Manurewa Marae opens their doors to homeless next week

updated By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Manurewa Marae will open its doors next week to shelter the homeless. 230 volunteers and service providers of the Whakapiki Ora Programme ran through their final induction today.

Volunteers Duneara Waters and Ina Paraone-Meinata say they can't wait to get stuck in and help.

“I'm ready to go, there's nothing that I can't do and I'm willing to do, you know, I'm just ready, very very ready,” Paraone-Meinata says.

“Our people need help, they need to get their homes and our tamariki, it's not good out there in the cold,” Waters says.

Whakapiki Ora spokesperson Tunuiarangi McLean says the volunteers were briefed on the legal aspects of the operations, policies regarding the marae and the work they do with government agencies.

Volunteer Ina Paraone Meinata of Ngati Whātua says she is there for the children.

“I just love our people I love everybody, and with everyone coming together and to help those that need help I'm sure we going to achieve, what we need to achieve,” she says.

Manurewa Marae has been preparing to shelter the homeless for the last 10 weeks, and they're pleased to continue the work Te Puea Marae began.

“I pay tribute to them, they started this initiative, based on the undertaking of the ancestor of our Māori King, King Tuheitia, that is Te Puea.  She leads this type of work, that we want to continue today,” McLean says.

There are two pathways of assistance by the Whakapiki Ora programme including ,Pō Mārie, to shelter 68 individuals overnight from 5:30pm to 8:30am and secondly, cabins to provide intense support and short-term accommodation for five families 24/7.

Organisers say their doors will officially open to help up to 98 people on Monday.