May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori feeling uncomfortable at Welfare Centeres urged to use marae

2 min read

Reports are starting to filter in that Maori whanau seeking assistance at Welfare Centres in Christchurch are feeling uncomfortable when seeking support. Maori Party MP for Christchurch, Rahui Katene is urging all whanau who might feel this way to use marae in and around the city as places of refuge.

Marae around the country have opened their doors (to all) and are offering supplies, accommodation and kai.

Rahui Katene said in her press release the following:

“This morning local Maori service providers mentioned in a hui that theywere getting feedback that some of our Maori whanau were feeling marginalised when they went to the welfare centres for help.

“It was noted in the hui that many Maori families were being sent to the back of the line.

“I’ll be talking with the head of the Civil Defence about this but in the meantime I encourage our whanau to use the marae.”

There were more than 15 marae in and around Christchurch and throughout the country who had opened their doors to offer support to those affected by the earthquake.

“The marae are taking all peoples, be they Maori or non-Maori and from what Ive seen, while visiting them, there is an amazing spirit of manaakitanga and love.

We know of 30 people on their way to Invercargill from Christchurch last night to take refuge in the Nga Hau E Wha marae. While TakahangaMarae in Kaikoura has space and food for about 70 people, and were yesterday catering for just over 40.

As transportation to the marae with Christchurch was an issue, Mrs Katenes team was on the ground now helping to get people to and from their homes to the marae.

Some whanau dont want to leave their homes at night out of fear of looting, so the marae can be used as a point if they only want meals and showers.

The marae which are ready now to offer support are as follows.



  • (offering accommodation, showers, food)
  • 215 Tuahiwi Rd, Tuahiwi


  • (information regard food and whanau support)
  • 797 Springfield Rd, Saint Albans


  • (offering accommodation, showers, food)
  • Rapaki Rd, Lyttelton


There are a number of marae outside of Christchurch and throughout the country offering accommodation and other support.

For information about the marae available contact 0800 KAITAHU (0800 524 8248) during the day or text 021 714 659 at night.

Alternatively, there is a full list on of South Island marae on or for a list of marae elsewhere.

9 thoughts on “Maori feeling uncomfortable at Welfare Centeres urged to use marae

  1. Blair & Clarke, uneducated & uninformed. They're doing nothing but raising the issue and coming up with a solution…the solution is send them to somewhere they feel comfortable & not only for M?ori but for everyone. Stop the squabble & do more to help like the M?ori & the volunteers are.

  2. This is very disappointing that this is happening in Christchurch, but hardly surprising as Christchurch is seen as the most racist of New Zealand's main cities. As a person that works in the media I will be watching this very closely. On another not a big congratulations needs to go to all the marae that have opened their doors to the many refugees of the quake be they M?ori, P?keha or what ever ethnic background.

    1. Moki —

      Having lived in ChCh and now in Dunedin, I'd say it's a close run thing between the two (with regard to racism). Agree completely about the marae! Keep up your good work…

    2. Thats another note, not (not) On (another not) a big congratulations needs to go to all the marae that have opened their doors to the many refugees of the quake be they Maori, Pakeha or what ever ethnic background.

  3. Blair — If YOU were on the receiving end of the stick you'd be a lot more than "disappointed"!

  4. if everyone did things the Maori way we would be stealing and assualting people then blaming everyone else for our problems

  5. Wake up Blair, the Maori way is better – what's best for Maori is best for the nation. Are you Maori?

  6. This article has absolutely no substance whatsoever…. Its just the same old regurgitation of 'the system is failing us, the maori way is better'.

    If you get sent to the back of the line how do you know this is BECAUSE they are Maori? If their family is a large one then Im sure that as long as they made sure to point out the size of their family that theyd get what was needed.

    Very dissappointing tone in the article.

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