23 Jul 2014

Iwi and Contact Energy launch scheme

6:56 am on 23 July 2014

The tribal and charitable arms of Ngati Porou have reached an agreement with Contact Energy that they hope will help pay the power bills for 50 marae.

As part of the pilot scheme Contact Energy will contribute $50 for each household that signs up to Ngati Porou marae.

The energy plan, called Ngati Power, will also give customers a 22 percent discount on their monthly bill if it's paid on time.

Contact Energy head of communications and sustainability Tina Porou said 5000 customers would be targeted.

Ms Porou said it was a way for the 83 percent of Ngati Porou who lived outside the tribal rohe to contribute back to their marae.

She said often those who lived away from the marae returned for hui or tangihanga and leave after a week, with the financial burden to be picked up by those who looked after the marae.

Ms Porou said if 5000 households signed up, it would provide a contribution of $250,000 a year towards marae electricity bills.

She said the collective purchasing power of Maori was often overlooked and the scheme was a way of harnessing that.