Marae in Auckland show their support for whānau in need

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Marae in Auckland have come together to lend a hand to the homeless whānau sheltering at Te Puea Marae. In the past week, over 40 families have turned to the South Auckland marae for temporary relief. Now Manurewa and Hoani Waititi have stepped in to support.

Students of Hoani Waititi arrived at Te Puea Marae today to display their support through waiata and haka.

Te Puea Marae spokesperson Hurimoana Dennis says they are blessed, “It's a precious gesture and makes us very emotional. That's the Māori way, to entertain, discuss our ancestor’s stories, and sing songs, laugh, and haka.

Manurewa Marae has been supplying food parcels to families in need for several years, but now they want to open their sleeping house and offer extra services.

Tūnuiarangi McLean from the Manurewa Marae board says, “At Manurewa Marae, we have doctors, health care, and Whānau Ora services at the marae.”

“We are glad to have Manurewa Marae support us like this,” says Dennis.

Every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided.  All the food is donated by the community.

At least 50 volunteers turn up every day to help.

Last night, a 'Give a Little' page was set up, and to date over $3000 has been donated.Now the marae is looking for more hands.

“We need more logistical help, cooks, tents and marquees,” says Dennis.

The marae is asking the Army to help, so the marae can operate gatherings at the marae as usual.