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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Focus area 2: Invest in marae to be self-sustaining and prosperous

Marae are hubs for the Māori community. They physically and spiritually anchor Māori identity, and function as focal points for Māori social, economic and cultural leadership.

Hapū and iwi marae provide the tūrangawaewae (ancestral standing place) for their people.  As Māori moved to Auckland from other parts of New Zealand, urban marae were built to meet the cultural and social needs of their Māori communities.

There are more than 60 marae across Auckland that include tangata whenua, Māori community, taurahere,  church and education-based marae.

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​Marae are not-for-profit organisations and many rely on volunteers for support. They vary in size and the services they provide.

All provide for hui and tangihanga. Some also offer services such as kōhanga reo early childhood education through to a range of health, education and social services. 

Marae are valued as cultural hubs by all Aucklanders. The responsibility of the hau kāinga to manaaki manuhiri (the home people to extend hospitality and care for others) and foster whanaungatanga are often extended to the wider community in times of need.

Marae play a resilient and adaptive role for the wider community including emergency housing and civil defence responses. This has been exemplified recently with marae opening their doors to Auckland's homeless during winter.

The leadership role marae have in enabling better outcomes for Māori and the wider community is evolving which means appropriate resources and support for marae is needed.

This will require a focus on supporting the governance, management, and physical infrastructure of marae.  It will also mean that service providers, hapū and iwi, charities, funders and businesses will need to be better coordinated alongside marae.

How this can be done

Efforts can focus on:

  • addressing funding and resourcing barriers for marae facilities and services
  • supporting marae aspirations such as developing kaumātua and papakāinga (Māori village on communal land) housing

  • recognising marae aspirations to explore the design and delivery of culturally appropriate programmes.