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Millions of dollars promised to upgrade marae across Auckland

Auckland Council has announced a $60 million programme to go towards improving the conditions of 32 marae across the region.

The Marae Infrastructure Programme will focus on the repair, maintenance and upgrade works to marae facilities, including wharenui (meeting houses), wharekai (dining halls) and wharepaku (toilets).

"Marae are important hubs both for Māori and the wider community," Councillor Penny Hulse said. "They are focal points for social, economic and cultural leadership, and provide opportunities to strengthen whānau connections."

It follows a report commissioned by the Council in 2014 highlighting the challenges faced by mana whenua and mataawaka marae.

"This programme is unique not only in its focus of improving marae, but also in its strategic intent of enabling marae to be self-sustainable and thriving spaces within their communities," she said. "We want a partnership approach that leaves a legacy for generations to come."

Marae carving. Source: istock.com