Council leads New Zealand's Three Waters Reform for local Marae
Published on November 22, 2021
The Horowhenua District Council is leading New Zealand regarding the Three Waters funding investment in local Marae.
Horowhenua District Council Mayor Bernie Wanden says it's pleasing to support local mana whenua in the District and ensure they have safe drinking water. As part of the Three Waters Reform Government provided Stimulus Funding, Council allocated $520,000 towards improving water and wastewater at Marae across the Horowhenua District.
"It remains a priority for Council to ensure that water services are equitable for communities, and I am proud to say that we are the only Council using the funding to upgrade all of our local marae," says Mayor Bernie.
Marae across the district are participating in this project: Kohuturoa, Kawiu, Wehi Wehi, Tukorehe, Tūmatanui (Hikitanga), Ngātokowaru, Kereru, Matau, Huia, Whakawehi (Poutu), Motuiti and Paranui.
Kawiu Marae Trustee, Marokopa Wiremu Matakatea says: "Our marae are absolutely central to our connectedness as Muaūpoko. They are places of refuge for our people and enable us to maintain and reaffirm our customs, practices, values and philosophy. They are sacred places which provide a safe and welcoming place for manuhiri and whānau alike."
CEO of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, Di Rump says: "To see this level of investment in our marae across the rohe is a great example of partnership, may this serve as an example for many more marae to see the same, much needed investment."
The scope of work includes 21 water tanks to be installed, each with a capacity of 30,000 litres and eight water treatment systems. Council is also working with local iwi and other agencies to secure additional funding to support the installation of an electric backup generator for all 12 Marae to ensure an uninterrupted water supply during a power cut. Marae are also used as a community social hub during an emergency situation; hence it is important that Marae are well equipped. Wastewater and stormwater services will also be upgraded.
Kelly Bevan, Chairperson of Te Rūnanga o Raukawa, says: "The investment the Council has made in local marae has directly contributed to building the capacity of marae to assist in our aspirations, as iwi to improve water quality throughout the rohe. Ngāti Raukawa ki Te Tonga holds relationships with four Councils within our iwi boundaries, and Horowhenua District Council has provided a model for other Councils to follow."
"We are grateful for the recent donation of the water tank and water system upgrade from Council. It will ensure that the quality of water of the Marae is now fit for purpose, and we will now be able to collect and store enough water for small and large gatherings without fear of any Public Health issues arising from waterborne diseases. Clean potable water is a basic human right that every community should have access to. This investment will benefit our marae community for many years to come, says Pikitia Heke, Chairperson Ngāti Tukorehe Tribal Committee.
Paddy Jacobs from Wehi Wehi Marae says she is looking forward to the upgrade.
The upgrades are due for completion by the end of this year.
Overlooking Kohuturoa Marae and Punahau.