31 Oct 2014

Marae secures major tourism deal

11:01 am on 31 October 2014

An Auckland marae says it has secured a deal with a Chinese company to provide Maori cultural experiences for up to 40,000 tourists a year.

Awataha Marae

Awataha Marae Photo: SUPPLIED

Awataha Marae said it was already catering for about 170 people a night, seven days a week, since it started last month.

It said the focus of the experience was on kai, particularly the hangi.

Awataha Marae chief executive Anthony Wilson said the deal took eight months to negotiate and was a silver lining after losing out when plans for a New Zealand-inspired theme park in China fell through.

He said the marae could not rely on Government hand-outs, and does not get Treaty settlements, so relied on being entrepreneurial to provide for its long-term future.

Mr Wilson said ten local jobs had been created as a result of the deal but would not say how much the deal was worth.

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