Manurewa Marae seeks more funding

By Taroi Black

Rangi McLean is calling on the Government for more funding to house the homeless at Manurewa Marae, who have been at the forefront in the past year for assisting families seeking refuge.

McLean isn't surprised with Manurewa not receiving funding in this year's Budget.

Chairman for Manurewa Marae Board, Rangi McLean says, "I've remained in contact with the Ministry, they've asked whether Manurewa is opening its doors again to the homeless, I said, "well the Government need to invest more money from last year's budget so that our services continue."

The Ministry says they spent in excess of $300,000 last year to assist the homeless who took refuge at Manurewa Marae. But McLean says Manurewa Marae needs more financial assistance. The Ministry told Te Kāea that they continue to work with housing providers, including Māori organisations. Their contribution to Manurewa Marae concluded by mutual agreement at the end of a 12-week pilot programme in 2016, and the marae received around $100,000 in MSD funding.

Manurewa Marae was accepted onto the Ministry's Emergency Housing Provider Panel earlier this year.

However, McLean isn't about to rely on Government assistance, he's also looking for help from the community.

"I contacted many places including local churches in Manurewa who agreed to work with our Manurewa Marae board. I even sought for help with WINZ and ensuring that this issue was more around the community and less focussed on the marae."

Mr McLean says the marae worked with over 200 individual cases, similar to Te Puea Marae.

"If the government want to invest more funding it should go towards our community to manage not our marae unless they have a particular strategy which involves marae than I would happily agree."

Manurewa Marae is under review for their contribution to the homeless for any potential funding next year.