A fire destroyed buildings at Manu Ariki Marae in Taumarunui in the early hours of this morning.
Trustees of the marae think the fire may have started around 4am as the fire department received a call at 5am. At 6:30am the fire was still going.
By the time they arrived at the scene, the buildings were ablaze.
They are devastated that the first buildings on the marae, Pareuira, Whātua Kai Mārie and the Surgery were completely destroyed.
Mau Phillips, chairman of the marae trustees stated "The trustees are absolutely devastated at the loss of these iconic buildings and are working closely with authorities to determine the cause and to ensure the marae is safe moving forward."
Emotions are running very high and people are making assumptions and finger pointing without knowing the real facts. The trustees are calling on everyone to keep their heads up and wait for the fire report.
Until the full investigation is completed, the trustees have closed the marae.