Marae can plan 10 to 50 years ahead with specialist advice

By Te Ao with MOANA

Communities faced with hard decisions about whether to relocate marae or how to safeguard them for the future will find it invaluable to seek specialist guidance, a Māori manager with Heritage New Zealand says.

Dean Whiting, Māori heritage manager with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, told Te Ao with Moana that a "really interesting" step one marae featured on the programme is taking is "actually seeking specialist knowledge about how to approach this issue.” 

He was referring to Mirumiru Marae on the West Coast of the North Island which has sought advice from NIWA about the threat of flooding and erosion due to climate change.

Whiting says that while pūtea to relocate or strengthen marae is important, specialist guidance is also invaluable and will allow marae to plan well into the future.

“Importantly, alongside pūtea is actually getting the specialist information and really having the discussion over a period of time, which allows communities to both absorb a range of options to consider those and then to be able to plan well in advance. And I think we’re talking plans that maybe extend to 10, 30, 50 years in advance.

"So it’s thinking that far forward now, but making sure the right sort of knowledge is brought into that discussion as well.”

Heritage New Zealand's Māori Heritage Council provides "assistance to whānau, hapū and iwi in the preservation and management of their heritage resources."

WATCH Te Ao with Moana's kōrero with Māori heritage manager Dean Whiting. 

Part 1: Issues involved in protecting marae from fire

Part 2: Oranga Marae fund and the cultural importance of marae

Part 3: Cultural and spiritual issues with relocating marae, climate change and the value of specialist advice