Minister to consider more 'satellite offices' on marae

By Mānia Clarke

The Minister of Social Development is considering the call from Papakura Marae CEO and the Manager of MUMA Whānau Ora Services to set up satellite offices at marae.  

Tony Kake and Veronica Henare say the partnering with MSD staff on site to distribute emergency xmas parcels to hundreds of whānau has shown the potential of the idea.

Kake says those coming to receive help are more than just a number or an MSD client receiving emergency help, instead they’re whānau.

“We've got the WIFI capability to relocate the WINZ office to here at the marae,” he says, “But the advantage to our whānau is that they know this marae, they're comfortable here.  This is an urban marae, it's part of them.”

Papakura Marae, along with Ngā Whare Waatea Marae and Eden Park in partnership with MSD, have been distributing Auckland City Mission emergency Christmas parcels to over 12, 600 people in need.

Beneficiaries are also receiving WINZ food grants for over the Christmas period.

“Wouldn't it be wonderful for our people and Pacific [Islanders] if we had a lot more marae set up with Work and Income here,” says Henare.

At Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, people are coming in the night before, pulling out mattresses even and sleeping along the pathway to queue.

Kake says it reflects how desperate the need is, and how comfortable people are coming to the marae to get help.

“I'm really pro deploying our MSD staff out into other spaces where our people need support where we can,” says Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

“We deal with the whole package,” says Kake, “Pathways to jobs, pathways to further training, making sure their tamariki are supported with all our other services.”

Kake will meet with Sepuloni to further discuss the matter in the new year.