National | Gisborne

Minister backs improved water quality for marae

The Local Government Minister was on the East Coast today looking at a pilot programme aimed at improving the drinking water of Māori communities.

Nanaia Mahuta met leaders of marae that have been part of the programme, which will serve as a template when it's eventually rolled out to remote marae, papakāinga, and kōhanga reo across the country.

She told teaomā, that in the past it was difficult to fix some aspects of marae hence the funding for families who live near marae in rural areas.

“It allows them to fix their pipes and those sorts of things, and so they have clean water provided for the marae so the water can run for their families,” Mahuta said.

Speaking from Te Rongopai Marae in Gisborne, the minister said the funding was to support the cleaning up of the water provided for marae and could act as a template for other marae in the region. The programme is up and running around the East Coast and Northland regions.

New programme aims to improve water quality for Māori across Aotearoa.

"Most of the models are marae-based but we're working with marae and the papakāinga in the vicinity. We hope this can be rolled out across the country," Mahuta said.

The initiative ties in with the minister's Three Waters reform programme to provide safe and reliable drinking water around the country; the legislation has faced some resistance from many local councils, including Auckland.

"If we think about the water quality, I have concerns that all regions may not have access to clean drinking water. This initiative is to provide good clean water to drink, cook, and do those sorts of things," the minister said.