Tawhitinui marae is located in Otakeho, in South Taranaki. A project to refit one of the buildings on the marae was successfully completed last year.
“We needed to repair one of the buildings on the marae. It was in use as a Kohanga Reo since the 1980’s and is located in an exposed coastal area with prevailing Southerly winds,” Raymond Eynon, Trustee, said.
“The building provides additional support to the Wharekai (main kitchen and dining), particularly when hosting large numbers of manuhiri, marae and hapū members. The loss of the building would have disadvantaged our ability to host events.”
“The main source of income for the marae is koha (donation). Without the grant, we would have had to use our savings. We really appreciated the Toi Foundation workshop on how to apply for different funding types. There are a lot of people out there who find it hard to fill out these forms,” Raymond said.
A grant of $54,600 from Toi Foundation allowed the organisation to refurbish the building, including insulation, external re-cladding of the facility, and replacement of all doors and windows. The project was completed in 2021.
“The Covid-19 lockdown put us behind and we had some issues with the supply of building materials. We had to look at alternative materials to bring in, to keep the build on track.”
“The grant has allowed us to achieve a structurally safe building with facilities that meet and exceed our regulations,” Raymond said.
“It has made the building watertight and warm for the use of our tamariki. For mothers with babies, it gives them a private area to attend to their tamariki. It has affected all of the whānau associated with our marae, but also the surrounding community.”
“We have a fully functional Kohanga Reo building that our hapū and wider community can be proud of. It is fit for purpose for generations to come.”