Regional | Marae

Multi-million dollar plans for four new Tāmaki Makaurau marae

Four new marae are being planned in Tāmaki Makaurau, with one in South Auckland going through planning, one in the city’s west winning resource consent, another out west planned and one for the North Shore.

The southern scheme is by Te Motu a Hiaroa Charitable Trust with plans for Te Motu a Hiaroa/Puketutu Island in the Manukau Harbour. Those plans, with buildings by Toa Architects, were notified by Auckland Council for public submissions last November.

Across to the west, Te Kawerau a Maki is advanced, having won resource consent. It bought a 3.5ha ancestral whenua at Te Henga/Bethells Beach below the Waitākere Ranges to establish a marae and kāinga whakahirahira.

Further in the inner west, a deal was struck last month between Te Atatū Marae Collective and the Henderson-Massey Local Board for a new marae on a leased site.

That plan was being questioned, particularly the environmental impacts of developing a waterfront parkland leased site. The local board got 44 submissions about the lease, all of which supported the marae. Eighteen, though, raised concerns about “the land tenure, the coalition mandate and an alleged lack of consultation” with a Māori group.

The fourth scheme is by Te Kotahi A Tāmaki Marae Collective for Uruamo Maranga Ake Marae, Beachhaven. The Māori community there say they have longed for a place where they can collectively celebrate and enhance their identity with customs, practices, language, values and world views.

Edward Ashby, a director of Te Kawerau Iwi Holdings which has won consent for the Te Henga project, says plans for the four marae show just how far the city has come.

“The city has a growing Māori population. They’re younger. Wherever the population cluster gets big, you need this infrastructure to support people. Maybe it’s a symptom of a renaissance of Māoridom more generally. It’s important for Māori and Pākehā and all New Zealanders. These places are repositories of history and culture, connected to the iwi and hapu. This is also Aotearoa’s history. People want to know more about where they live,” Ashby says.

The entire Te Henga marae could cost $15 million to build “so we’ll have to stage it”, he said, estimating the wharenui would cost around $1.5m.

Urban Māori in this city often lacked marae for tangi (funerals) because although they had a marae back home, they don’t have one in this city. Te Kawerau a Maki was different because its rohe (territory) is within the city’s boundaries, Ashby says.

Here’s what we know about the four projects so far:

1. Te Motu a Hiaroa Charitable Trust: marae, wānanga, 187ha Te Motu a Hiaroa/Puketutu Island site

In November, Auckland Council notified the resource consent application for the development at 600 Island Rd, across from the mainland on the island.

Toa Architects designed a dramatic-looking new marae and wānanga for a site on the 187ha Te Motu a Hiaroa/Puketutu Island in the Manukau Harbour.

In the next major step of the rehabilitation of the debased landscape where maunga were removed and the motu landform significantly changed, a charitable trust has progressed plans for new buildings to the point that a notified resource consent has been submitted.

An assessment of environmental effects written by Lance Hessell at planning business Civix said up to 1000 people could visit the marae at any one time for big events and the aim is to create a new gathering point and educational facility.

2. Te Kawerau a Maki: marae, papakāinga, Te Henga/Bethells Beach

West Auckland-based iwi Te Kawerau a Maki plan a marae on their papakāinga (home, communal land) at Te Henga/Bethells beach. In the 1850s, the Crown acquired most of West Auckland, leaving them landless by the 1950s. Their last marae were at Kōpironui and Te Henga and were lost to them during that time.

Te Kawerau a Maki is a West Auckland-based iwi with shared interests across the northern half of the region and is the northernmost iwi of the Tainui waka.

In recognition of the harms done to the iwi through breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Crown settled historical claims on February 14, 2014. This included an apology and a renewed promise to work with it in accordance with the Treaty.

A partnership with Auckland Council and a member of the original settler Bethells family has helped the iwi take a step closer to a long-held aspiration.

Te Kawerau Iwi Holdings director Ashby believes the building of the new marae and papakāinga within the tribe’s heartland is crucial.

“We were granted resource consent for the project last December so the project is consented, which is obviously the main milestone for getting the project up and running. We are now entering phase two of the design and consenting stage of the project. This is detailed design and building consent,” he said.

Ashby hopes a building consent application will be lodged in December, depending on funding. The detailed design and building consent phase will probably cost around $350,000, he says.

3. Te Atatū Marae Coalition, 2.5ha leased site, Harbourview-Orangihina Park, Te Atatū Peninsula

Last month, the Herald reported how prime waterfront parkland will be leased to a coalition of Māori groups to build a marae but concerns were raised about the environmental impact and the decision-making process.

The Henderson-Massey Local Board voted to lease a paddock near the motorway to the coalition for the new Te Atatū marae.

A meeting house, food hall and several other buildings are planned for 2.5ha of the Harbourview-Orangihina Park, and the current leaseholder, the Te Atatū Pony Club, will have to surrender part of the land it uses.

The land has expansive views of the Waitematā Harbour, along with Rangitoto, Mt Eden-Maungawhau, One Tree Hill-Maungakiekie, Mt Albert-Ōwairaka and the Waitākere Ranges-Te Waonui a Tiriwa, the Herald reported.

4. Te Kotahi A Tāmaki Marae Collective, Uruamo Maranga Ake Marae, Shepherds Park, Beach Haven

Members of the Māori community in Beach Haven say they have longed for a space where they can collectively celebrate and enhance their identity, which includes customs, practices, language, values and world views.

The Kaipātiki Local Board provided funding for a feasibility study in 2016, which assessed the location and the preliminary design of the proposed marae.

In 2018, the collective was approved to receive $142,000 in funding from a council committee.

The collective says te reo Māori is inextricably linked to Māori identity and is the window to te ao Māori.

The intention is that the Beach Haven marae would provide cultural benefits for Māori and the wider community, the collective says.

-NZ Herald