The Te Runanga O Arowhenua marae renewal and expansion project has received a $75,000 donation from the trust. The funds will be used to provide furniture, such as tables and chairs, for use in the meeting house and dining room.
Trust chairman Peter O’Leary said the donation recognised the important role Te Runanga O Arowhenua had in educating the wider community about Tikanga Maori, fostering cultural skills and engaging with government agencies, schoolchildren and corporates to ensure that the views of tangata whenua were heard and understood.
‘‘The expanded wharenui [Te Hapa o Niu Tireni] will also provide a focal point and cater for the growing number of people, nga whanau and iwi, who are affiliated to the Arowhenua marae; for hui and tangi, and for special celebrations,’’ he said.
Te Runanga O Arowhenua represents the tangata whenua of a district that stretches from the Rakaia River to the Waitaki River and inland to the main divide and Aoraki-Mt Cook, a region which coincides with that of the community trust.
The Arowhenua marae, following its $3.2 million rebuild and refurbishment, will become the central point for tangata whenua in the region.
Te Runanga O Arowhenua chairman John Henry thanked the trust for its support.
The trust has made 12 other donations: – New Zealand Young Farmers $10,000 towards the annual Young Farmer of the Year contest. – Life Education Trust of Mid & South Canterbury $9000 towards strengthening work on its mobile classroom. – The Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons Society Canterbury $5000, Asthma NZ South Canterbury $5000 and Hospice South Canterbury $4000, towards their services. – The Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club $3000, the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society South Canterbury $1665, and the South Canterbury Rugby Referees Association $1240 towards equipment.