5 Feb 2015

Maori ministry urged to assess marae

9:30 am on 5 February 2015

The government has selected the wrong department to enforce rules to make marae buildings earthquake resilient, an associate professor of architecture says.

Unitec Institute of Technology's Regan Potangaroa said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment did not have enough cultural nous to oversee upgrades to meeting houses.

Dr Potangaroa wanted Te Puni Kokiri to take the lead once the new building laws kicked in, because it could be trusted to understand the cultural safety and cultural value of marae.

He said Te Puni Kokiri, with its marae development funding, would understand the diversity of the some 1,300 marae affected by legislation to upgrade earthquake-prone buildings.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill was currently before Parliament.