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Six-figure funding for marae project

Six-figure funding for marae project

Press Release

An innovative project to build a community marae at Northland’s Okaihau College has gained a six-figure grant.

Community projects funder ASB Trusts is to put $179,000 toward the project, covering half of the building costs for a community facility which will include a wharekai and wharenui.

The college, inland from Kerikeri, has 500 students, most of them drawn from a wide area surrounding the Okaihau settlement. With students travelling from as far as Rawene, Opononi, Kerikeri and Maungamuka, the school hopes the community marae will meet the needs of its diverse Maori population.

ASB Trusts CEO Jennifer Gill says the many letters of support the application came with – including letters from Northland MP John Carter, Far North mayor Yvonne Sharp, Kaikohe’s Te Reo O Te Taitokerau and the Okaihau Community Association - show the community is right behind the project.

“The total cost to build the new facility does not include the cost for carvings,” she says. “Once it is built, the appropriate carvings will be designed by local kaumatua. These people are willing to go to the school and teach students the skills of carving. It will be the work of these students that will help build the marae’s story and meaning.”

Several other Northland projects have recently gained ASB Trusts funding, including Kaitaia-based Te Hauora O Te Hiku O Te Ika Trust, which has been granted $110,800 for a building upgrade, furniture and IT equipment.

The health trust provides primary health care for about 4500 patients in the far north. It’s services include a mobile nursing service, mental health services, management of high-risk diseases, child health care and maternity support.

The grant will help with the final stages of refurbishing Kaitaia’s old nursing home, which has become the health trust’s base.

Community support group Home Support North Charitable Trust has also been granted funds by the ASB Trusts. The $62,650 will go toward operational costs and a new seven-seater vehicle, which will offer free transport for unwell and disabled Far North residents travelling to medical appointments in Whangarei and Auckland.

In 2004 the ASB Trusts, together with the LW Nelson Trust, helped the Home Support Trust buy a wheelchair accessible van. Since then a pool of volunteer drivers have been making three or four trips a week from Kaitaia to Whangarei.

And environmental group Herekino Landcare Group has been granted $13,192 by the ASB Trusts to help with running costs in its on-going campaign to stop the spread of wild ginger in the Herekino Forest.

The ASB Trusts decides on grants for projects in education, the arts, sport, recreation, health and social services areas each month. About $50 million is given to community group projects in Auckland and Northland each year.

Founded on the sale of its shares in the ASB bank, the ASB Trusts has granted more than $500m since being formed in 1988. Any incorporated or charitable trust can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation. For more details about applying, visit the ASB Trusts’ website: www.asbtrusts.org.nz

ENDS

Website: www.asbtrusts.org.nz

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