Wairoa District Council has turned down a request from a local marae for a grant to help pay the $8,000 cost of insuring its buildings.
The Kahungunu Community Memorial meeting house at Nuhaka north of Wairoa is one of more than 100 that master carver Pine Taiapa from Ngati Porou worked on between 1927 and 1971.
Wairoa deputy mayor Denise Eaglesome says the hapu's inability to meet the increased cost of insurance is not unique.
She says all 34 marae in the Wairoa District are struggling to pay their insurance bill.
Denise Eaglesome says if the council agreed to help one hapu it would very quickly have others lining up for assistance.
She says it may be possible for marae to reduce their insurance costs by making a collective approach to an insurance company.