$7mil marae set to be built in North Auckland

By Jessica Tyson

The Auckland Council has approved around $140,000 to design a new marae in Beach Haven on the North Shore, which is estimated to have a total development cost of $7mil.

The Uruamo Maranga Ake Charitable Trust has worked on the concept since 2015 and chairwoman Frances Waaka says her and her team are 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.”

Kaipātiki Local Board Chair John Gillon says, “This is a wonderful example of community identifying a need and being proactive in achieving their goal.”

Following a presentation by the Uruamo Maranga Ake Charitable Trust 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 in Beach Haven.

“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.”

When finished, it'll provide a way for the community to learn more about Māori culture and customs.