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HomeGeneral TourismWaihōpai Rūnaka receives significant Government grant for new marae facility

Waihōpai Rūnaka receives significant Government grant for new marae facility

Waihōpai Rūnaka is welcoming the announcement today of a $9 million grant from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment | Hīkina Whakatutuki to upgrade their marae complex.

The money comes out of the $3 billion set aside in the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

R≈´naka chair Cyril Gilroy says the project will ensure the marae is fit for purpose and will carry the R≈´naka into the future.

“This will be all the things a pƒÅ was, but in a modern context – fluid and adaptive to meet the needs of the new post-COVID world we are all engaging in.”

Included in the scope of the design is a new wharekai, the replacement of a substandard administration and services hub, internal roading, parking and other infrastructure and landscaping, and the phased completion of onsite accommodation for kaumātua.

The R≈´naka has brought in specialist marae architects BOON to design the state of the art, new facility.

The Wharenui Te Raitauneke will remain but nearly all other buildings will be replaced by purpose-built, future-proofed, and environmentally sustainable structures in a unique design to reflect the history of Waihōpai.

“This project expands on the Waih≈çpai and Murihiku Marae indigenous footprint, providing Murihiku whƒÅnau a standing place fit for the future. It strengthens intergenerational connections, acknowledging the whakapapa of our t≈´puna, and working in alignment with the whenua, with a strong whƒÅnau and environmental consciousness," says Cyril.

“This is for our mokopuna and future generations. For us, it is about incorporating the past, with our sights on the future, and today we are realising our aspirations in the present. We are privileged to be a part of making our whƒÅnau moemoea a reality with our partners.”

Planning for the project has been ongoing for seven years. The total project cost is approximately $12.5 million, with the Government funding making up most of it, and a further $2.5 million from the Rūnaka and from Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu funding. A final $1 million is required, which will be sourced through other public funding.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has supported the Rūnaka on the project with funding from the Ngāi Tahu Marae Development Fund.

“We are thrilled to support Waih≈çpai R≈´naka on this kaupapa," says Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai.

"This is yet another example of how R≈´nanga are working to ensure future stability in our regions. Waih≈çpai has worked tirelessly to build a marae that reflects the vision they hold for Murihiku, and this moves them closer to making that a reality.”

Planning for the project under way, with the goal to let the main construction contract in August, and for the new facilities to be open by the end of the 2022 calendar year. The construction phase will create 33 temporary jobs, and there will be eight permanent jobs once the marae is completed.

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