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Horowhenua Chronicle - 2021-11-26

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Council upgrades marae water supply

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Some of the funding provided to the Horowhenua District Council as part of the Government’s Three Waters Reform will be used to install large water tanks on all 12 local marae, to ensure they have fresh water. Council allocated $520,000 towards improving water and wastewater at marae across the district. This includes 21 water tanks to be installed, each with a capacity of 30,000 litres as well as eight water treatment systems. Council is also working with local iwi and other agencies to secure additional funding to support the installation of an electric back-up generator for all 12 marae to ensure an uninterrupted water supply during a power cut. Marae are also used as a community social hub during an emergency situation; hence it is important that they are well equipped. Wastewater and stormwater services will also be upgraded. Horowhenua District Council Mayor, Bernie Wanden, said: “It remains a priority for council to ensure that water services are equitable for communities, and I am proud to say that we are the only council using the funding to upgrade all of our local marae”. The marae across the district participating in this project are: Kohuturoa, Kawiu, Wehi Wehi, Tukorehe, Tu¯matanui (Hikitanga), Nga¯tokowaru, Kereru, Matau, Huia, Whakawehi (Poutu), Motuiti and Paranui. Kawiu Marae trustee, Marokopa Wiremu Matakatea, said: “Our marae are absolutely central to our connectedness as Muau¯poko. They are places of refuge for our people and enable us to maintain and reaffirm our customs, practices, values and philosophy. They are sacred places which provide a safe and welcoming place for manuhiri and wha¯nau alike.” Chief executive of Muau¯poko Tribal Authority, Di Rump said: “To see this level of investment in our marae across the rohe is a great example of partnership, may this serve as an example for many more marae to see the same, much needed investment.” Kelly Bevan, chairperson of Te Ru¯nanga o Raukawa, said: “The investment the council has made in local marae has directly contributed to building the capacity of marae to assist in our aspirations, as iwi to improve water quality throughout the rohe. Nga¯ti Raukawa ki Te Tonga holds relationships with four councils within our iwi boundaries, and Horowhenua District Council has provided a model for other councils to follow.” “We are grateful for the recent donation of the water tank and water system upgrade from council,” said Pikitia Heke, chairperson Nga¯ti Tukorehe Tribal Committee. “It will ensure that the quality of water of the marae is now fit for purpose, and we will now be able to collect and store enough water for small and large gatherings without fear of any public health issues arising from waterborne diseases. “Clean potable water is a basic human right that every community should have access to. This investment will benefit our marae community for many years to come.” Paddy Jacobs from Wehi Wehi Marae says she is looking forward to the upgrade. The upgrades are due for completion by the end of this year.

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