Second marae steps up to help homeless

4:16 pm on 3 June 2016

Another marae in South Auckland is opening its doors to help the homeless.

Manurewa Marae

Manurewa Marae Photo:

Manurewa Marae is to help Te Puea Marae with the overflow of people they aren't able to take in.

Te Puea Marae began offering shelter to the homeless last month and has since launched a support programme for those looking for help, called Manaaki Tangata.

Te Puea Marae now has a waiting list of people wanting to stay there and Manurewa Marae board member Rangi McLean said they were happy to help.

"It's our privilege to answer the call from the ahi kaa marae, manawhenua marae, Te Puea, in their request for assistance to help the families that are living on the streets and to help with the overflow."

Manurewa Marae hopes to open up as soon as next week, but were working with Te Puea Marae to ensure they have the right services in place first.

"We need to look at what we need to put in place here first before we start accepting families."

He said they were receiving advice from Te Puea Marae and their staff were liasing and working with them.

"We're going to concentrate on and accommodate the extra families from Te Puea first, and then look at how we're going to open it up wider."

Mr McLean said the government had to be put on notice, because they were not going to keep their doors open all the time.

"Once the wintertime period is over the government better work with our marae staff and to start housing the families that we've taken on."

The Maori Party's Tamaki Makaurau candidate Rangi McLean

Manurewa Marae board member Rangi McLean. Photo: SUPPLIED

Mr Mclean said if they open up all their facilities Manurewa Marae can sleep up to 350 people.

But he said if they go down that track they'd expect the government to fund it, because it would take away their ability to raise the funds to cover the marae overheads.

He said they would be able to continue to hire out the marae as they had space downstairs where people would be able to stay, and on occasion when the top part of the marae is free they can move them up there.

Manurewa Marae will use their own resources to help the families but people are already dropping off donations to the marae.

"As Māori and as marae that's what we rely on, whanaungatanga and koha and at this stage that's how we are going to fund the kaupapa."

Mr McLean doesn't think all marae should open their doors as he knows not all marae can afford to and said it should be up to each individual marae.

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