(Waatea News) The head of the marae maps project says the traditional gathering places for Maori communities seem to be overlooked in the current wave of treaty settlements.
Te Potiki National Trust has already collected public information on more than half of the country’s 800 marae, and it is now turning its sights on marae from East Coast down to Wairarapa.
Chairperson Paul Tapsell says the settlement process is focusing on economic returns, but the leadership isn’t looking at the role marae can play, especially the contribution from wahine Maori.
“The women are still looking at redistributing the well being, the wealth, for those families that are missing out. They seem to know what is going on, which whanau are in trouble and generally they ensured that those whanau didn’t miss out. I don’t see that kind of female aspect of leadership operating round the board rooms of settlement these days as it used to operate within marae context,” Professor Tapsell says.
He says an alarming percentage of the country’s marae are in a poor state of maintenance, and iwi should consider whether settlements could be used to fund their upkeep.