Piritahi Marae aims for eco-friendly future

updated By D'Angelo Martin

Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island is preparing their pā kainga for future environmental challenges by partnering with Energy Alternatives NZ. The move is designed to help the marae create strategies that will allow them to adopt a more eco-friendly approach. This innovative marae is embracing eco-friendly living, Waiheke style.

Piritahi Marae is well aware of climate change and the effects that it brings to the environment and is acting fast on ways in which they can be more proactively eco-friendly. Pita Makiha of Ngāi Tūhoe descent says, "We've been encouraged to think of innovative ways to become more eco-friendly."

Many of the Waiheke residents are aware of the current environmental challenges so have already adapted to sustainable living.

"We collect and utilise rainwater, we look at ways where we can minimise waste and alternatives to deal with rubbish.  The key point is to continue those teachings to our younger generation. We are now using solar energy," says Makiha.

The marae's eco-strategy has been two years in the making, under the guidance of renewable energy company Energy Alternatives NZ.  While they've made headway with some of the changes, there's still a way to go. 

"We're doing our best to achieve this and we know there's still a lot of work to be done. We are now looking at funding opportunities to fund this initiative."

Piritahi Marae hopes to set an example for other marae across the country.

*A previously published version of this story had stated the company name as Alternative Energy instead of Energy Alternatives NZ, this error has been corrected.