepherds Park Reserve accessible from the end of Cresta Ave (next to the bowling club, opposite the tennis and squash centre).
Uruamo Maranga Ake chairwoman Frances Waaka says she and her team were excited and elated by the board’s support.
“Up until this point we were trying not to get our hopes up too high – one step at a time,” says Waaka.
"This dream is one that has been around for a long time now and it's only now that we can see that this really can and will happen for us,” she says.
“This is a wonderful example of community identifying a need and being proactive in achieving their goal,” says Kaipātiki Local Board Chair John Gillon.
“Māori in Beach Haven have longed for a space like this for many years now - somewhere they can come together and collectively celebrate their identity, language, customs, practices - especially tangihanga, or funerals.”
“Such facilities in Beach Haven would offer the whole community the opportunity to experience and learn more about Māori culture and customs,” he says.
The estimated development costs for the entire new complex is $7 million.