The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.
The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set aside in the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
The funding will be used to complete a new wharekai (dining hall), associated infrastructure, replace the administration and services hub and phased completion of papakainga housing for kaumatua.
Grant Robertson says 33 jobs will be created during the construction phase and eight new permanent jobs will be created when the project is complete.
“Marae are important centres for Māori. They are the culture and are focal point for people to meet, discuss and provide visible leadership for their community.
“Much-needed renovation of marae around the country creates vital work opportunities for local tradespeople and contractors displaced by the economic impact of COVID-19.”
Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says the funding is a huge boost, not just for locals but for the region.
“Murihiku Marae is a central hub for this community, providing a huge number of social services and hosting many events. This construction work will enable the marae to continue to provide its current level of service and increase its role as a social services provider.”
As part of the Government’s plan to stimulate regional economies and create jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it announced in October last year the upgrade of more than 350 marae throughout the country with a $95.6 million investment.
A list of the projects announced from the $3 billion tagged contingency for infrastructure can be found here.
All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.