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Marae plans to be explained at Vision Motueka AGM

January 27th, 2016

Plans for the development of Te Awhina Marae in Motueka will be the subject of the guest speaker, Ann Martin (pictured), at the annual general meeting of Vision Motueka next Wednesday.

The Marae is the hub for many activities of Maori people and groups, but its Board of Trustees wants to improve and develop facilities which will help make it available for more community activity inclusive for all cultures.

Ann has been the general manager, or Tumuaki, of the Marae for the past six years or so and has an excellent overview of its activities, especially in relation to the wider Motueka community.

The Marae board last year agreed on a concept plan for the future development and layout of Te Awhina.

Although the development has been discussed for about 10 years, the need to begin work has been elevated by engineering reports saying the wharekai (dining room) is well below building standards for earthquake risk.

Rather than spend a lot of money bringing the building up to scratch, the Trustees and members agreed that it was time to put that money into a new, larger, multipurpose building that could house events, conferences and small meeting groups.

This would be the first step in a plan to both expand the area of the Marae, and divide the facilities into logical groups such as health, education, administration, cultural and work areas.

The Marae offers key health services for Maori and non-Maori alike, particularly in smoking cessation, mental health, and alcohol and drug treatment.

It also provides some excellent education services for all people, which are often not very well known to the wider community, including the Barbican courses for small business owners and computer classes through NMIT.

One key goal of the Marae's operation is to extend its involvement in the wider Motueka community. It already works in partnership with organisations including Motueka High School, the Museum Board, Family Service Centre, Vision Motueka, Corrections, Department of Conservation and Project Janszoon.

The Marae itself was used 75 times last year on day events, which makes it a significant venue in Motueka. This may be more easily increased with a new larger wharekai.

The Vision Motueka AGM will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd, at Community House, Decks Reserve, starting at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and a light supper will be served afterward.


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