“A 50-year dream comes true”: Board approves land lease to Te Atatū marae

Publish Date : 21 Feb 2024
Harbourview Orangihina Park In Te Atatu Peninsula
Harbourview-Orangihina Park in Te Atatū Peninsula

After more than 50 years’ determination and hard work from the Māori community, history has been made after Henderson-Massey Local Board approved a land lease agreement to establish a Marae at Te Atatū Peninsula.

The agreement grants a lease to the Te Atatū Marae Coalition (TAMC) for 2.5 hectares of land at Harbourview-Orangihina Park, Te Atatū Peninsula, for 34 years.

This paves the way for the TAMC to secure funding to complete the development of the marae.

Henderson-Massey Local Board chair Chris Carter said he was particularly moved by the decision of the board to grant the lease.

“For our Māori community, this is a 50-year dream comes true and the board is proud to help them reach this landmark.

“The idea to build a marae in Te Atatū was first promoted 57 years ago by the late Jack Te Huia. During the many years l served as MP for Te Atatū, and now as chair of Henderson-Massey Local Board, l have supported Jack’s idea. Now, 31 years after l was first elected as MP for Te Atatū, Jack’s dream has a real chance of becoming a reality.

“The Te Atatū Marae will play an important role in preserving and promoting Māori culture and language to all within our community. And it’ll become a destination where traditional knowledge and practices can be taught and for visitors to engage with Māori culture, which is the cornerstone of our national identity,” adds Carter.

“Looking forward to enjoying the marae”

Waitākere Councillor Shane Henderson also welcomed the decision.

“I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the kaumātua (elderly men) and kuia (elderly women) of Te Atatū, some of whom never got to see this day. I want to thank the Te Atatū Marae committee members past and present who worked so hard for this. I am glad to have played my part in tautoko (support) for them in my public roles.

“I’m now looking forward to joining the community in enjoying the marae when it is complete,” says Henderson, who used to be the chair of Henderson-Massey Local Board.

Councillor Ken Turner is pleased to see the Te Atatū marae take a meaningful step towards realisation.

“I'm glad to see the efforts of the Te Atatū Marae Coalition finally pay off, and I'm looking forward to seeing them achieve their common goal of a cultural space for us all.”

Next Steps

The marae would be developed over several stages, including the construction of a wharenui (meeting house), wharekai (kitchen), whareiti (toilet), whare āwhina (community hub) and kaumātua flats (flats for the elderly).

The TAMC will complete the first stage of the development of the marae within five years and secure full funding before each development stage starts.

The idea of the Te Atatū marae project first started in 1967, leading to the creation of three trusts: the Te Atatū Marae Komiti, Te Puao o Te Atatū and the Waipareira Marae Incorporated Society, which became the Te Atatū Marae Coalition in 2000.

Proposed marae concept plan

Proposed marae concept plan

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